Entertainment Weekly

Stay Connected

Subscribe

Advertise With Us

Learn More

Skip to content

Article

'Saturday Night Live' gets more diverse

Posted on

snl-cast-narrow

Image Credit: Kevin Parry/WireImage.com; Chris JohnIt’s that time of year again. You know, the time when Lorne Michaels and NBC announces the new slate (peace out, Jenny) of Saturday Night Live cast members. Of course, this is also known as the time we spend a good portion of our pop culture-loving existences complaining about how the new line-up is whiter than the packet of gum in that purse Paris Hilton borrowed. (Badum-ching!)

But, lo! Looks like we’ll have to change our tune this year, because SNL‘s cast has (finally!) become more diverse. Just one week after three of the new cast members officially added today (Taran Killam, Paul Brittain, and Vanessa Bayer) were leaked in a report — which quickly prompted a comment board-driven rally cry for more minority cast members — SNL announced they have also welcomed Jay Pharoah to Studio 8H. (He joins fellow minority cast members Kenan Thompson, Fred Armisen, and Nasim Pedrad.) And based on some of the unknown comic’s YouTube material, Pharoah will prove to be a valuable impressionist: He nails Will Smith and Denzel Washington — and can even pull off Christopher Walken. (Don’t hope the guy will be the new Obama, though. A source told The New York Times that Fred Armisen will continue his role as the president on the show. Don’t you like change, SNL?!)

There’s less material on the Interwebs from the show’s other three new cast members (you can watch a commercial starring Bayer’s head here), but if you’ve watched MadTV, Wild ‘N Out, or the red carpets, you’ve likely seen Killam, also known as How I Met Your Mother star Cobie Smulders’ boyfriend. Bonus: According to his Wikipedia page, Killam can impersonate the likes of Justin Timberlake, Dustin Diamond, and Paul Giamatti. (What range!)

Tell us, PopWatchers: Are you excited to see what the new cast members can do? Stoked to see that SNL has gotten more diverse? Disappointed that the sketch show still hasn’t hired a new female African-American cast member? (We love Kenan, but must he play every one of SNL‘s female African-American characters?)

Comments