In 2018, after years of working on projects where she was often the only Asian American in the room, Veronica Dang started the sketch comedy team Model Majority.
“When you’re in a group of people that are all Asian or all [people of color] there’s a comfort there" said Dang. “We don’t have to write for a certain person. We write for ourselves and what we think is funny.”
For members of the group, it’s been liberating to work on sketches that allow them to stretch as performers. Their annual Asian American Pacific Islander History Month show is filled with the kind of characters and bits they hope to see on shows like “Saturday Night Live” one day.
“This was very important to be able to be like ‘Hey, we’re funny too, we’re not all just doctors and lawyers,’” said Carol Lee, a founding member. “Like we deserve to be represented."
The name Model Majority is a send-up of a persistent stereotype, while the group itself is a vehicle to advocate for more inclusion in the entertainment industry, especially in comedy.
“We spent so many decades looking at other people and not really representing what Asian American culture is, so the fact that we get to do this and have an audience and we’re selling out consistently… it’s really exciting,” said Kevin Chew, a member.
As performers like Bowen Yang blaze the trail as SNL’s first Chinese American cast member, Dang hopes that because of shows like their’s, producers and casting directors will see that there’s room for more than one.
“He deserves to be in sketches where he can be in an Asian family sketch like they do for other people on the team,” said Dang.
She says their annual Lunar New Year and AAPI History shows have become fan favorites as they continue to grow their following.