By Ryan Lattanzio | Thompson on Hollywood January 6, 2014 at 8:30PM
Comedian Sasheer Zamata has joined "Saturday Night Live" as the variety show's first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph left in 2007. Zamata will make her television debut on January 18th, SNL's first show of the new year. Check out a clip of her standup comedy below.
A drama alumna of the University of Virginia, Zamata has performed onstage with the Upright Citizens Brigade in NYC and has been featured in BUST, Jezebel, Hairpin and Vulture, among other hip publications. She's also been spotted in guest roles on Comedy Central's "Inside Amy Schumer" and FX's "Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell."
Back in November 2013, the internet went ablaze after SNL -- which currently has two black men aboard -- reflexively mocked its major diversity oversight in an episode hosted by Kerry Washington. In the cold open, the "Scandal" star was asked to play Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyonce, one after the other. Which meant she'd be running to and fro the wings in a rapid succession of costume changes.
While not all audiences were warm to the self-aware skit, it indicated that the issue was, at least, on SNL's radar. Just before Washington's skit aired, series producer Lorne Michaels cagily danced around the controversy in a press interview.
Hopefully, up-and-coming comedienne and resident New Yorker Zamata will be just the breath of fresh air this hit-or-miss show needs.