There were a few big Saturday Night Live updates today, the first of which was that Jonah Hill will be returning to host an episode later this month, and that Drake is set to pull double-duty, serving as both the host and musical guest for an upcoming episode this month. As if that weren’t exciting enough, NBC has passed along official word of the addition of Sasheer Zamata as a featured player in the current season of the long-running sketch comedy series.
According to NBC’s brief release, Zamata’s a graduate of the University of Virginia and trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in New York. As USA Today points out, she also happens to be the first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph, a fact that’s not likely to go unnoticed, given the controversy surrounding the series, regarding its lack of diversity among its female cast. Or more specifically, its lack of African American representation among the women that star in the show. This controversy, which involved comments made by long-time SNL star Kenan Thompson and later, reportedly led to a casting search to remedy the situation, was acknowledged last fall when Scandal star Kerry Washington hosted an episode:
Considering there was only one female addition to the cast ahead of the start of the series’ 39th season, it’s great to see another woman join the featured players, and it'll be exciting to see how she fits in among this group of promising comedic talent.
Among Zamata's credits are a number of CollegeHumor videos, including this one, titled “HBO Should Show Dongs.” It’s pretty hilarious.
NBC doesn’t specify when we’ll see Zamata, but we might assume she’ll pop up during the next new episode, which is set for January 18. That brings us back to the hosting news, as Drake is set to host and perform during that episode. Meanwhile, Jonah Hill will return to host for the third time on January 25. Hill can currently be seen on the big screen in The Wolf of Wall Street. Bastille will serve as the musical guest for Hill’s episode.
Photo Credit: Heidi Gutman, ABC (via USA Today)