Saturday, September 11, 2010

New SNL Cast Member - Jay Pharoah

For a little while now, Kenan Thompson has been the only African American SNL cast member, but it looks like that may not be true for much longer. The Comic’s Comic, a blog dedicated to everything related to stand-up/sketch comedy (and the site who actually appears to have broken the news of the previous new cast additions), says Jay Pharoah, a young stand-up comedian from Virginia’s Tidewater, may be joining the cast. Aside from the increase in racial diversity, even more exciting is the fact that Pharoah may bring a new take on President Barack Obama to the table. Though Fred Armisen has done a decent job with the impersonation, he can only do so much with a man who doesn’t really have many outstanding mannerisms or speech characteristics to embellish.

Apparently Pharoah’s casting is pretty much a done deal. (Let’s hope so after being flown to NYC twice for screen tests and meetings with Lorne Michaels.) So this coming season will bring a whole slew of new talent. Below you can check out Pharoah’s comedic stylings, including quite an array of impressions — Eddie Murphy, Will Smith, Chris Tucker, Denzel Washington, Barack Obama, Katt Williams and literally dozens more.


Jay does Denzel Washington and Will Smith complaining about each other (documentary style):

Jay does Eddie Murphy and Charlie Murphy complaining about each other:

Jay's standup (he strings together his impressions):

Good Smoegel impression. Check out his Barack Obama at 3:18. Fred has just been replaced.

I think the coolest thing about his impressions is that the dude plays himself so loose and goofy that he literally transforms into a character. I haven't seen someone do that so well since Andy Kaufman.


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