Jay Pharoah Is Now SNL‘s Barack Obama

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Jay Pharoah Is Barack Obama On SNL

The creator and producer of Saturday Night Life, Lorne Michaels, has confirmed that the show has got itself a new Barack Obama character. Jay Pharoah, who has been featured on the show two years running, is going to be portraying Obama, taking over from Fred Armisen. Armisen has played the Obama role since 2008 (from the election onwards.) Michaels explains the decision, saying, “Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own. I just thought it might be time to shake it up.” A previous criticism of Armisen’s character was an obvious one — that the African-American president was not being played by an African-American actor on the show. The new season begins on September 25 and Pharoah is now a full-fledged member of the cast. His impersonations of Obama have already gone viral on the internet, so we know he’s going to be re in the role. SNL’s had some pretty memorable political character sketchs so far — George Bush by Will Ferrell, Bill Clinton by Phil Hartman and Hillary Clinton by Amy Poehler and Sarah Palin by Tina Fey. Can Pharoah elevate the character to those ranks? Here’s hoping!