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!
Gillyyyyyy! While there’s no definitive word as to whether Kristen Wiig will stick around for another season of Saturday Night Live, Lorne Michaels‘s remarks last night at the second season premiere of Fred Armisen‘s Portlandia certainly left room for a question mark. You know, like the question mark you might put after the word “WHYYYYYYYYYY?”
When asked if the Bridesmaids star would return after this year, Lorne admits, “I really don’t know. We haven’t really talked about it. We still have 14 shows to do this season.” As for what the show will do without her, Michaels says, “I don’t know. I don’t know. I certainly don’t want her to leave.” Neither do we! Not so soon after she gave us flirting coach Rebecca LaRue! She has so much left to teach us!
In 1975, Lorne Michaels hit the big time as the creator of Saturday Night Live. Three years later, Danny DeVito made his rep on the popular sitcom Taxi. Though both have had considerable success as film producers (helming Wayne’s World and Pulp Fiction respectively), Michaels is still running SNL, and DeVito recently returned to the world of sitcoms with It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia. Both men were born on November 17th. Which one is older? Click on the photo to find out.