Lorne Michaels’ quest for a more diverse sketch comedy cast for his Saturday show is at an end. Michaels picked comedian Sasheer Zamata to join Saturday Night Live’s cast–making her the first black woman to be a regular performer on the show in more than 13 years since Maya Rudolph joined in 2000.
The show’s search for a black female comedian came after Kenan Thompson’s interview with TV Guide. He claimed that the reason he played so many female characters on the show because when the show’s talent scouts tried to find funny black actresses and comedians for the cast, “…they just never find ones that are ready.” That prompted a wave of backlash against the show to find someone who could prove Thompson wrong and from what we’ve seen so far, they seem to have done just that by picking Zamata to join the show.
And we’ll note that COED called it right when we said that Zamata was the most likely candidate from the final five who were up for the job. That’s because we knew that Zamata could also diversify the SNL writing staff. She’s also pretty good at playing characters that are smart caricatures of the celebrities and stars she’ll be spoofing on the show like this deft take on Beyonce becoming a mother. She’s actually making us look forward to another season of SNL.