The Comic’s Comic is reporting that SNL is hiring Jay Pharoah, a standup and impressionist from Virginia, for the upcoming 36th season. And what great news it is! Judging by some of Pharoah’s online videos, he’s exactly what the show needs right now.
Just check out those impressions of Will Smith and Denzel Washington in the above video; they’re spot on and excellent. He apparently has an Obama impression, which, thank goodness. I really love Fred Armisen, and he’s one of the most versatile performers on the cast, but the fact that he was playing Obama so long was pretty ridiculous. If nothing else, it made it obvious that there was some diversity lacking on the cast, so it’s great that they’re fixing that.
Here’s his Obama impression, which ain’t half bad:
And here’s another video of his impressions of Eddie and Charlie Murphy:
ALSO! This is the fourth reported new cast member, which means that more departures in addition to Will Forte are all but a given. Who’s next to go? Will it be someone who’s been around for a long time and primed to move on to bigger and better things, like Jason Sudeikis or Kristen Wiig, or will not all of the newer featured players be asked to return? We should know soon enough.