'The First Time' With Actor Jimmy O. Yang - Rolling Stone
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‘The First Time’ With Comedian Jimmy O. Yang

Space Force actor recalls meeting John Malkovich, getting exposed to stand-up through BET’s ComicView

Silicon Valley actor Jimmy O. Yang appears in our latest installment of The First Time to talk about his latest show, Space Force, starring Steve Carell and premiering this Friday, May 29th, on Netflix. Yang discussed the first album he ever bought (a bootleg of the Bad Boys II soundtrack, in 2003) and the first time he met Space Force co-creator Greg Daniels.

“I think it was in the audition room,” Yang recalled. “I auditioned for Ben Schwartz’s part … I had a lot of fun preparing for that audition, [but] Ben Schwartz was born to play that role.”

Yang immigrated to the United States with his family when he was 13, and he remembers that one of his earliest exposures to American comedy was through BET’s biweekly stand-up show ComicView.

“I was still a kid, I was 13, so I was in a transition age from watching cartoons to maybe adult cartoons like The Simpsons,” he said. “And then I start flipping channels, and I found this BET channel, and the most interesting programming on BET was BET ComicView. I hadn’t even seen stand-up comedy, and now you have these mostly black comics telling me about American culture from their point of view, and I just found that so refreshing. I’d never seen that.”

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