Hallelujah, holy shit! Bowen Yang is playing God.

After more than a decade in development, Aaron Jackson and Joshua Sharp’s “Fucking Identical Twins” — a beloved cult sketch show out of New York City’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater — is finally reaching movie screens as A24‘s “Dicks: The Musical.” With “Borat” legend Larry Charles as its director and a cast boasting not just Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally, but also Megan Thee Stallion, it’s a Second Coming for the underground musical even grander than Yang and his fellow Jackson/Sharp disciples could have dreamed.

“It’s been a long-ass friendship with those boys,” the “Saturday Night Live” breakout told IndieWire over Zoom. “My first memory of Aaron, he was in my college classroom coaching my improv group. He was already an established improviser at the Upright Citizens Brigade. Then, my first memory of Josh was meeting him at orientation for [arts educational organization] Story Pirates because we’d both gotten into the company the same year. I remember this tall, lanky, handsome man walking into a conversation that I was having. And we all became very fast friends.”

The first time Yang saw “Fucking Identical Twins” performed, he was on the stage-left side at UCB, tears in his eyes, singing finale number “God Is a Faggot” on his way home (composer Karl Saint Lucy is also an old friend), “just fucking amazed at what they were able to pull off.” Watching the “fucked-up ‘Parent Trap’” redux go semi-mainstream now feels miraculous.

“As a loyal lover of the stage version, as a lot of people were in New York, I was very protective,” Yang said. “It’s like rebooting a show that’s beloved from your childhood; you are incredibly protective of whatever idealized version of this piece of art is that you have in your mind. So, seeing it evolve and then have it be even more expansive and amazing and better than what you had ever envisioned for it as an audience member, is pretty amazing.”

“Dicks: The Musical” Justin Lubin

After months of updates from Sharp and Jackson — “I would just hang out with Josh and Aaron every week and then they’d be like, ‘We’re out to Nathan Lane and Megan Mullally! Fingers crossed!” — “Dicks: The Musical” suddenly became real. But the offer to take up the almighty role of God, a character created as an expansion for the film, wasn’t bestowed on Yang right away.

“They were incredibly professional and protective of the offer,” he said. “When you make things and you are excited to tell your friends about it, if your friends happen to work in the industry, it’s easy to be like, ‘Oh, you have to be involved!’ But then once the legal shit comes in and studios and agents and teams have their say, it’s never a guarantee and people get kind of disappointed.”

But when the paperwork was ready and the Hollywood heavens opened, all Yang had to do was say yes.

“It was the most amazing, quickest ‘yes’ I could possibly give,” he said. “Josh and I used to live across the street from each other. And he came over one day and was just like, ‘Do you want to be in it?’ And I was like, ‘Oh, my god, yes?!’ I didn’t even have to leave the house.”

Before long, Yang was in fittings for his saintly ensemble from costume designer/SNL alumna Valerie Klarich (“That outfit should be next to the Ruby Slippers at the Academy Museum!”) and learning to stomach the cute, but decidedly “disgusting” Sewer Boys. (“Holding them, you can feel, like, bone? And cartilage?”)

With “Dicks: The Musical” finally gracing theaters this October, Yang joined IndieWire for a blissfully blasphemous Q&A — channeling his interpretation of God in a conversation celebrating the soon-to-be A24 cult classic and touching on so many of the film and TV moments fans of his and Matt Rogers’ “Las Culturistas” podcast love.

Read on for Yang’s take on the influencer-laden possibilities of Jesus’ return, which movies are playing in Heaven, why an episode of “The Simpsons” might send the actor to Hell, and so much more.

The following interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

IndieWire: God is humanity’s all-time #1 best-selling author. But what’s his favorite book?

Bowen Yang: His favorite book…I think He loves Job. Or He loves Esther because — oh! Is this in the Bible or just a book in general?

I meant like a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick, but sure!

Oh, my god, I’m going full-on like biblical. Can I give you multiple answers? I think Job because it’s like God at his messiest. He’s just trying to fuck with this guy; He’s playing “The Sims” on this guy. And then Esther because I think He loves a strong female protagonist. I mean, He’s gay, of course.

And then general book, whenever He wants to feel like an angsty teenage girl, He reads like “The Virgin Suicides” or something.

What kind of dietary restrictions does God have?

God, just for fun, has to have tamari and not soy sauce. He’s like, “It’s a gluten thing.”

