January 07, 2014 01:57:25 GMT
The Upright Citizens Brigade alumna is the first black female comedian who joins the NBC sketch show since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007.
"Saturday Night Live" has hired African-American woman Sasheer Zamata as a new cast member. She will make her debut in the January 18 episode, which will feature Drake as host and musical guest.
The 27-year-old, who graduated from the University of Virginia in 2008 and has worked with the New York Upright Citizens Brigade comedy troupe, joined "SNL" auditions late last year. She was among 12 comediennes who received callbacks and were invited to test on the "SNL" stage on December 16.
"SNL" held the auditions following criticisms over the lack of black female performers on the show. Zamata, thus, becomes the first black female cast member on the NBC long-running comedy series since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007. She edged out another finalist, Amber Ruffin, to secure the new cast member spot.
In other "SNL" news, Jonah Hill has just been tapped to host the January 25 episode, marking his third time tackling the stint. "The Wolf of Wall Street" star will be joined by British band Bastille who will make their "SNL" debut as a musical guest.