Roughly 25 million people tuned in to watch Chinese-born actor Simu Liu step onto the NBC stage to serve as the host of NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.
Liu is best known as Misha on the hit Disney Channel series “Kickin’ It,” and many know him from his roles in films such as “Chungking Express,” “Daddy’s Home” and “Hot and Fishy.”
Liu made his hosting debut on Saturday, where he starred alongside musical guest Janelle Monae.
His opening monologue poked fun at his Chinese roots. “Even if you weren’t born in America, America’s still your country,” he joked. He also referred to his character on “Kickin’ It” as a house immigrant, which garnered laughs from both the host and the audience.
“You guys are the new generation of Asian people. Your voice will change our world,” he said to the room of audience members, many of whom were children.
Liu opened with Monae, the singer and actress who will be starring in the upcoming sci-fi flick “Motherless Brooklyn.” Liu was concerned his characters will be stereotyped for their nationality, so he did his research.
“The best I can do is pretend like I’m yourself, play your game and be good to the people around me,” he said to Monae, who responded with, “Good luck.”