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Posts tagged as jay pharoah

Jay Pharoah Brings His Jay-Z, Drake, and Kanye West Impersonations to the VMAs

The MTV Video Music Awards aired last night, and the closest thing to a host was SNL's Jay Pharoah, who made several appearances during the show disguised as some of his best impersonations. Above watch him bring back his Kanye impression while Kim Kardashian watches from an awkwardly close distance, then click through to watch his segments as Jay-Z and Drake.

How 'SNL' Addressed Race in Season 39, as Shown in 11 Sketches

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at the show's shifting tone on race over the arc of this season.

This has not been an easy year for SNL to talk about race. From the moment the show announced its six new cast members — the largest turnover in more than a decade — and viewers noticed that not one of them was a person of color, SNL once again became a target of progressive viewers calling for the cast to [...]

Let's Talk About SNL's Diversity Problem

Kenan Thompson has been taking a lot of heat this week for a comment he made in a TV Guide interview about SNL's lack of a black female cast member, despite the recent hiring of six white performers. Following Jay Pharoah's rather blunt remark to theGrio that "They need to pay attention" and cast a black woman like Darmirra Brunson, Thompson had a more ambiguous response:

Instead of blaming showrunner Lorne Michaels or the series, which currently only employs three actors of color out of 16 cast members (Thompson, Pharaoh and the Iranian Nasim Pedrad), Thompson blames the lack of quality black female comedians. "It's just a tough part of [...]

'SNL' Review: Tina Fey Introduces The New Cast

For a show that evolves constantly, SNL does a remarkable job preserving its brand. Despite the changes in the cast, the writers, and the culture it parodies, SNL will always be that live, hip, New York-centered show that puts up a few sketches at the end of the week to try to make you laugh. There's the "Live from New York…" throw line, the theme music, Don Pardo listing off the cast, the host walking out on stage, followed by that predictable pattern of live sketches, videos, musical performances, and the news segment. Critics put down this structure in favor of looser, more inventive sketch show formats, but given SNL's [...]

Breaking Down Each Cast Member's Contribution to 'SNL' Season 38

As mentioned in yesterday's post listing our favorite moments from this season of SNL, Season 38 has been dubbed a "transitional year" by many followers of the show. After a few years of relative stability among the core cast members, stars Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg left a year ago, followed by Abby Elliott later in the summer. With the start of the new season, three performers from Chicago's improv and sketch community joined the cast: Aidy Bryant, Tim Robinson, and Cecily Strong. In the wake of Wiig's dominating presence on the show, two freshman females in particular have emerged as go-to's: Kate McKinnon, who joined the cast [...]

Jay Pharoah Sings About Girls with Bad Breath in "Bad Kisser"

It's been a couple months since Jay Pharoah released a new music video, but Above Average just dropped a new one today that's a parody of Usher's "Good Kisser." Expect a lot of metaphors for terrible breath.

Drake, Jay Pharoah, and Bobby Moynihan Mix Some Beats in This New 'SNL' Promo

This week's SNL promos with host and musical guest Drake feature dramatic Degrassi acting, the answer to the question "Do ducks have belly buttons?", and Jay and Bobby's hot mom beats (or lack thereof). Drake makes a pretty good straight man opposite these two SNLers, so hopefully he brings that Canadian charm to his episode on Saturday.

'SNL' Review: No Escape from Miley Cyrus

After Justin Bieber hosted SNL last season, I concluded that SNL will never quite be the alternative comedy show we'd like it to be. There's no denying the show would be much funnier if producers only booked the heroes of comedy nerds to host the show, as it did last season with Louis CK and last week with Tina Fey. I've made the case several times that the show would be far better if only former cast members hosted — indeed, SNL has enough star alumni to fill a few seasons' worth of episodes.

But SNL isn't that show. The ongoing inclusion of performances by a musical guest [...]

Watch Jay Pharoah's Kanye West Parody "I Am a Dog"

Here's "I Am a Dog," a new parody of Kanye West's "I Am A God" written by and starring SNL's Jay Pharoah and released via Lorne Michaels's production company's YouTube channel, Above Average. It's pretty shocking they didn't just air this as part of Saturday Night Live.

The Best of 'SNL' Season 38

It snuck up on us, didn't it? The end of SNL Season 38 brought along with it key staff changes, among them the upcoming departure of head writer Seth Meyers and the immediate departures of cast members Bill Hader, Fred Armisen, and (unofficially) Jason Sudeikis. Few people have shaped SNL over the past 8 years more than these men — Meyers with his leadership in the writers room and charm as Weekend Update host, and Hader, Armisen and Sudeikis as the cast's workhorses and loadbearing performers. Indeed, many pegged Season 38 as a "transitional year" in the wake of Kristen Wiig and Andy Samberg leaving the show a year ago, [...]

Jay Pharoah Raps About the Truth Behind Bitches, Weed, and Money

Here's a new video from Above Average starring SNL's Jay Pharoah, who tackles rap's three biggest subjects while also confessing his own ugly truth behind each of them.

'SNL' Review: Kerry Washington Is Ready

I never thought we would see the day when SNL considered itself newsworthy enough to parody. But it happened — not in the form of a quick joke during the monologue or Weekend Update, or a walk-on by Lorne Michaels, as has happened before — but with a whole cold open sketch, wherein host Kerry Washington was compelled to play numerous black female characters (Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, Beyonce) because SNL literally had no one else who could do them. The meta-sketch also included a half-apologetic text scroll from the producers promising to fix the situation, unless they "fall in love with another white guy first," and a cameo by [...]

Jay Pharoah on 'SNL's Diversity Issue: "They Need to Pay Attention"

With the addition of six new cast members this season, all of whom are white, Saturday Night Live has come under fire for its lack of diversity over the past couple weeks. Jay Pharoah, one of two black members of the 16-person cast, weighed in on the matter during an interview with theGrio:

"They need to pay attention. Her name is Darmirra Brunson…Why do I think she should be on the show? Because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented. She’s amazing. She needs to be on SNL. I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going [...]

Check Out Jay Pharoah's Amazing Lil Wayne Impression

Here's Saturday Night Live's Jay Pharoah doing his excellent Lil Wayne impression on a radio show. Pretty shocking they've only had him play Lil Wayne on SNL once so far.