— Saturday Night Live (@nbcsnl) January 10, 2017
NBC announced yesterday (January 10) that the multihyphenate performer will host the sketch staple’s second episode of 2017 with rapper Big Sean as musical guest. A scroll through Hulu‘s list of all "Saturday Night Live" episodes from 1975 to present confirms Angry Asian Man‘s report that Ansari is the show’s first Desi host. He is the show’s fourth host of Asian descent, following martial arts star Jackie Chan ("Rush Hour") and actress Lucy Liu ("Elementary") in 2000 and musician Bruno Mars in 2012.
"Saturday Night Live" historically struggles to maintain a diverse cast and host roster. The show boasts only three Asian-American cast members in its 42-year history: part-Filipino Rob Schneider ("Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo"), quarter-Japanese Fred Armisen ("Portlandia") and Iranian-born Nasim Pedrad ("Scream Queens"). The Aerogram reported in 2013 on Pedrad’s controversial portrayal of Ansari on the show, for which she artificially darkened her skin.