'I just thought it might be time to shake it up,' executive producer Lorne Michaels says of why Pharoah will replace Armisen in impersonating the President of the United States.
Fred Armisen will no longer do impressions of Barack Obama on "Saturday Night Live" since the role is now given to Jay Pharoah. Executive producer Lorne Michaels reveals in an interview with The New York Times that the featured player will replace the repertory player to portray the U.S. commander-in-chief in the 38th season.
"Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own," Michaels says of the 24-year-old, who joined the NBC sketch show in 2010. He goes on explaining, "I just thought it might be time to shake it up."
As for Armisen who has done Obama impressions since 2008, Michaels hints that the "Portlandia" star will have a bigger role in the forthcoming season as saying that he is "the backbone of the show now."
The switch comes hot on the heels of news that Jason Sudeikis will stay on the variety show until at least January 2013. "He's a fiercely loyal guy, both to the show and to me," Michaels gushes about the "Horrible Bosses" star, adding that there's still a possibility Sudeikis is featured on the show for a full season.
The new season premiere of "SNL" is set for Saturday, September 15 at 11:30 P.M. on NBC. Seth MacFarlane will be the host, with Frank Ocean and John Mayer serving as the musical guests.