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Sasheer Zamata leaves SNL: Her 5 most memorable moments

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Ralph Bavaro/NBC/Getty Images

Saturday Night Live will be saying goodbye to yet another cast member at the end of this season. Sasheer Zamata announced over the weekend that she won’t be returning to the NBC sketch show next season. Her departure follows that of fellow castmates (and longtime SNL mainstays), Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan.

In honor of Zamata’s exit, here are some of her most memorable moments:

1. ‘The Bachelorette’ Parody

This cut sketch from a recent episode poked fun at the upcoming season of The Bachelorette — which will make history for featuring its first black Bachelorette — as it featured a list of suitors that weren’t quite what Zamata’s Rachel Lindsay had hoped for. Among the men vying for her hand were a few white guys (one of whom was host Chris Pine) trying to relate to her by rapping about Black Lives Matter or referencing Get Out. For her part, Zamata nailed the awkwardness of the situation while showing her character’s increasing disappointment.

2. Vlogging Teenager

Zamata stepped into the role of Janelle, a dance-loving teen who simply wanted to teach her 3 million viewers her dance moves — only for her father (played by host Chris Rock) to put a kibosh on it because he considered what she was doing too mature. Zamata captured the innocence of a teenager who doesn’t know better and blended it with the frustration of a young daughter dealing with a very protective dad.

3. Solange and Jay-Z Cold Open

Zamata teamed up with former castmate Jay Pharaoh to play Solange Knowles and Jay Z for a cold open a sketch that made light of the joint statement they released following a their infamous fight in an elevator. But while Pharaoh relied on his impression work for laughs, Zamata played Knowles’ enigmatic grace as unpredictability, keeping Kenan Thompson’s security guard on his toes throughout the sketch.

4. Lucas on ‘Stranger Things’

Saturday Night Live put its own spin on Stranger Things‘ unanswered questions. Instead of focusing on Barb’s possible return or even Eleven’s fate, the Lin-Manuel Miranda-hosted episode set its sights on figuring out where Lucas’ parents are. As the sketch revealed, they’d been there all along — it was just Lucas who’d gone missing. Zamata was able to make the young boy’s desire to go adventuring with his friends even funnier when contrasted with the reality of what Leslie Jones and Kenan Thompson’s characters were saying about life as a black person.

5. ‘Scandal’ Sketch

Given the popularity of Scandal, it was surprising that SNL hadn’t taken on the task of parodying the show. However, when Lena Dunham hosted, Zamata was able to step into one of Olivia Pope’s fitted white suits (sans the white hat) and channel her inner gladiator while dealing with the newest member of her team — as well as her feelings for the President.

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