‘S.N.L.’ Hires Black Female Cast Member
By Bill Carter
“Saturday Night Live” concluded its search for a black female cast member on Monday when it hired Sasheer Zamata, a young sketch comedian who has been performing in the New York area for the last four years.
The selection of Ms. Zamata came at the conclusion of what amounted to a midseason talent search by “S.N.L.,” which had been criticized for what was described as a glaring omission in the show’s cast.
Ms. Zamata will be what the show calls a “featured player,” the conventional post for new cast members. She is scheduled to make her first appearance on Jan. 18, the next new edition of the show. (It will be hosted by the singer Drake.) The news of Ms. Zamata’s hiring was first posted by the Deadline Hollywood website.
Ms. Zamata, who is 27, is from Indianapolis and attended the University of Virginia. She came to New York in 2009 and began working with the improvisational group Upright Citizens Brigade.
She has performed stand-up comedy in New York and around the country and has also appeared in online videos for sites like College Humor. She has appeared in sketches on the Comedy Central series “Inside Amy Schumer” and “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell” on FX.
The addition of Ms. Zamata will bring the current cast of “S.N.L.” to 17 players, seven of them women.