Sasheer Zamata will become the first black female to be added to the cast of Saturday Night Live since Maya Rudolph left five year ago when she makes her debut on the 18th January. Sasheer, a 27 year-old comedian, singer and actress, was selected by Lorne Michaels and the SNL team after a lengthy nationwide auditions process.
Kenan Thompson Was Often Drafted In In Drag To Play Black Women.
The popular Saturday night sketch show drew criticism for its lack of a black female cast member and for drafting in Kenan Thompson in drag every time they needed to represent a black woman. However, the show's startling lack of black female talent reached breaking point when Kenan Thompson announced that he'd refuse to play any more women in drag.
Zamata has a strong foundation in comedy acting and appears regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York as part of the weekly variety show School Night and is also on two improv teams that perform at the theater, according to her website. Online clips show the talented actress doing comedic Beyoncé impressions and looks like she'll fit the SNL bill perfectly.
Though Sasheer has been a performer for some time and has earned a small celebrity following, this is the big break of any comedy actress' dreams and will propel the New York resident to untethered stardom and greater opportunities within showbusiness. Sasheer's already admirable C.V includes sketches on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX, and Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central, as well as roles in MTV's Hey Girl and ABC's Would You Fall For That?.
Sasheer's imminent arrival has provoked n outpouring of enthusiasm from the rest of the SNL cast and the celebrity world who are keen to make the new recruit feel right at home. Scandal star Kerry Washington, whose stint hosting SNL parodied the show's lack of a black female on the cast tweeted, "Congrats to #SasheerZamata @thesheertruth on joining @nbcsnl 'Saturday Night Live' #SNL !!!!! Have FUN"
Kerry Washington Heralded The New 'SNL' Recruit.
The View co-host and comedienne Sherri Shepherd tweeted "Congratulations to Sasheer Zamata ... for joining the cast of #SNL ... enjoy the ride mama!" Whilst Tina Fey told THR: "I think Kerry Washington did such a great job on the [Nov. 2] show [in a sketch that addressed the controversy]. And you saw how great it was for Jay Pharoah to have someone playing Michelle Obama opposite [his President Obama]. So I feel like they registered that really quickly and they've acted on it really quickly."
Watch A Reel Of Sasheer Zamata's Stand-Up Routines:
SNL star Bobby Moynihan told The Daily Beast: "I can't even imagine what the next three weeks of her life will be like. I've seen her perform before. She's the greatest. We're very, very lucky. Also, I'm just happy to have a friend around." On the subject of Sasheer's likely required Michelle Obama impression, Moynihan teased, "I'll let her show you what she can do in a few weeks."
Sasheer Zamata will make her SNL debut slongside host Drake on the 18th January.