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Jay Pharoah

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ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Jay Pharoah, who plays President Obama and other characters on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," thinks the show needs to hire more black performers.  "As far as being a black person on the show, there's not a lot of us, you know?," the 25-year-old comic told The Grio. Among the show's current cast of 16, Pharoah and Kenan Thompson are the only black comedians. All six of this year's new additions are white. He added that producers "need to pay attention" and hire Darmirra Brunson, who's currently working on OWN's "Love Thy Neighbor.
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ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Good news for Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson; they won't have to appear in drag anymore on "Saturday Night Live. " Or at least not as often. The show has finally added a black female to the cast. After auditioning actresses in cities across the country, Upright Citizens Brigade actress Sasheer Zamata has been added as a featured player. Zamata's first episode will be Jan. 18, the first new episode of 2014, with Drake as the host. According to Zamata's website, she appears regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York as part of the weekly variety show "School Night.
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ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
“How black is that?” was the refrain during Jamie Foxx's “SNL” monologue Saturday night, as he marveled at turns of events like President Obama's being elected to a second term and the fact that the comedian was hosting the show with musical guest Ne-Yo. And while race was never again explicitly mentioned throughout the rest of the show, it remained a constant theme, yet one handled in a lighthearted, often absurd manner. One of the criticisms most frequently lobbed at the late-night institution is that it lacks any real diversity in its cast and writing, but last night “SNL” resembled programs that do address race while enjoying diverse audiences, like “Key and Peele” or “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” Foxx, more present in the episode than most hosts, was willing to be extremely silly in many of his sketches, relying upon his sketch show experience from “In Living Color” as he played characters like a Christmas tree pimp or a Hostess Ding Dong disgruntled by the amount of attention Twinkies have been receiving lately.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Greg Braxton
Under fire for its historic lack for black female cast members, "Saturday Night Live" is holding auditions to add an African American woman to the cast. But will it be enough? The veteran series sponsored a showcase exclusively for black women last week at the Groundlings Theatre and held another showcase in New York, although sources declined to say whether that it was also for black women exclusively. At least one additional showcase will be held. The search has commenced after cast member Jay Pharoah complained in October that the show was too white.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 10, 2010
UNDERRATED The Avett Brothers: On first listen, this trio led by brothers Seth and Scott Avett can seem almost too earnest, like that friend at the bar who can't stop talking about his first love. But we're charmed by the Avetts' 2009 record "I and Love and You," whose rustic yet orchestrated flourishes were a big part of the band's barnburner of a set on "Austin City Limits" recently. Sample the last call-ready title track and the banjo-flecked "January Wedding" for proof.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By Greg Braxton
Under fire for its historic lack for black female cast members, "Saturday Night Live" is holding auditions to add an African American woman to the cast. But will it be enough? The veteran series sponsored a showcase exclusively for black women last week at the Groundlings Theatre and held another showcase in New York, although sources declined to say whether that it was also for black women exclusively. At least one additional showcase will be held. The search has commenced after cast member Jay Pharoah complained in October that the show was too white.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Whoopi Goldberg thinks it took America an awfully long time to realize that "Saturday Night Live" has a diversity problem.  NBC's comedy-variety show has been afflicted this season with a debate over the lack of black women in its cast. The show even lampooned the issue last week, with Kerry Washington as host.  Goldberg, currently a panelist on "The View," can't believe people have waited until now to examine the subject.  PHOTOS: 13 memorable stars from 'Saturday Night Live' "These folks are 15 years late on this question," Goldberg told Showbiz411.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Kenan Thompson is fed up with having to wear a dress on "Saturday Night Live. " A 10-year veteran of NBC's sketch comedy show, Thompson has donned drag to play characters such as Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. And it's not just because he thinks he looks good in a skirt. The current incarnation of "SNL" has no black female cast members - a lack of diverstiy that another cast member, Jay Pharoah, has already complained about this season. So guys have had to step in to the high heels.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
If you don't watch the Showtime series, then Saturday night's “Homeland” sketch on “Saturday Night Live” probably went over your head. However, “Homeland” doesn't seem to be leaving the “SNL” landscape anytime soon: It's the second time in as many weeks that the show was referenced, as Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg intoned, in last week's cold open, “White people love 'Homeland.'” So, whether you're white or not, it's probably in your best interest to start watching “Homeland” now, just for the sake of getting the “SNL” jokes (if not for the fact that it's a terrific show.)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
  New "SNL" cast member Aidy Bryant may wish that CNN correspondent Candy Crowley was a more high-profile part of the 2012 presidential campaign. After lurking in the background of the new season, especially compared with breakout new cast addition Kate McKinnon, the Second City actress finally got the chance to appear front and center Saturday night as she introduced the episode's cold open (and closed it by delivering the show's classic introductory line.) Not surprisingly, the second presidential debate was the topic of the cold open.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 8, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Whoopi Goldberg thinks it took America an awfully long time to realize that "Saturday Night Live" has a diversity problem.  NBC's comedy-variety show has been afflicted this season with a debate over the lack of black women in its cast. The show even lampooned the issue last week, with Kerry Washington as host.  Goldberg, currently a panelist on "The View," can't believe people have waited until now to examine the subject.  PHOTOS: 13 memorable stars from 'Saturday Night Live' "These folks are 15 years late on this question," Goldberg told Showbiz411.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2013 | By Claire Zulkey
In case you missed it, here is a brief timeline of race relations regarding “Saturday Night Live” recently: Sept. 27: “SNL” cast member Jay Pharoah tells the Grio website that he thinks the show is “too white.” Oct. 14: Longtime cast member Kenan Thompson tells a TV Guide interviewer that he doesn't want make up the lack of diversity in the cast on “SNL” anymore by playing black female characters....
