Last month, we exclusively broke the news that Saturday Night Live were holding private auditions, in the hopes of recruiting a black female cast member to it’s popular NBC show. On Monday, Deadline confirmed that the network had announced Sasheer Zamata as it’s newest member. Sasheer will make her debut on its next live show (January 18) with Drake as host and musical guest. Reportedly, the University of Virginia grad trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York. She’s now become the first black female Saturday Night Live cast member in five years since the departure of Maya Rudolph. A few months ago, SNL caught heat when Kenan Thompson (an African American male SNL’er) blamed a lack of quality black comediennes. He told TV Guide:
It’s just a tough part of the business, like in auditions. They never find ones that are ready.
In December, we learned that the show held an audition showcase featuring only African American women.
In an exclusive interview with Jasmine BRAND, comedic actress Bresha Webb (‘Love That Girl’) discussed her experience, explaining that the audition had been pretty low-key.
The audition came about from an inside source from SNL. I don’t think any of us had a clue about the showcase until two days prior. It was an awesome opportunity even though it was such a short notice but, if you stay ready you ain’t gotta get ready and we were READY! Lol But we were all honored to be selected.
we all entered the groundlings theater backstage having no idea what to expect. I had no clue who was apart of the showcase. Of course my Comedianne friends (Tiffany Haddish, Beth Payne & Gabrielle Dennis) were there. And some talented ladies in sketch comedy were there that I had never met. We were all very supportive of each other and there was no sense of competition or pettiness. We were just happy that some new black women in comedy were being considered and given a shot. We even held hands prayed after the showcase. It was refreshing. The show was also sold out. It was packed to the max
SNL nor Sasheer have yet to confirm the news. Cosmo named her on it’s 13 Funny Women to Watch in 2014. Congrats!