How Much Does Bowen Yang Make on ‘SNL’?

Bowen Yang is a Saturday Night Live treasure. The actor is currently in his second year as a featured cast member on the Emmy-winning comedy series. With iconic sketches already under his belt, he’s a shoo-in for a promotion to main cast member. Let’s take a look at how much Yang makes for his comedic stylings on SNL.

Bowen Yang wearing a white suit and iceberg-shaped hat as 'The Iceberg That Sank The Titanic' on 'Saturday Night Live' on April 10, 2021
Bowen Yang as ‘The Iceberg That Sank The Titanic’ on ‘Saturday Night Live’ on April 10, 2021 | Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

How old is Bowen Yang?

Yang has been a fixture on social media for several years now. Before SNL, he went viral for his lip dub videos. (Never forget his iconic Devil Wears Prada lip dub.) At 28, he was hired on the show as a writer, although he told Seth Meyers in a December 2019 interview he had auditioned for the show several times before landing the writing gig.

While still a writer, he appeared on the show as Kim Jong Un when Sandra Oh hosted in March 2019. Later that year, Yang and Chloe Fineman were announced as the new cast members for season 45.

Yang, now 30, has created unforgettable sketches for the show in his three-year tenure. He was one of the writers and actors in the iconic Sara Lee sketch with Harry Styles (must get rid of toxic in community), his Trade Daddy “Weekend Update” character is a constant delight, and most recently, he slayed fans by playing the Iceberg That Sank the Titanic.

Yang is the first Chinese-American cast member in SNL‘s history and the fourth openly gay. Between him and fellow openly queer cast members Kate McKinnon and newcomer Punkie Johnson, there is a new, unapologetically queer presence on the show.

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Who is the highest paid ‘SNL’ cast member?

Although Yang is appearing in more and more sketches nowadays, he isn’t a full-time cast member just yet. But that’s typical. SNL actors are in the featured cast for their first two years, and then become main cast after that. But it’s not always guaranteed that a featured cast member will make it onto the show full-time. Given Yang and Fineman’s popularity, however, they’re likely to be bumped to main cast next season.

If and when they get those promotions, their salaries will likely increase. Before we dive into Yang’s pay, let’s take a look at what the seasoned cast members make.

The highest paid SNL actor is Kenan Thompson. That should come as no surprise, seeing as he’s been on the show the longest out any cast member in history. Thompson reportedly makes $25,000 per episode.

Bowen Yang backstage in Studio 8H on Saturday, November 23, 2019
Bowen Yang backstage in Studio 8H on Saturday, November 23, 2019 | Rosalind O’Connor/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

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Bowen Yang’s ‘SNL’ salary

First-year cast members are paid $7,000 per episode. When you’re main cast and have been on the show for five seasons, you make $15,000 per episode.

As a second-year cast member, Yang and Fineman make $8,000 per episode, according to Celebrity Net Worth. That comes out to $168,000 per season. Once they’re bumped to main cast, they will get a raise, as SNL‘s practice is to give raises every year. Although $25,000 per episode is likely the highest the show goes.