ENTERTAINMENT
October 17, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Kenan Thompson is fed up with having to wear a dress on "Saturday Night Live. " A 10-year veteran of NBC's sketch comedy show, Thompson has donned drag to play characters such as Maya Angelou, Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey. And it's not just because he thinks he looks good in a skirt. The current incarnation of "SNL" has no black female cast members - a lack of diverstiy that another cast member, Jay Pharoah, has already complained about this season. So guys have had to step in to the high heels.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 3, 2013 | By Scott Collins
Jay Pharoah, who plays President Obama and other characters on NBC's "Saturday Night Live," thinks the show needs to hire more black performers.  "As far as being a black person on the show, there's not a lot of us, you know?," the 25-year-old comic told The Grio. Among the show's current cast of 16, Pharoah and Kenan Thompson are the only black comedians. All six of this year's new additions are white. He added that producers "need to pay attention" and hire Darmirra Brunson, who's currently working on OWN's "Love Thy Neighbor.
SPORTS
February 18, 2013 | By Dan Loumena
There is nothing like listening to Stephen A. Smith drop names, places and other various references to his many friends in the sporting world when he's on ESPN's First Take morning program or breaking down the NBA on various other broadcasts. A lot of people don't like his shtick, but let's face it, most of the big-time personalities on sports television mimic talk radio these days: the louder and more emphatic you say it, the better. You don't have to be right. Or wrong.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 9, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
“How black is that?” was the refrain during Jamie Foxx's “SNL” monologue Saturday night, as he marveled at turns of events like President Obama's being elected to a second term and the fact that the comedian was hosting the show with musical guest Ne-Yo. And while race was never again explicitly mentioned throughout the rest of the show, it remained a constant theme, yet one handled in a lighthearted, often absurd manner. One of the criticisms most frequently lobbed at the late-night institution is that it lacks any real diversity in its cast and writing, but last night “SNL” resembled programs that do address race while enjoying diverse audiences, like “Key and Peele” or “Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell.” Foxx, more present in the episode than most hosts, was willing to be extremely silly in many of his sketches, relying upon his sketch show experience from “In Living Color” as he played characters like a Christmas tree pimp or a Hostess Ding Dong disgruntled by the amount of attention Twinkies have been receiving lately.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 6, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
Good news for Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson; they won't have to appear in drag anymore on "Saturday Night Live. " Or at least not as often. The show has finally added a black female to the cast. After auditioning actresses in cities across the country, Upright Citizens Brigade actress Sasheer Zamata has been added as a featured player. Zamata's first episode will be Jan. 18, the first new episode of 2014, with Drake as the host. According to Zamata's website, she appears regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade theater in New York as part of the weekly variety show "School Night.
ENTERTAINMENT
November 3, 2013 | By Claire Zulkey
In case you missed it, here is a brief timeline of race relations regarding “Saturday Night Live” recently: Sept. 27: “SNL” cast member Jay Pharoah tells the Grio website that he thinks the show is “too white.” Oct. 14: Longtime cast member Kenan Thompson tells a TV Guide interviewer that he doesn't want make up the lack of diversity in the cast on “SNL” anymore by playing black female characters....
ENTERTAINMENT
November 11, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
If you don't watch the Showtime series, then Saturday night's “Homeland” sketch on “Saturday Night Live” probably went over your head. However, “Homeland” doesn't seem to be leaving the “SNL” landscape anytime soon: It's the second time in as many weeks that the show was referenced, as Fred Armisen as Michael Bloomberg intoned, in last week's cold open, “White people love 'Homeland.'” So, whether you're white or not, it's probably in your best interest to start watching “Homeland” now, just for the sake of getting the “SNL” jokes (if not for the fact that it's a terrific show.)
ENTERTAINMENT
October 21, 2012 | By Claire Zulkey
  New "SNL" cast member Aidy Bryant may wish that CNN correspondent Candy Crowley was a more high-profile part of the 2012 presidential campaign. After lurking in the background of the new season, especially compared with breakout new cast addition Kate McKinnon, the Second City actress finally got the chance to appear front and center Saturday night as she introduced the episode's cold open (and closed it by delivering the show's classic introductory line.) Not surprisingly, the second presidential debate was the topic of the cold open.
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