Boss Moves: Meet the First Black Female Comic on SNL in Six Years
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Actress and comedian Sasheer Zamata (Image: File)

Sasheer Zamata joined the ranks of other entertainment powerhouses Jan. 6 when it was announced that she will join “Saturday Night Live” this month, making her the first African-American female in the show’s cast in six years, according to reports.

Zamata makes her debut on the late-night comedy show Jan. 18, and hip-hop star Drake is slated to host.

The actress, writer and comedian based in New York City graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in drama, and she honed her skills performing at the famous Upright Citizens Brigade Theater. She is most recently well-known for her Web series Pursuit of Sexiness, a comedy centered around the exploits of two best friends described as “broke, single, and (adorably!) self-absorbed.”

Her work has been featured in BUST, Jezebel, Hairpin, Vulture, Think Progress, Clutch Magazine, Time Out New York and The New York Times.

She’s performed for audiences at venues including the Bridgetown Comedy Festival, the Great American Comedy Festival, and Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch Showcase, and she has opened for John Mulaney and the Bonnaroo365 tour.

Listed by Cosmopolitan magazine as a comic to watch, Zamata was brought on to the cast after a firestorm of criticism on the diversity of talent represented on SNL since Maya Rudolph left the cast six years ago.

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Janell Hazelwood

Janell Hazelwood is associate managing editor at Black Enterprise, managing content across core areas of Money, Career, Small Business and Technology. She is also a featured blogger with My Two Cents, providing insights on branding, millennial career development, employment trends and leadership. She was previously a content producer and copy editor for Black Enterprise magazine, working across several editorial sections. The Hampton University graduate got her start in the newspaper industry, having worked for companies including The New York Times and Scripps Howard News Service. Her works and insights have appeared on The Huffington Post, MadameNoire, E!Online, Brazen Careerist, CBS News, and Arise TV.