Saturday Night Live: Bowen Yang presents new Yao Ming impression

SNLEntering tonight’s new episode of Saturday Night Livewe had no idea we were going to be seeing Bowen Yang do an impression of Yao Ming. Also, that it would be the show’s spoof of Inside the NBA.

Usually, sports spoofs aren’t typically in the show’s wheelhouse, especially since a lot of the impersonations tend to a fall apart. Yet, Kenan Thompson as Charles Barkley is consistently amazing, and then we got to Bowen. The whole joke was mostly that Bowen was insanely tall and yet, it worked every single time. Yao Ming was an enormous NBA player, and he also hasn’t been all that public since his retirement.

There was another joke in this sketch, as well: That an NBA team in the Sacramento Kings had to basically field a team full of scrubs and random dudes. According to the sketch, the Kings ended up taking players out of the stands and using them in the game itself.

At the end of the day, we really wish that there was more from Bowen in the sketch. He had a funny bit in the opening but after that, we didn’t see enough of him the rest of the way. (There was another bit about the size of Yao’s hands.) It honestly felt like the cast were having as much fun as anyone watching Bowen trying to figure out how to act in this character.

Should this be a recurring sketch?

Probably not, but we like that the show found a way to make sure to not just rely on a Shaq impression like we’ve seen in the past. This was a good one-and-done, and at least a chance for the show to both introduce a new impression and also play off of some current events.

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