It’s shaping up to be a rebuilding summer for “Saturday Night Live.”
The season finale this weekend that marked a sendoff for cast veterans Bobby Moynihan and Vanessa Bayer also reportedly was the last for relative newcomer Sasheer Zamata.
EW.com, in a report backed up by other news outlets, said Zamata has said goodbye after less than four seasons in the cast. While neither the actress nor NBC has confirmed the exit, Zamata today posted an Instagram photo of host Dwayne Johnson and Weekend Update co-anchor Colin Jost hoisting her in celebration.
“Wow,” she wrote, “what a fantastic end to a fantastic season. Thanks SNL.”
Zamata’s hiring in January 2014 drew more scrutiny than most. In response to criticism over a lack of diversity in its cast, “SNL” had conducted a talent search for its first black female cast member since the 2007 departure of Maya Rudolph. Zamata, then best known for her improv work at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, was the ultimate selection — along with Leslie Jones, at first brought aboard as a writer and then promoted to the cast.
Zamata proved to be a valuable utility player in ensemble sketches and musical numbers but was granted few spotlight scenes of her own. Among the big names she impersonated over the years: Michelle Obama, Beyonce, Rihanna and Diana Ross.