‘SNL’ hires Sasheer Zamata, first black female cast member in five years

“Saturday Night Live” announced that it would add Sasheer Zamata to its cast – the show’s first black female cast member in five years, reports Deadline. “SNL” took plenty of heat for its lack of diversity, especially after the show hired six white actors last season. Cast member Kenan Thompson put his foot down when he said he would not dress in drag for the show anymore, leaving the show shorthanded when it came to black female characters in sketches.

Zamata will make her debut on Jan. 18; singer Drake will host the show. Zamata is a relative unknown; she trained with the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York and has made appearances on “The Today Show” and Comedy Central. The University of Virginia graduate has also been featured in videos for Jest and College Humor and you may recognize her from commercials for Target and the New York Lottery. The last black female cast member on “SNL” was Maya Rudolph.

Deadline reports that Lorne Michaels quietly tested black actresses after receiving a barrage of criticism for selecting a mostly white cast; Zamata had been considered before as a candidate for the show, and was invited for a callback in December. Thompson was also criticized when he claimed that black comediennes were simply unprepared. “It’s just a tough part of the business,” Thompson told TV Guide. “Like in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”

Judging from the hilarious video above, Zamata has the chops for the iconic TV show.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

Rock legend Neil Young files for divorce after…

The legendary Canadian rocker Neil Young has filed for divorce from his wife of 36 years.

Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Movies

Review: 'The Last of Robin Hood' is a…

Dakota Fanning plays Errol Flynn's (Kevin Kline) teenage gal pal in "The Last of Robin Hood," which takes a scandal and makes it dully empathetic.

Movies

Review: The uneven 'Life of Crime' mostly gets…

Elmore Leonard's "The Switch" becomes the new indie crime dramedy "Life of Crime," with Jennifer Aniston as a kidnapped woman whose husband won't pay up.

Movies

Review: Pierce Brosnan gets a cut-rate Bond knockoff…

Pierce Brosnan tries to reclaim his glory days with the spy thriller "The November Man" but instead gets a sad DTV-style ripoff with lame action.

Music

Tiesto headlines Made in America

Electronic music legend Tiesto is ready to get in touch with his inner Rocky at the Jay Z-curated Budweiser Made in America festival this weekend…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Career

Stop eating lunch at your desk

What are you doing for lunch today? If you are like most workers, you'll be eating at your desk - which isn't much of a…

Parenting

Lure your baby to sleep with Maroon 5…

These new renditions of "Moves Like Jagger" and "Payphone" are Maroon 5 like you've never heard them before.

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.