Sasheer Zamata is Saturday Night Lives’ newest cast member.
Reported exclusively by Deadline, the University of Virginia alum landed her big break as she joins the cast of SNL on the next live show airing January 18 with Drake as host and musical guest. Zamata becomes the first black female SNL cast member in five years after Maya Rudolph’s departure. She trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York.
The lack of a black female presence on the show caused a debate. SNL boss Lorne Michaels quietly did a talent search. Many actors auditioned for the spot on SNL and Zamata’s name was among 12 of the callbacks. Those 12 tested on the SNL stage on December 16. She is now a featured player on SNL, a show that has launched many careers.