‘The New Black Girl On SNL’ Takes The Spotlight

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By Andrew Scot Bolsinger

After joining the legendary comedy show Saturday Night Live in January, Sasheer Zamata has been patiently waiting for her chance to shine.

Wait no more. This weekend, Zamata played Olivia Pope, the feature character in the television drama “Scandal,” played by actor Kerry Washington.

Zamata was the first black actor to join the cast in several years, according to a story in The Root.

The skit called for Zamata to assign work to the newest team member played by guest host Lena Dunham, star of her own comedy series, “Girls.” Zamata’s character tells Dunham to attend a ball and place a bug on the wife of a Mexican ambassador. In the trademark, fast-paced dialogue known to Scandal viewers, Zamata’s Pope hurries through the assignment. Dunham can’t keep up and keeps asking follow-up questions.

“Then, following a hilarious romantic encounter between Pope and President Fitz (Taram Killam) that involved lots of exaggerated facial expressions, Dunham stammers, and  asks, ‘Ok, that was the president of the United States how are you not texting 1,000 people right now?’

“’He’s a problem,’ Zamata explained.  ‘I don’t need problems. I fix problems.’” Zamata replied in true Olivia Pope fashion, the Root reported.

Zamata, 27, was discovered in a nationwide talent search by NBC to find an African-American comedian to join the cast.

Zamata was at the recent South By Southwest conference in Austin when she proudly announced at a local comedy club, “I’m the new black girl on SNL!”

Prior to landing the SNL gig, Zamata worked on MTV and in an ABC News hidden camera series called “Primetime: Would you fall for that.”

Andrew Scot Bolsinger won more than two dozen press awards during his journalism career. He is a freelance writer, author and operates www.criminalu.co, which is focused on prison reform. He can reached at Andrew.Bolsinger@gmail.com

Source: The Root


  1. Bert C

    March 12, 2014 at 2:18 am

    She wasn’t discovered,she is not Columbus. She has been like Ali Ollie Woodson(RIP) said, “RIGHT HERE ALL ALONG”. Check her bio, she has cred. NBC didn’t want to hire a black female until pressured to do so.

  2. Carolyn M.

    March 12, 2014 at 6:36 pm

    Amen Elizabeth!

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