Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata Added to Saturday Night Live

Zamata is SNL's first Black female comedian in seven years

by Slate, January 07, 2014

Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata

Photo courtesy of

"Chioke Nassor's Storytime: Sasheer Meets Her Flasher"

To say that it’s about time would be a gross understatement: Saturday Night Live has finally added a Black female comedian to its cast, Sasheer Zamata, nearly seven years after Maya Rudolph departed the show.

This comes after months of criticism of the long-standing sketch comedy show’s bleak history of hiring minority women, which was fueled by the addition of six White, and—save for one—male cast members at the beginning of the season. Though this has been a problem since the program’s inception, the collective furor over the new cast announcement—and creator Lorne Michaels’ initial, evasive response—proved more effective than any previous campaigns to diversity the show.

Back in December, SNL auditioned around 25 actresses of color, and one, Zamata, will make her debut when it returns from holiday hiatus on Jan. 18.

A quick primer on the New York-based actress: You may recognize her for her appearances in other comedians’ work, including Inside Amy Schumer and College Humor’s funny viral hit “HBO Should Show Dongs,” but she’s also made a name for herself performing with the Upright Citizens Brigade and her Web series, Pursuit of Sexiness.

Read it at Slate.

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