'Saturday Night Live' Gets It In Gear, Hires Black, Female Cast Member

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'Saturday Night Live' Gets It In Gear, Hires Black, Female Cast Member

By Dustin Rowles | Trade News | January 6, 2014 | Comments ()


Her name is Sasheer Zamata and the now former Upright Citizen’s Brigade member (NYC chapter) will debut on Saturday night Live with the winter premiere on January 18th. The new featured cast member will be the first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left, and the first black female hire in seven years.

Zamata has a webseries called Pursuit of Sexiness. Here’s a stand-up act of hers from April.

Well, good. Controversy settled, right? We can all move on with our lives.

(More About Sasheer here)

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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not

  • Dave McIntyre, Esq.

    I have high hopes for this young lady.


  • iamuhura

    Wow. That last line is so dismissive and reeks with privilege. I'm disappointed in you, Dustin. I'm sure you were reaching for flippant or sarcasm, but it really just came across as "ugh now won't you darkies shut up?".

  • I'm pretty sure that was sarcasm.

  • e jerry powell

    Even I read the sarcasm in that.

  • Bam Bunting

    Sasheer and Jay are gonna have a rough time doing an Obama and Michelle impression when Key and Peele already do an Obama couple 1000 times better.

  • e jerry powell

    Well, Key, Peele, and two auxiliary actresses. Remembering, though, that Key and Peele aren't back for at least another three to six months.

  • BWeaves

    Why do female comics wear vests? Vests for women haven't been in style since the 1980s.

  • e jerry powell

    No disrespect, but...
    Definitely post-1980s (and she's been wearing them whenever she wasn't wearing full-on suits since the 1980s).

    To your point, no one has ever accused Paula Poundstone of being fashion-forward, but sometimes a woman in a male-dominated business has to do something to be taken seriously. Unless her name is Roseanne Barr.

    And if we're being real, I would have to think really hard to think of many female stand-up comedians who actually work in, say, dresses, other than Amy Schumer and Rachel Feinstein. There's something to that (that has a lot to do with that thing about stand-up being male-dominated), but perhaps this isn't the time to go into it.

  • BWeaves

    " . . . but sometimes a woman in a male-dominated business has to do something to be taken seriously. "

    Hey, I've been a female computer programmer for 35 years so I know what it's like to be a woman in a male-dominated business. I dressed like a woman. I didn't wear vests.

    If one comedian did it, I'd say it was her style. And if a bunch of comedians did it and vests were in style, then I'd say, Ok, it's the current fashion. But even men haven't worn vests with suits in years. It just seems like the only time I've seen a vest in the last 10 years is on some female comedians. Not all of them, mind you, just some. But it just seems weird to me, that's all.

  • Jiffylush

    I get why this is news, but I hate that this is news.

  • zeke_the_pig


  • e jerry powell

    I find her to be quite lovely.

  • Why would anyone downvote that?

  • e jerry powell

    Because people hate me.

  • Oh. Bummer. She is gorgeous, though.

  • Maya Rudolph is black?!?!?! (just kidding.)

  • e jerry powell

    She has her mother's freckles, even.

  • Margrete

    I have high hopes after seing that stand up. Seems like she's really funny. Hope she can translate it to the SNL-stage.

  • logan

    SNL is still on?

  • gnibs

    Yep, the website on which you have a login, and that you're commenting on, discusses it once a week at minimum.

  • nixiepoo

    She shows promise but SNL will wreck her career. It's pretty sad actually.

  • Pajiba_Pragmatist

    What "career"? A working actor is a working actor. Even if she flames out on SNL, she won't fall all the way down the ladder. Her standup shows will be billed as "SNL cast member!!!"

    You know what will give her a great career? If she's really really good. And because she's a black female, she's gonna need at least one extra "really" in there.

  • Dave McIntyre, Esq.

    Chris Rock and Damon Wayans pretty much went nowhere during their stints on Saturday Night Live, but their careers afterward were pretty solid. Failure on SNL does not necessarily mean the end of a career.

  • e jerry powell

    Neither did Ben Stiller, come to think of it.

  • nixiepoo

    It's a shame that blacks in entertainment have to be an "event" when they are hired. Hollywood preaches to the rest of us about 'inclusion' but they don't practice it. They probably will only keep her around until the complaints die down then dump her. She deserves better.

  • Barry

    Not a rap on her, but odds are Sasheer will be a one season wonder unless she has a breakout character. That's pretty unlikely given SNL's history.

  • e jerry powell

    With the latest news, Sasheer's luck may have just gotten better.

  • e jerry powell

    She's going to have to make one for her lovely self.

  • Bob Genghis Khan

    There's no way they weren't going to find a black woman to be on the show after all that hullabaloo, and while I'm sure she is very funny (and I am a white male) I wouldn't want to be that walking-controversy-ender.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    She better have rock solid Michelle Obama and Kerry Washington impressions. Because that's probably all they'll be able to figure to write for her for the first few episodes. (I'm also assuming she'll get more air time than the other newbies)

  • e jerry powell

    But she is quite lovely.

    And she's going to need an Oprah, too, don't forget.

  • Sara_Tonin00

    Oprah's old news.

    Now that I've watched her standup...she seems so young. Soooo incredibly young. I'm not even going to google to find out. My soul is cold enough today.

  • She's twenty-seven.

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