Look, we love Kenan Thompson, we love Saturday Night Live, and we love funny women, so naturally we were a bit disappointed when Thompson told TV Guide this week that the reason there aren’t any black female performers on SNL was because “in auditions, they just never find ones that are ready.”
Maybe this is a problem with SNL’s casting net, because even without sitting through months of showcases in L.A., NYC and Chicago, we were able to find five black women who are totally ready to be “Not Ready For Prime Time Players.”
Finally, Best Week Ever’s very own Michelle Buteau has been making us laugh week after week here on VH1, but she also performs stand up all over the country. Don’t you think we need some more “Panties On/Panties Off” action on Saturday Night Live? The answer is yes. Yes, we do.
2) Sasheer Zamata
I’ve been saying for years that it’s dumb–just DUMB–that Sasheer Zamata isn’t already on Saturday Night Live. She’s a brilliant writer, actress, stand up comic, improviser, and sketch performer (and she has killer fashion sense). She performs regularly at the UCB, where she co-hosts a weekly variety show, School Night, with another up-and-coming funny black female comic, Charla Lauriston. Oh, and she’s also popped up on Inside Amy Schumer and Jezebel.
3) Nicole Byer
Nicole Byer is one of the biggest breakout stars of MTV’s Girl Code, because she’s one of the funniest people alive, but she also is an experienced UCB performer. She and Zamata also make up two-thirds of the celebrated improv trio, Doppleganger. Byer has appeared on 30 Rock and Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, so she’s also got experience making people laugh in (and around) Rockefeller Center.
4) Issa Rae
Issa Rae isn’t just a brilliant comic, she’s a triple threat. You know, she’s a writer, producer and director. Her webseries, Awkward Black Girl, boasts millions of views and she and Larry Wilmore are currently working on an HBO series, so she might not need Saturday Night Live to signal boost her into the comedy stratosphere. But still, it’d be nice to have some digital shorts that weren’t just from the white bro point of view.
The Daily Show is one of the most brilliant comedy programs on television and Jessica Williams is one of the show’s brightest stars. Her segments (like this one on “stop and frisk”) routinely kill the audience. She’s not just a brilliant satirist, though. Williams is a trained improviser and sketch comedian who has performed with both ComedySportz and at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre.
[Photo Credit: MTV & Comedy Central]