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Sasheer Zamata Joins Saturday Night Live As New Cast Member

Sasheer Zamata, SNL NBC

Live from New York, it's Sasheer Zamata! That's right, Saturday Night Live has a new cast member. E! News has confirmed Zamata will join the cast of NBC's long-running SNL this January.

Look for Zamata to make her SNL debut on Saturday, Jan. 18, the first live show of 2014. Drake will host and be the musical guest. Zamata is Saturday Night Live's first female black cast member since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007.

Deadline first reported Zamata's casting.

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The lack of diversity amongst the SNL cast made headlines after six new cast members—Beck Bennett, John Milhiser, Kyle Mooney, Mike O'Brien, Noël Wells and Brooks Wheelan—all of them white joined the show for season 39. The show poked fun at itself when Scandal star Kerry Washington hosted and played several black characters in the cold open sketch.

In December 2013, executive producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times the show would be adding at least one new cast member in early 2014. Michaels told The New York Times it was "100 percent good for the show to have an African-American woman" as part of the cast.

Zamata is a veteran of the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater and graduated from the University of Virginia with a degree in drama. Her acting reel is below.

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Zamata's other credits include the Cooking Channel webseries Fodder, Cooking Channel's Back in Time for Thanksgiving special, Inside Amy Schumer on Comedy Central and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell. Zamata has also appeared in numerous commercials, according to her website.

Following Drake's SNL, Jonah Hill will return to host the show for a third time. Hill will be joined by musical guest Bastille.

(E! and NBC are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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