Bowen Yang says Fran Lebowitz disliking his SNL impression is 'the highest compliment'
There are some people whose disapproval is more desirable than their approval, and Fran Lebowitz is one of them.
EW cover star Bowen Yang stopped by Late Night With Seth Meyers on Thursday, where he and Meyers discussed his turn as the author and raconteur on Saturday Night Live. Yang played Lebowitz on "Weekend Update" shortly after Pretend It's a City, her docuseries with Martin Scorsese, dropped on Netflix.
Speaking to the Los Angeles Times this week, Lebowitz seemed to register her dislike of Yang's impression after previously saying she hadn't seen the sketch, telling the Times, "People started calling me because they saw it. I would not have watched it even if I knew. I said, 'If you've never had a caricature drawn of you, you might think this is a great thing [to be parodied] - but no one likes them.'"
In Yang's opinion, this was the best possible outcome. "That's confirmation that she's seen it and that she doesn't care for it, and I think that's the highest compliment you could possibly get from someone like Fran," the comedian said on Late Night.
"I think that if Fran Lebowitz said, 'Oh my God, I loved it, and it's so cool to be on SNL!' it would just ruin everything," Meyers added.
"Absolutely. So I wear it as a badge of honor that she did not like my portrayal of her," Yang replied, adding, "I probably wouldn't either, if someone who was so demographically opposite of me, portrayed me. I'd be like, 'Come on!'"
Yang also explained how he came to portray Lebowitz on SNL, recalling, "I was, let's say, under the influence of something in bed, watching Pretend It's a City. And I thought to myself, 'I'm gonna play her on "Update."' I texted one of the writers... I said, 'I have this crazy idea, I think I have to play Fran Lebowitz on "Update."'"
"The next day, Anna Drezen, our head writer, texted me, 'Crazy idea, but I think you should play Fran Lebowitz on "Update,"'" he continued. "And then we did it the Saturday afterwards, and I was like, this is the best part of working here. You get to ideate something so silly the week before and then have it be on TV."
You can watch Yang's full Late Night interview above.