As it turns out, “Saturday Night Live” was looking to do more than just hire Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member following their recent search for new talent; they have also booked two new people to serve as writers on the long-running NBC sketch show.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who were both in the final round of casting for a new cast member, have each joined the show and will begin work as a part of the writing staff on Monday. As African-American women, they bring more diversity to the staff, and it also adds a new perspective for some future sketches that could make the upcoming post-Seth Meyers era stand out more than ever.
It is probably the absence of Meyers as Head Writer following February that really inspired many of these hires in the first place, at least when it comes to Tookes and Jones. Some could say that Zamata’s quick booking was more of a response to the criticism about the lack of diversity among the women on the show, but we at least know that there was always a plan to hire someone new at midseason, and Lorne Michaels did audition many women in this demographic over the summer.
For Tookes and Jones, there is always a chance that the two of them could eventually become a cast member after serving as a member of the writing staff. This happened recently with Mike O’Brien, who wrote for the show for many years before getting a larger role. On the flip side, it is always possible that a cast member could be moved over to a writing position. This happened to Tim Robinson after this season of the show came to a close.
The next edition of “SNL,” hosted by Drake, is going to premiere a week from Saturday. Stay tuned, as we’ll have more on it as we get closer and closer to that date.