A Few Things You Should Know About Sasheer Zamata, the Newest Cast Member on SNL


Photo by Cate Hellman
Photo by Cate Hellman

After much attention was paid to the fact that Saturday Night Live had not featured an African-American woman as a cast member for far, far too long (since Maya Rudolph left the show five years ago, to be precise), leading to a great deal of criticism levied against Lorne Michaels for failing to incorporate diversity in the SNL cast, a new comedian has been added to show, and we’re particularly happy to announce that it’s Sasheer Zamata! Just in case you don’t know that much about Zamata—who will, as per Deadline, be making her debut January 18th—we thought we’d fill you in a bit.

We’ve had our eye on Zamata for a long time, and had her at the top of our list of Brooklyn’s 50 Funniest People. Zamata first reached our attention through her stand-up, but she’s also a prolific writer and pointed out to us that most comedians “are multi-taskers. A lot of stand ups are also writing sketch, blogging, acting, writing pilots or screenplays, ect. You have to. There are a lot of us here, and most people can do the same thing you can do, so you have to be good at a lot of different things so you can set yourself apart from others.” She’s an alum of vaunted New York comedy venue Upright Citizen’s Brigade (former home to, among other, SNL-alum Amy Poehler) and has a pre-show warm-up routine that we’re pretty comfortable calling unique: she recites a sonnet from Love’s Labour Lost. Her post-show routine is a little more familiar, as it revolves, Zamata says, around having  “a drink or seven.” To get to know Zamata a bit better, watch the video below and start getting excited that the comedy overlords showed the good sense to add Zamata to the cast of SNL.

Follow Kristin Iversen on twitter @kmiversen



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