Announced 2 weeks ago, Sasheer Zamata has left NBC’s long-running late-night sketch comedy show “Saturday Night Live,” following other recent cast member exits including Jay Pharoah.
You’ll remember that, in response to public outcry 4 years ago over the absence of black women cast members as well as in the writers room, SNL added Zamata to its cast after an extensive search, as well as 2 black women writers to its writing staff (LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who would go on to become a cast member as well, and is now appearing in movies and TV shows).
No specific reasons for Zamata’s exit have been given; although 2 other long-time cast members, Vanessa Bayer and Bobby Moynihan, both recently also announced that they were leaving SNL, to pursue other opportunities as was Pharoah’s explanation, so we assume Zamata’s reason is likely similar.
Following her exit, a question that many continue to ask is what Zamata might do next. She appeared in two Sundance 2017 films – “Deidra and Laney Rob a Train” which was released earlier this year (currently streaming on Netflix); and “Sleight” which was released in theaters (USA) in late April. Upcoming, she has a role in an indie rom-com titled “The Outdoorsman,” although she doesn’t star in it either. That’s it for her at the moment in terms of acting opportunities. Hopefully that will change very quickly.
In addition to the above, Comedy Dynamics ( the largest independent stand-up comedy production and distribution company) announced today that it has released Zamata’s debut comedy album titled “Pizza Mind” on all digital retailers today, with CD and VINYL to follow.
“Pizza Mind,” Sasheer’s first full-length comedy special, originally premiered on Seeso on March 30, 2017. Seeso is subscription streaming service owned by Comcast through NBCUniversal, launched on January 7, 2016.
In “Pizza Mind,” Zamata talks about her awkward encounters with her aging mother, the casual racism she encounters on a daily basis, why America is more like a pizza than a melting pot, and much more.
“I’m very proud of ‘Pizza Mind’ and I’m so excited for people to see work that is undeniably me,” said Sasheer Zamata.
Comedy Dynamics is also producing Kevin Hart’s “Guide to Black History for History,” Animal Planet’s “Animal Nation with Anthony Anderson,” the new scripted comedy on Seeso, “There’s … Johnny,” MTV2’s “Wild ‘N On Tour,” and Hulu’s “Coming To The Stage.”
The 3 clips below are from Zamata’s “Pizza Mind” stand-up special, courtesy of Comedy Dynamics: