The Thought Leaders Issue: Bowen Yang

The Thought Leaders Issue: Bowen Yang

The Thought Leaders Issue: Bowen Yang

The actor and SNL cast member on voter preparation, staying informed, and his podcast, Las Culturistas.

The actor and SNL cast member on voter preparation, staying informed, and his podcast, Las Culturistas.

Photography: Inez & Vinoodh

Styling: Aryeh Lappin

Text: SAMUEL ANDERSON

V127’s Thought Leaders Issue is available for pre-order now.

“I still believe that [voter] turnout is the best remedy. [That said], I am white-knuckling it until Thanksgiving. I’m staying hopeful but also informed, [to ease that feeling of] not having control. [Being informed about] voting early, dropping your ballot off at your local board of elections…It feels like so much falls on the individual, which is deeply, deeply dark to me. That shouldn’t be how it is in order to make sure an election is legitimate. So I am finding pockets of hope, [while] working to ensure that this election is as unadulterated as possible.

“This is the first general election that I’m not voting in Colorado; I finally changed my registration to New York. But I’m paying very close attention [to other state races]—getting as full a picture as possible of the progressive Democratic body. I can’t call myself a card-carrying [Democratic Socialists of America] member, but I’m very closely following their meeting minutes.

“The remarkable thing about SNL is that we’re able to comment on what just happened, in real time. Keeping an ear to the ground is part of the show’s DNA. [It can be] very reactionary, but that’s just how it is—partly as a result of this constantly keyed-in climate we’re in, where every New York Times notification gives [me] a micro panic attack.

“I am in no place to give tips on coping…with anything. The trailer of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City came out today, and I was like, ‘Great!’ But then I saw, ‘Premieres November 11!’ and thought, ‘Oh god…I don’t know if I’ll be in the mood.’ Depending on what happens, I may not need to watch wealthy, religious women swimming in their wealth in the suburbs.

“I feel like that’s pretty universal now. Even with the [Las Culturistas] podcast… Matt [Rogers] and I never set out to be political. But we recently had on [Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s brother], Gabriel Ocasio-Cortez, who played a big part in getting AOC elected. We ended up being really proud of that episode. We’re definitely not experts in any regard, but we speak to issues that feel personal to us.

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Credits:
CREDITS: VLM STUDIO KIM POLLOCK (AGENT) JODOKUS DRIESSEN (LIGHTING DIRECTOR) MARC KROOP (STUDIO MANAGER) BRIAN ANDERSON (DIGITAL TECHNICIAN) VLM PRODUCTIONS TUCKER BIRBILIS (PRODUCER) EVA HARTE (PRODUCTION COORDINATOR) JOHN NADHAZI (PRODUCTION MANAGER) JOE HUME (PHOTO ASSISTANT) RETOUCHING STEREOHORSE

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