In its 46th Season, Comedian and Writer Punkie Johnson, who self proclaimed, “Brutally honest southern lesbian” will bring her humorist stand up comedy to SNL making history as the “First Black Openly LGBT Cast Member”. Johnson, who’s in her mid-thirties, will join the SNL Cast along with Lauren Holt and Andrew Dismukes.
She’s originally from New Orleans and lives in Los Angeles, where she regularly performs at The World Famous Comedy Store in Hollywood. Actress Kate McKinnon, who was on the Ghost Busters film and Logo TV’s The Big Gay Sketch Show, is SNL First Openly Lesbian Cast Member and has been on the show since its 38th Season. Moreover, Kate and Punky will be two Lesbians to appear at the same season together.
Sam Jay, who starring on a new Netflix Original Standup Special called 3 in the Morning, also made history as the show’s First Black Queer Woman Writer. Johnson will add to the rooster of the show’s black cast actors, including Kenan Thompson, who has been with the show since 2003. He’s in fact the show’s longest cast member in history.
Michael Che, one of Rolling Stones, “50 funniest people”, and Ego Nwodim. Ego, who has been a cast member with SNL for the last 2 seasons and was recently promoted as the key cast member this month. Ego has played characters on 2 Broke Girls, Law & order true crime and Adam Ruins Everything. Johnson is best known for her appearances on HBO’s, “A Black Lady Sketch Show, Netflix’s “Space Force” and like Ego, on TruTV, “Adam ruins everything”.
Some credit Danitra Vance of Saturday Night Live Season 11, as the First Black Lesbian Female Comedian of the comedy sketch show. However, she was never openly gay. Danitra also left after the first season because of opposing stereotypical roles. Unfortunately, in 1994, Danitra died after 5 years of battling breast cancer. Countless of Black Comedians have graced the stage of SNL including Eddie Murphy, Damon Wayans, Chris Rock, Maya Rudolph, and Tracy Morgan.
First Openly Asian LGBT Cast Member
Around the same time last year, SNL announced the writer of the show, Bowen Yang, would be advanced to a cast member making him the first Asian-American who’s also identify as LGBT.
3 years ago in 2016, SNL debut America’s got Talent Season 6 Finalist Melissa Villasenor as the show’s first Latina Cast Member. According to Forbes, in Saturday Night Lives 41 year career there were only two Hispanic male cast members; Fred Armisen and Horatio Sanz, who are both no longer on the show.
And in the same years of the show’s history, it has been reported that SNL has only had 4 openly LGBT members on the show. John Milhiser, also from Adam Ruins Everything and 2 broke girls, and who’s also roommate with the funny Nicole Byer. John had a one-year contract on the shows 39th season.
They schedule the New Season for 5 consecutive shows starting October 3rd on NBC.