If you're just hearing Sasheer's name, here's the breakdown.
It’s official! Lorne Michaels scheduled auditions last month, following widespread criticism of the whitewashing of the SNL cast and now here she is! The newest comedienne to join the SNL team is Sasheer Zamata – an up-and-coming New York comedienne, formerly a part of the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Judging by reactions online, Michaels got it right this time.
As with most SNL recruits, Zamata has plenty of experience writing and acting in scripted shorts and her standup routines are worth checking out. According to Zamata’s own website, she has been featured in BUST, Jezebel, Hairpin, Vulture, Think Progress, Clutch Magazine, Time Out New York and The New York Times. She has also done stand up at the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Great American Comedy Festival and Comedy Central's Comics to Watch Showcase, among others.
Kenan Thompson exacerbated the problem last year by saying in an interview that black comediennes just "aren't ready."
Obviously, she’s got the credentials for the gig. Given that a lot of Zamata’s material deals with race, gender, representation and the like, it’s easy to see why she was picked (besides hopefully being very, very funny). Hopefully this will also mean a more diverse character roster for the show and fix some of the glaring holes in their repertoire. Back in December, it was announced that the new cast member wouldn’t start performing with the SNL cast until mid-January, so the internet is buzzing with anticipation for her grand debut. Still, it might be a few months to a year until we get to see Sasheer as a regular face on the show, since most cast members have had to earn their stripes before they got to do regular sketches. It might have taken a while, but Sasheer Zamata is one to watch.