“Hey, shouldn’t a black guy play Barack Obama on ‘Saturday Night Live’?” is what everyone said during Obama’s run for the presidency in 2008. Now, just a mere two years later, Lorne Michaels and NBC are on the precipice of a swift response to the glaring lack of funny black people in “SNL’s” lineup.
The Comic’s Comic has learned that Jay Pharoah, a young stand-up comedian from Virginia’s Tidewater who has a full arsenal of impersonations — including one of President Barack Obama (and yes, he’d likely do it instead of Fred Armisen!) — is just about a done deal to become the fourth new cast member to join the on-air ranks when SNL’s 36th season begins on Sept. 25, 2010…
His bio says he’s 22, but began working on his impersonations as early as junior high and in local comedy clubs in the Tidewater by the time he was 15. He says he would like to meet his comedy idols, Eddie Murphy and Chris Rock, both of whom rocketed to fame via SNL. Looks like he may get his chance sooner rather than later. Pharoah flew in to NYC twice in August for screen tests and meetings with Lorne.
Oh man, that last name is gonna bother me. I really need it to be spelled “Pharaoh” instead of “Pharoah.” Why yes, thank you, I would like some medication for this OCD.
In other “SNL” news, “Breaking Bad” star Bryan Cranston will host the October 2nd episode. Hmmm… interesting. They went with the veteran comic actor who has now won three straight Best Leading Actor Emmys. I just hope there’s still room in the schedule for Steve Martin to host for the 78th time.