It is official: After a brief and rather under-the-radar search in order to find an additional cast member, “Saturday Night Live” has found its choice in Sasheer Zamata.
Let us start off her by addressing what is the elephant in the room: Zamata is black, and there are of course going to be those out there who are going to proclaim that this was Lorne Michaels deliberately trying to squash out criticism about the lack of black woman on the show over the years. It was clear that this was what he was looking for, given that there were many auditions around the country featuring only black women.
But, Zamata is clearly deserving of a spot on the show given her credentials, and the controversy should not be held against. She’s a part of Upright Citizens Brigade, which is one of the best comedy troupes in the entire country, and a group that has spawned many “SNL” cast members. In addition to many other current cast members, UCB was a training ground for Fred Armisen, Jason Sudeikis, Will Ferrell, Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch, David Koechner, and so many others. It is right up there when it comes to Second City and the Groundlings as the best training ground for sketch performers in the country. There’s a reason that Michaels scouts them so heavily.
Zamata will be listed as a featured player for the rest of the season, which happened previously at midseason with Kate McKinnon (who is now a regular). The featured players hired this year include Kyle Mooney, Beck Bennett, Noel Wells, John Milhiser, and Brooks Whelan; while some of them are funny, we sincerely believe that only three or so of them will make it to next season. Some have been fairly invisible.
You can see some standup from Sasheer below, just in case you want to get to know her better and tell us what you think about her hire? Share below, and click here if you want to see who is going to be hosting the show the rest of the month. Also, sign up to the CarterMatt TV newsletter for some more weekly updates!