'Saturday Night Live' adds Sasheer Zamata as new cast member

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When "Saturday Night Live" returns for a new episode on Jan. 18 with Drake as host and musical guest, get ready to see a new face: Sasheer Zamata has joined the cast, Deadline reports.

Zamata trained at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York, and will be the first black female "Saturday Night Live" cast member since Maya Rudolph. In fact, the lack of female black cast members on the NBC sketch show prompted many to criticize the show's lack of diversity, especially when all six new cast members added this season were white. That kick-started a talent search by executive producer Lorne Michaels to add an African-American woman to the cast.

Zamata won the jackpot and will now be a featured player on the show. She beat out fellow finalists Tanisha Long ("Girl Code"), Gabrielle Denis ("The Game"), Bresha Webb, Misty Monroe, Natasha Rothwell, Amber Ruffin, Leslie Jones and Briana KC.

Photo/Video credit: Upright Citizens Brigade Theater
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