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Aziz Ansari to become first ‘SNL’ host of South Asian descent

Washington: Indian-American comedian and television star Aziz Ansari is all set to make his hosting debut on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” on January 21, becoming the comedy sketch show’s first host of South Asian descent.

The news comes on the heels of a big year for 33-year-old Ansari. The stand-up comic and television star won his first Emmy for outstanding writing for a comedy series after earning a total of four nominations for his Netflix series “Master of None”, The Washington Post reported.

His nomination for outstanding lead actor in a comedy series was the first for an Indian American.

“I’m very happy but it’s a very specific accomplishment,” he told USA Today about the historic nod.

Other “Saturday Night Live” hosts of Asian descent include Lucy Liu and Jackie Chan, who both hosted the show in 2000, according to an IndieWire examination of all 826 hosts in “Saturday Night Live” history. Bruno Mars and Fred Armisen, who are multiracial, have also hosted.

Ansari had mentioned wanting to appear on “Saturday Night Live” when he brought his Bobby Jindal impression to “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” in November 2015.

“I finally look like a guy!” Ansari joked, adding that he had hoped the Louisiana governor’s presidential candidacy would lead to his big “Saturday Night Live” break.

Ansari also shared his thoughts on the former Lousiana Governor Jindal’s short-lived presidential race with Fallon. “I have a theory that he’s not Indian,” he said.

“I don’t know any Indian person that would allow himself to lose to that many white people in a contest,” NBC News quoted him as saying.

“Saturday Night Live” is scheduled to resume its 42nd season when it returns from its winter break on January 14.