Over the summer, Saturday Night Live made headlines when it was announced that veteran cast members Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah had been let go from the comedy sketch show. Killam had been quick to give an interview about his departure from the show, but Pharoah had remained mostly silent on everything.
Until now, that is. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Pharoah said “They (SNL) put people into boxes” and said they put him in a impressions box, meaning he’d be doing mostly impressions on the show.
That’s certainly what some of the fans of the show know from him, as he impersonated former President Barack Obama many times during his time on the show. Some of his other impersonations included Will Smith, Jay-Z, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock.
Pharoah also added that he’s not afraid to speak up behind-the-scenes of the show and admitted that it could have backfired on him at any given point in time.
During the interview, he also revealed that he was part of the reason that fellow black comedians Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones joined the cast as a way to get more diversity on the show, but added that in doing so, he was almost fired. Even though he was eventually fired last summer, he said he still respects Lorne Michaels, the creator of the show.
Pharoah first joined the cast of SNL back in 2010, where he was one of the featured players. He was promoted to a main cast member between seasons 37 and 38 in 2012. He stayed a member of the main cast until he was let go.
Saturday Night Live is new this weekend with Jimmy Fallon hosting and Harry Styles as the musical guest. This will also be the first time that the show is broadcast live throughout all the time zones.