December 13th, 2013
02:59 PM ET

Report: 'SNL' set to add a black female cast member

It looks like Lorne Michaels may be about to prove  Kenan Thompson wrong.

The "Saturday Night Live" producer told the New York Times the show has been holding auditions to add an African-American female cast member in January, the first since actress Maya Rudolph left in 2007. Michaels said he's been holding casting sessions to find the right person.

"All told we’ve seen about 25 people,” he said. “A lot of the people we saw are really good. Hopefully we’ll come out of the process well.”

In October, "SNL" cast member Kenan Thompson told TV Guide the late night show had difficulty finding qualified black female comedians to hire. He insisted that the talent pool was limited because so many of the women were not seasoned enough for the gig. His words set off a firestorm of controversy regarding what some have seen as "SNL's" lack of racial and gender diversity.

Comedian Gabrielle Dennis tweeted a picture of herself and a group of other black female comics she said she had met during a "SNL" showcase.

soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Spencer

    Snl doesn't cast people on whether they're "a black female comedian or not." They cast people on whether they're funny or meet the qualifications. I'm sure they go through a list of arduous qualifications that the person trying out should have. Even Kenan Thompson, popular African American male cast member of SNL said himself that the show has screened many African American females over the years. They simply didn't get the part because they didn't fit the qualifications. This just so happens to be the first time in six years that the stars aligned and a black African American female was funny enough to get the part. Snl didn't say, "Oh, we need a black female comedian." They simply found a woman who meet the qualifications. This woman simply happened to be black. That's all this is.

    January 8, 2014 at 4:56 am | Report abuse |
  2. Meh


    December 23, 2013 at 1:24 pm | Report abuse |
  3. sartorioaaron

    This is fantastic that they are expanding their cast. It is important that they have diversity on this show. It is being broadcast from one of the most diverse cities, so it is important that they represent all different races on this show. Plus it is shows that all types of people can be funny, whether it be a woman or a man.

    December 20, 2013 at 8:35 am | Report abuse |
  4. glenda

    I can't remember her last name, but her first name was Deborah, and she used to be on Mad TV. She does the best Oprah, that can be done. Lorne Michaels would do SNL a great service, getting this woman.

    December 17, 2013 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kiefer'sNewAssistant

    Just one, Lorne?! so much for Boomers improving the world and adding more equality. Sorry the public isn't calling for another morbidly obese drug/alcohol abuser who will literally do backflips and pratfalls...Sheesh...Pop your head out of your Ivory NY Posh Penthouse much, Lorne, old boy?!

    December 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm | Report abuse |
  6. JZ

    Please, please, please, let it be Oprah or Robin Givens. aaaargh

    December 16, 2013 at 1:35 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Joe

    Yes, because according to TV there's only two races in America – White and Black. Pathetic.

    December 15, 2013 at 4:48 pm | Report abuse |
  8. D Pow

    No pandering please. Let cast additions be organic rather than adding someone to quiet a segment of the population.

    December 15, 2013 at 1:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brandy

      Shut up, you sanctimonious dummy.

      Bravo to this, and let's keep it going without it being a response to ignorance.

      December 16, 2013 at 4:15 am | Report abuse |
    • Talking Points

      To preserve our power, we must advance egalitarian theory: The falsehood that everyone is created equal. Therefore, when some population groups underperform, we can assume the mantle of their enlightened savior, and create dependency by them requiring new programs that require new taxes. Since we'll be in charge of the wealth distribution, our power will expand. B l a c k s are victims!

      December 16, 2013 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • ^ courtesy of SoKKKman ^


      December 16, 2013 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
    • Courtesy

      of mad raper Yall know he posts in blue and black. Vixen can't talk like that. [apologies vixen, you're not that smart] She posts in both inks though. He is the troll. Sokkman can't reply. The seedplanter is mad raper. Stop falling for it.

      December 16, 2013 at 1:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • V¡xen

      Lol..none taken

      December 16, 2013 at 11:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • V¡xen

      Oh and I only post in blue. The one you're talking about post in black and blue and I still think crack is still roaming on here. That's just my opinion on him. But I know the other one post in black and blue. Sorry..not causing any trouble just don't want to be blame for anything I'm not doing.

      December 16, 2013 at 11:08 pm | Report abuse |
  9. lorne michaels

    Snl already has a black female cast member. You never see her because she always late or out on workman's comp. Jive turkey.

    December 14, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Flooby

    The hilarious (not) Ellen Cleghorne isn't available? SNL really does need someone to play the braided strung out baby momma junkie on the show. *sigh*

    December 14, 2013 at 1:20 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Mark

    Get rid of Aidy Bryant while you're at it.

    December 14, 2013 at 1:07 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Jess

    I hope whoever they pick is an actual woman of color and not some white chick who's a black wanna-be, like Justin Bieber.

    December 14, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Report abuse |
  13. the late jam master jay

    Snl should get rid of the all-white band and hire slick rick and doug e. Fresh to keep da party jumpin all up in da hizzy.

    December 14, 2013 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
  14. aunt ben's rice

    Whoever snl chooses I hope she be sassy and classy. I hope snl can accommodate the extra day care costs, know what I'm sayin.

