An Introduction to Sasheer Zamata, ‘SNL’s’ Newest Featured Player

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After much controversy, Lorne Michaels finally wised up and cast an African-American woman as a featured played on Saturday Night Live. Sasheer Zamata, who has been a regular performer at New York’s Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre for a few years, will join the cast as its fifth black actress in 39 seasons when the show returns from its hiatus on January 18. While still an unknown to most of the show’s audience, Zamata’s work can be found across the Internet. Here’s a sampling of some of the things we can expect when she joins the sketch comedy series next week.

As a stand-up performer, Zamata touches on racism in the media; in this clip, she tackles the pretty ridiculous way in which companies market to the African-American demographic with an emphasis on caricatures and stereotypes.

In this episode of The Morning After, Thomas Middleditch’s web series in which his character has a series of uncomfortable conversations in bed with his sexual conquests, Zamata plays the not-so-lucky gal who just happens to be the first black woman to wake up in that plaid shirt.

In this video, Zamata sees the world through the eyes of the random dude who flashed her on the street. Turns out he’s also a stand-up comic!

Zamata will no doubt be asked to play Beyoncé on SNL sooner or later; luckily, she’s already done so on YouTube, imagining Bey’s parenting skills (or lack thereof).

In this clip from Inside Amy Schumer, Schumer goes shopping at an Urban Outfitters-type store and has an awkward interaction with Zamata, who plays an employee who just wants to know which non-white sales associate helped her try on the weird shirt she’s buying.