By Bill Parry
Saturday Night Live will feature two Queens natives in October — one in each of the next two weekends.
The Oct. 5 episode will be hosted by Flushing’s Awkwafina, the break out actress who starred in two of the summer’s blockbuster films, “Oceans 8” and “Crazy Rich Asians.”
Meanwhile, Paul Simon will be the show’s musical guest the following weekend, making his 15th appearance on SNL Oct. 12 just weeks after his triumphant farewell concert at Flushing Meadows Corona Park.
Awkwafina is a stage name for the rapper and actress Nora Lum, who was born in 1988 and raised in Flushing by her Chinese-American father and South Korean immigrant mother. The 30-year old played the role of Peik Lin in “Crazy Rich Asians,” one of the summer’s biggest hits. Variety film critic Peter DeBruge said Awkwafina made her presence in the hit film felt “with her mix of wide-eyed incredulity and faux-disaffected ‘tude,’” in his review of the film.
Simon’s appearance the following week will also mark his 77th birthday. The Forest Hills High School graduate performed his farewell show at Flushing Meadows Corona Park Sept. 22, telling the crowd he was “just a 20-minute bike ride” from where he grew up.
Simon played many of his greatest hits, including “Kodachrome,” “Late in the Evening,” “Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard,” in which the crowd joined in as he sang about “Rosie, Queen of Corona,” before finishing the two-and-a-half hour show to a close with “The Sound of Silence.”
Last month, Saturday Night Live won the Primetime Emmy award for best variety sketch series. It was the 72nd Emmy award for the program, which is now in its 44th season.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr