SNL’s Bowen Yang taking break from podcasting to prioritise mental health

Las Culturistas co-host tells Instagram he’s dealing with “bad bouts of depersonalisation”

Bowen Yang, Saturday Night Live comedian and co-host of award-winning comedy podcast Las Culturistas, has announced that he’s taking a break from podcasting to focus on his mental health

“[I’m] taking a very short break from [Las Culturistas],” posted Yang on his Instagram Story over the weekend. “Bad bouts of depersonalisation are f—ing me up bad, but I am doing my best to get better! Please take care, be back soon.”

Depersonalisation is a type of dissociative psychological disorder which can involve feeling as though you’re observing yourself from outside of your body, according to the NHS

Yang’s fellow co-host on the Las Culturistas podcast Matt Rogers later updated fans through his Instagram Story that the podcast will continue to release episodes while Yang is on break, and that he would elaborate more on the situation during this week’s episode with star of the newly-released Netflix series Glamourous, Miss Benny. 

Las Culturistas has been running since 2016 and moved from the FOREVER DOG podcast network in June 2020 to Will Ferrell’s comedy podcast network Big Money Players with iHeartMedia. The series recently won the Podcast of the Year award at the iHeartRadio Podcast Awards 2023. 

The mental health impact of regular podcasting is becoming an increasing concern for many creators, and a number of other podcasters have recently taken breaks from their shows to focus on their mental health. The Read co-host Kid Fury announced on Twitter in April this year that he was cancelling the podcast’s 10 Year Anniversary live tour to prioritise his mental health and check into a facility to give him “the help I need”. 

Since coming back to the podcast, Fury has been discussing his mental health journey on the podcast more frequently, with many fans of the show sharing their support and admiration for his honesty on social media. 

During last week’s episode of the PodPod podcast, founder of the Dope Black Dads podcast Marvyn Harrison spoke about the importance of setting boundaries when sharing intimate details of your life on a podcast in order to take care of yourself, as well as protect other people in your life. 

“I think sharing things without boundaries is toxic and careless - for you, mainly - so boundaries are a really important thing,” said Harrison. “On the podcast in the beginning, I was just sharing what was happening because I was constantly astonished and intrigued and amazed about my evolution as a man.”

“You realise that it's not about you and what you have the capacity to withstand, it's actually the people in your life and then inherently, it brings your children into your stories and your partners into your stories.”