Photo: Cate Hellman
Meet Saturday Night Live's newest actress Sasheer Zamata. Sorry to write the headline that way. I'd much prefer that they just happened to hire Zamata, rather than that it took months of SNL shaming to finally convince SNL to hire at least one female comedian of color. Anyhow, she seems pretty dang charming. You might recognize her from an MTV show called Hey Girl, if you still watch MTV. (Who does that?) She was also on Totally Biased, and if you poke around her website, there's lot of videos to peruse.
You can hear Zamata chatting on Julie Klausner's show over here, but jump to minute 45 or so if you want to cut to the interview. There's a lot of talk of Beyonce and Kanye. if you want to cut to the talk about her webseries, The Pursuit of Sexiness, as well the lack of black women in comedy and the need for diverse writers go ahead to 1:18:18.
There were rumored secret-not-really-secret auditions recently in NYC, so this isn't a surprise. But still, it's about damn time and too bad SNL only chose one actress of color to join the cast. I'm fairly sure that this is only the fifth time in SNL history that they've cast a woman of color. (Sidenote, since I no longer watch SNL, it's really harder to care about it as much...)
Congrats to Sasheer Zamata. Too bad she has to start under so much pressure. Looking forward to catching her sketches on SNL.
Update: They've hired two additional writers from the auditions! Congrats to LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones.