Hiring of Sasheer Zamata instantly diversifies 'Saturday Night Live'

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 01/06/2014, 04:07pm

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Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata

For the first time in more than five years, “Saturday Night Live” will have a black woman in the ensemble when live shows return later this month.

Fulfilling the promise he made last month, “SNL” chief Lorne Michaels has hired stand-up comic and sketch actress Sasheer Zamata to bring the funny starting with the Jan. 18 episode. She is a recent University of Virginia graduate who has performed at the Upright Citizens Brigade comedy group in New York City.

Her other credits include the Cooking Channel web series “Fodder” and sketches on FX’s “Totally Biased” (starring former Chicagoan Kamau Bell) and Comedy Central’s “Inside Amy Schumer.”

“SNL” hasn’t had a black woman among its regular cast members since the biracial Maya Rudolph left in 2007.

Look for Zamata in a Michelle Obama wig within a month.

Contributing: AP