18 Years Ago, Awkwafina Camped Outside SNL Because She Couldn’t Get in, Now She’s Hosting the Show

Awkwafina delivered a memorable performance this weekend as she becomes the second Asian woman ever to host on “Saturday Night Live.”

The 29-year-old star of “Crazy Rich Asians” and “Ocean’s 8” opened with some hilarious quips referencing her nickname and a joke with a Donald Trump impression.


“I was gonna come out dressed like a water bottle, but apparently someone did that last week,” she said during her monologue.



She also included a touching tribute to Lucy Liu, the first to host the long-running comedy show in 2000.


Awkwafina, whose real name is Nora Lum, narrated an endearing story about how she tried to get into the taping of that particular episode Saturday Night Live when she was 11 years old.

“Back in 2000, I came here to 30 Rock and waited outside when my idol Lucy Liu hosted SNL,” Awkwafina said.

“I was a kid and I didn’t have a ticket, so I knew I wasn’t getting in, but I just wanted to be near the building. I remember how important that episode was for me and how it totally changed what I thought was possible for an Asian-American woman. Standing here tonight is a dream I never thought would come true., so thank you, Lucy, for opening the door. I wasn’t able to make into the building then, but, 18 years later, I am hosting the show. I love you, Lucy Liu! Be my friend!” she added.

Her “Crazy Rich Asians” co-stars celebrated her historic hosting on the show:



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It’s an AWKWAFINA PARTY!!! We love you Nora you killed it! #crazyrichasians

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This was taken on the first day of shooting @awkwafina in #CrazyRichAsians . I remember seeing you step out of the make up room in that wig… and that outfit… no longer Nora but transformed into a character that would eventually win the hearts and minds of the world audience. I was scared, to be honest, not knowing how it would translate onto the big screen… but you always knew. And NEVER wavered. Now you are hours away from hosting @nbcsnl 😮😭❤️Proud is not even the right word. Awe might be the right one. I’m in awe of your brain, work ethic, heart and vision for not only yourself but for us all. Thank you for showing me we can take risks and be unafraid of the unknown because that’s how we make art that shatters the mold and sets a new course for the future. See you soon, along with the rest of the world, LIVE from New York on Saturday Night!!!!

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