Bowen Yang starred as Tian Tian, a giant panda from China who interrupted an awkward Joe Biden press conference, in the “Saturday Night Live” cold open.
As Mikey Day’s Biden was getting grilled at a press conference about his recent meeting with China’s president Xi Jinping, response to the Israel-Palestine conflict and the border crisis, Tian Tian jumped in to save the day. In a friendly gesture toward U.S.-Chinese relations, Jinping had suggested this week that giant pandas may return to California zoos.
Yang’s Tian Tian first wanted to clear up the “giant” part of his panda species, clarifying that he likes to be called “slim thick.” He also said that he’s going to miss the free marijuana — and only that — of his time in the U.S. before he goes back to China. Jealous of the panda’s spotlight, Day’s Biden attempted to field a question, only to pass it back to Tian Tian when asked about his Middle East policy: “You know what? I think people are likin’ the panda!”
“As the rare person who identifies as Black, white and Chinese,” Yang’s Tian Tian said he was in the unique position to unite many people from around the world, “just like another hot Blasian, Tiger Woods.”
Jason Momoa is hosting the latest “Saturday Night Live” ahead of his new DC movie, “Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom,” which is swimming to theaters on Dec. 22. It’s the long awaited sequel to his first “Aquaman” film from 2018 that was a hit with fans and grossed more than $1 billion at the box office. Momoa previously hosted “Saturday Night Live” in 2018, his hosting debut, with Mumford and Sons as his musical guest.
In addition to the “Aquaman” sequel, Momoa appeared as the colorful villain Dante Reyes in Universal’s “Fast X” earlier this year. He also reprised his Aquaman role in the post-credits scene of “The Flash.”
This season of “Saturday Night Live” has so far had Pete Davidson, Bad Bunny, Nate Bargatze and Timothee Chalamet as hosts, plus Ice Spice, the Foo Fighters and Boygenius as musical guests. Bad Bunny pulled double duty and both hosted and performed. Singer Tate McRae performs on Momoa’s episode. There has also been an influx of celebrity cameos this season, including Taylor Swift, Travis Kelce, Pedro Pascal, Lady Gaga, Mick Jagger, Alec Baldwin, Christopher Walken and more.