Comedy

Toronto playwright Celeste Yim joins Saturday Night Live

Saturday Night Live returned this fall for 46th season with pretty much the same writing crew, except one new writer: Toronto native and award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Celeste Yim.

Saturday Night Live returned this fall for 46th season with pretty much the same writing crew, except one new writer: Toronto native and award-winning playwright and screenwriter, Celeste Yim.

A Second City alumna and one of "30 Canadian Women in Comedy To Watch" in 2018, Yim has performed in over thirty comedy shows, worked as a juror for the Toronto Sketch Comedy Festival, written for Sunday Night Live at the Comedy Bar, before moving to New York City. 

Yim's writing has been published on popular media outlets over the years. 

Yim grapples with their Korean-Canadian identity and investigates pop culture's tendency to ridicule Asian accents in their VICE article, calls actors to resist the Oscars in their piece for MTV, and explores the making and eating of pig's head tacos in a featured video for Daily Vice.

Like many great writers and comedians, Yim isn't afraid of getting personal (sharing their "haunting" experience and speculation on celebrity crush Carly Rae Jepsen) -- nor does Yim hold back when it comes to criticizing systemic racism in the entertainment industry. 

"The white entertainment industry that casts black people in historical roles still perpetuates images of racial subordination, which normalizes and makes digestible images of angered, black, and enslaved women within contemporary versions of such stereotypes," Yim writes in their 2017 VICE article on the depiction of women of colour in period dramas. 

The gold standard for American comedy, Saturday Night Live gets thousands of submissions from comedy writers every year. Some of the show's writing alumnus include Al Franken, Tina Fey, Seth Meyers and Yim's former teenage love, Jimmy Fallon.

In recent years, SNL has been criticized for its lack of Asian players. In 2019, Bowen Yang made headlines for being the first Chinese-American comedian to perform as a regular cast member. Yang also was a writer for the show before he became a cast member. 

Whether Yim will eventually make their way onto the SNL stage one day remains to be seen, but for now, Yim will be bringing their unapologetic humour and original sketches into the writer's room.

About the Author

Vicky Qiao is a writer and journalist based in Toronto. She has a keen interest in culture reporting and believes that storytelling transcends boundaries. Vicky recently graduated from the Master of Media in Journalism and Communication program at Western University.

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