The comedian and musician is the first Asian woman to host the comedy sketch show since Liu back in 2000, and the "Crazy Rich Asians" star took a moment during her opening monologue to fangirl over the "Elementary" actress.
"I just want to say, and this is a true story, back in 2000 I came here to 30 Rock (Rockefeller Centre) and waited outside when my idol Lucy Liu hosted SNL," Awkwafina recalled.
"I was a kid and I didn't have a ticket, so I knew that I wasn't getting in. I just wanted to be near the building and I remember how important that episode was for me, and how it totally changed what I thought was possible for an Asian-American woman," the 29-year-old continued.
Joking that she wanted Liu to be her friend, she said hosting the comedy show was a dream come true and was grateful for the representation.
"Standing here tonight was a dream I never knew would come true. Thank you Lucy for opening the door. I wasn't able to make it into the building back then. 18 years later, I am hosting the show. I love you Lucy. Please be my friend!" she laughed.
According to a study by Indiewire back in 2016, 90 per cent of the show's hosts between the programme's debut in 1975 and May 2016 were white. Only 6.8 per cent of the 826 total hosts were black, while 1.2 per cent were Hispanic.