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Bowen Yang Talks Making SNL Magic with Sydney Sweeney and "True Friend" Ariana Grande

Yang spoke to Seth Meyers about his high-profile scene partners in "Moulin Rouge" and "Bowen's Straight," calling Grande "wonderfully disarming and great."

By Samantha Vincenty

As a Saturday Night Live cast member since Season 45, Bowen Yang has risen to the challenge of performing comedy alongside ultra-famous celebrities many times over. Yet during Yang's March 11 visit to Late Night with Seth Meyers, the Host couldn't help asking Yang about two extremely buzzy sketches from the past two weeks' shows—and his equally-buzzy co-stars, Sydney Sweeney and Ariana Grande

How to Watch

Watch Late Night with Seth Meyers on NBC weeknights at 12:35/11:35c and next day on Peacock.  

At the top of the current and former SNL cast members' chat, Yang acknowledged Seth Meyers' turn as Yang's guest in a November 2023 episode of Las Culturistashis long-running podcast with comedian and actor Matt Rogers. 

"There's a BTS moment where Seth walked in and handed off his jacket to someone without breaking eye contact with me and Matt," Yang told the Late Night audience. "And the way you handed this jacket off was so slick and debonair, it felt like you were about to sing jazz standards to us or something."

"This is why I would recommend anyone be in a room with you and Matt, because I would say they will see things about you that no one has ever seen," Meyers shot back, referring to the duo's incisive observations on the pod (which Las Culturistas guest Tina Fey also recently spoke of in a viral clip from the podcast). 

RELATED: Ariana Grande Performs "Imperfect for You" and "We Can't Be Friends" on SNL

While Meyers admitted that "I haven't watched SNL live for a long time," he did catch Josh Brolin's March 9 episode in real time—and caught Yang's "very fun" musical sketch with Grande.

Bowen Yang on The Late Show With Seth Meyers Episode 1496

Why Bowen Yang wasn't intimidated to sing with Ariana Grande in "Moulin Rouge"

As Meyers pointed out, Yang and Grande are co-stars in the Wicked Part One movie arriving on November 27. "So you've worked with her, and she's a real — no playing here — she's a real friend?" 

"She's a real friend," confirmed Yang, who appeared on Grande's Instagram during Wicked filming in 2023 and 2024. Grande, who pulled double duty as Host and musical guest in a March 2016 episode, was musical guest on the March 9 SNL. But she shared the screen with Yang in two sketches: "People Pleaser Support Group," and "Moulin Rouge," in which the two performed a hilariously demented musical medley.

"And Someone asked me backstage, 'Was it intimidating to sing with her?'  I was like, 'it never occurred to me, that I was singing 'with' her, and that I should be intimidated," Yang continued. "She's so disarmingly wonderful and great, and it was just so fun to do it with her."

RELATED: Ariana Grande's Celebrity Impression Skills Are Next Level

"I's not one of those SNL cameos where you can kind of come in and just like, read a line off a card—it obviously required a great deal more rehearsal than a normal a sketch," Meyers observed. "Not only are you guys perfect in that, but then she nails two songs on the show. I walked away very impressed."

"Can you believe that?" Yang agreed. "I mean, just crazy."

Watch Yang and Grande's "Moulin Rouge" sketch below. 

Moulin Rouge

On making out with Sydney Sweeney and Gina Gershon for "Bowen's Straight"

Bowen Yang and Gina Gershon during a sketch on Saturday Night Live Episode 1857

Meyers called out another sketch from Yang's big month on SNL: The "Bowen's Straight" pretaped sketch with March 2 Host Sydney Sweeney. The intentionally absurd premise: Yang is secretly straight, and pretending to be gay is just his "meal ticket" on the show. 

"And then in the end, you hooked up with Gina Gershon?!" Meyer said, referring to the very random cameo.  

"Yeah, I got to tell you guys something. You know, when you have a head injury, and you can't see colors quite right? I feel like I got hit in the head by these two women, and I'm still a little straight," Yang joked. "Like, I understand why Austin Butler talked like Elvis for a while after the movie."

Watch "Bowen's Straight" below.

Bowen's Straight

Want more Bowen Yang outside of SNL? Check out the two seasons of White Hot Heist, the scripted Audible podcast co-starring Jane Lynch and Cynthia Nixon.