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Sasheer Zamata is SNL’s First Black Female Castmember in Six Years

and let it be known

Congratulations, Sasheer Zamata on making a giant break into comedy as Saturday Night Live‘s newest castmember! We hope you enjoy playing Michelle Obama and Oprah. That’s sort of a joke, but also a sincere wish, because otherwise would be unfortunate.

SNL doesn’t have a particularly extensive history of featuring the talents of black female comedians, but has come under more focused criticism in the past few months, after castmember Kenan Tompson announced that he would no longer be cross-dressing to portray famous black women in sketches, and saw fit to blame the show’s lack of black female castmembers on, get this, a lack of talent in black female comedians. SNL has been without a female castmember of African descent since the departure of Maya Rudolf in 2007.

Zamata, a veteran of the Upright Citizen’s Brigade, was chosen to join the cast after a multi-city search and callback process with twelve candidates. While one WOC doesn’t magically fix SNL‘s diversity dearth, Zamata is a very cool, funny lady, and it’ll be awesome to see her in action on the show. Our sister site The Jane Dough, who know a lot more about comedy than we do, has a great roundup of Zamata’s work from YouTube in their article on her hiring. My personal favorite is a video where she tells the story of being flashed by a stranger at 5am as she walked home to her apartment, and her subsequent efforts to get inside the head of a guy who just wants to pull his dick out.

(via The Jane Dough.)

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