Is God single? And is He on the apps?

God is on 3nder [Editor’s note: a dating platform for non-monogamy now known as Feeld], but then He likes to sort of bait and switch people and go, “No, I need two subs and I’m the dom.” But I think, in theory, God is the only person in the universe to get a poly situation right.

Do you think God and the Devil have fucked? If yes, who was the top?

Oh, my god! [Laughs.] Absolutely they’ve fucked, and I think God was the top. In my portrayal of Him, He’s like a femme. A dom femme. A dom femme top! Lucifer is definitely a bottom.

DICKS: THE MUSICAL, from left: Nathan Lane, Bowen Yang, 2023. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Dicks: The Musical” Courtesy A24/Everett CollectionCourtesy Everett Collection

What movie do you think is playing on a loop in Hell?

I wanted to go meta and do like a time-loop thing, but let’s just say it’s “Crash.”

Conversely, what movie is playing on a loop in Heaven?

“Female Trouble” by John Waters.

When Jesus returns, will he (A) save humanity, (B) start a podcast, (C) start a TikTok account, or (D) do something else?

I think Jesus is going to be an Ozempic influencer. He’s gonna be like, “Oh, my god, you guys! Look, they come in pill form now!” — or whatever.

If Jesus has already returned to Earth and He’s hiding among us, who is he?

Meg Stalter.

Would Jesus live in Los Angeles or New York?

In theory, Jesus is bicoastal, but he can’t be in a one-industry town. He’s got to be with lots of different kinds of people. So, New York.

Then what’s his favorite New York bar?

He loves Four Horsemen, but he hates LCD Soundsystem. He doesn’t care for James Murphy, but he loves Four Horsemen.

“Dicks: The Musical” is, of course, an A24 production. Is that God’s favorite movie studio?

Yes, yes! Oh, my god, are you kidding me? I think God saw “Hereditary” and was like, “That was a fucking ride. Let’s go! I’m all in.”

Do you think that was God’s favorite A24 movie?

No, I think God’s favorite A24 movie was “Zola.”

“Dicks: The Musical”Justin Lubin

Please decide whether the following people are going to Heaven or Hell. Joshua Sharp.

Straight to heaven.

Aaron Jackson.

Purgatory for a week, but then he’ll end up in Heaven.

Larry Charles.

Heaven! Oh, my god, Heaven.

Megan Mullally.


Nathan Lane.

Nathan would want to just dip his toe in Hell for a second, but ultimately there’s no choice but to put him in Heaven.

And Matt Rogers.

Hell, with me!

Do the Sewer Boys answer to the human God, or do they have their own God?

I think they have their own God — because they operate outside of linear time. I think they worship not a deity, not a single entity, but like an infinite pantheon of stars. Just celestial bodies, yeah.

In a fight between the Sewer Boys and God, who would win?

Oh, my god, that’s so hard. I think God; God is all-powerful.

DICKS: THE MUSICAL, The Sewer Boys, 2023. © A24 / Courtesy Everett Collection
“Dicks: The Musical”Courtesy Everett Collection

What is God’s favorite musical? And why is it “Wicked”?

It’s “Wicked” because He just loves that final belt at the end of “Defying Gravity.” And He is just so curious and excited to see what choice each Elphaba makes.

If God landed a role on Broadway, what part would He play?

He would play the Alex Newell role in “Shucked.” He wants to belt — high, high, high.

Finally, if you ever meet God, do you think it’s going to be awkward?

[Gasp.] I think so! Because I’m going to be like, “Wait, were you listening when I was like 9 years old, and I watched an episode of ‘The Simpsons’ where Bart sold his soul to the Devil and I did the same thing? Like, were you there for that? And did that actually happen?” Because I’m starting to believe in my thirties that the Devil took me seriously and I’m eventually going to be repaying my debt. So, yeah, that’s going to be awkward. That’s a long answer, but that’s a real answer.

I’m sorry, Bowen, follow-up: What?

[Laughter.] I watched an episode of “The Simpsons,” where Bart sells his soul to the Devil! Then, I was probably not having a great week and I did the same. And I think the Devil might have taken that deal seriously. Now, whatever demons I live with, so to speak, are still on my ledger. Like, am I going to have to pay the Devil back for all this? It’s a lot.

An A24 production, “Dicks: The Musical” begins its limited theatrical release Friday, October 6; the film opens wide on Friday, October 20.

Leave a comment