    December 14, 2013 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  15. Laqwaan

    I don't care if they funny. The important thing is that all colors of the rainbow equally represented.

    December 14, 2013 at 9:46 am | Report abuse |
  16. Don't offend anybody

    Isn't selecting an employee based on their race ... racist?

    December 14, 2013 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  17. Pat

    I hope she's black.

    December 14, 2013 at 7:42 am | Report abuse |
  18. ike turner and chris brown

    They have a black woman on snl. His name is keenan. He has boobs.

    December 14, 2013 at 2:09 am | Report abuse |
  19. chuck chocolate

    What about an asian cast member on snl? I guess they must be too busy being doctors.

    December 14, 2013 at 2:00 am | Report abuse |
  20. a difficult task

    Hard enough to find a woman that's funny. Now you had to try and find a black woman that's funny. Good luck with that.

    December 13, 2013 at 6:22 pm | Report abuse |
  21. anne

    African-Americans make up approx. 13.6% of US citizens. I'm assuming the number of blacks on SNL will take that into consideration when trying to 'even up' performers.

    December 13, 2013 at 5:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • Ben

      And aśśhole Americans make up roughly 42% of the population. It's pretty apparent which side the bigot anne falls on.

      December 13, 2013 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • anne

      Learn to read, Ben. My comment is FOR more blacks–not less. Spare the sarcasm unless you know what you're talking about.

      December 13, 2013 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
    • English teacher

      Actually, your sentence structure and wording are unclear, and they do not convey your message effectively.

      December 13, 2013 at 10:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • Anne's big brother

      African Americans make up approx. 37.8% of welfare recipients, 46% of violent felons, and a mere 60.7% of able-bodied working-age participate in the labor pool. I'm assuming SNL will take that into consideration when trying to 'even up' performers.

      December 14, 2013 at 9:56 am | Report abuse |
    • Anne's non-racist sister

      It's interesting how right-wing bigots always seem to have these "statistics" about minorities so readily handy. Also interesting how they never seem to be able to offer up reliable sources to back them up.

      December 14, 2013 at 6:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • anne's baby daddy

      It's also interesting how quickly libs trot out the word "bigot" when someone says something they don't agree with, especially when it's true.

      December 15, 2013 at 11:01 am | Report abuse |
    • I can answer your question

      It is because you conservatards hate everyone who isn't a conservatard. You hate blacks. You hate asians. You hate Hispanics. You hate the g ays. You hate poor people. You hate people who are out of work. You hate anyone who doesn't agree with your "out of the 50's" belief system. You hate science. You hate helping anyone in need. You preach about religion, but don't follow the bibles teachings about helping the less fortunate. You apparently hate the middle class, too, seeing you do not want them to have a better life than their parents had. So I don't know, why do we call you bigots?

      December 15, 2013 at 11:57 am | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Because you're an as shole.

      December 15, 2013 at 6:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • I can answer your question

      Do the facts hurt your little consertard feelings? In the first place, deny what I wrote. It is obvious that you think that if a person does not fall in line with your irrational thinking, that we are all automatically stupid? You ppl make me laugh. You wonder why these large voting blocks will have nothing to do with your party. They know who you hate, even if it obviously escapes you.

      December 16, 2013 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
    • you have no clue

      Once again, dinwit, you are foaming at the mouth, full of hate for people you do not know. You really must turn off NPR once in a while and come out of the basement. Make some new friends, get to know some regular people instead of the socialists who are poisoning your mind.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:21 pm | Report abuse |
    • Speaking of dimwits

      Obviously you have never looked at any polls. I wonder why none of these minority groups vote for the right? Is it because of the total hatred you have for these groups of ppl? You don't think they get that? As long as you cater to the rich white man, your party is going to keep losing their base. Not to mention, you have even lost a lot of conservative women, due to your constant attack on their rights. Women make up one of the largest voting blocks. Just keep up the good work, because you are making it easier and easier for the democrats to win.

      December 16, 2013 at 2:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • you still don't get it

      The kind of vitriol and venom you spew just show how out of touch you really are. More and more people are rejecting this idea of "us vs. them" and voting libertarian. Hateful nasty democrats like you are driving more people to the logical choice that will lead us iut of this quagmire.

      December 16, 2013 at 4:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • yeah, but

      You act as if libertarian is an alternative between two other extremes, but it's not. Not until the libertarian party becomes a true third party and not just another fringe element of the republican party, like the Tea Party. Those righty extremists spew just as much vitriol and venom as their leftie counterparts.

      December 16, 2013 at 4:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • I can answer that quetion, too

      Where do you see me spewing any vitriol? You righties make me laugh. Just because I point out a few facts, I'm spewing vitriol and venom. lmao. Where do you guys come up with this crap? I have friends of all colors. I do not resent anyone, except ppl who throw "so-called" facts around like they are the truth. Yeah, I do have a problem with that. Just keep trying to persuade the uninformed, because you will get nowhere with me. I actually do follow politics, and am quite aware of what is going on in this country. I'm sure you will have another witty comeback, but try to stick to the truth the next time. The truth will set you free, you won't actually look like an idiot this time. Or not.

      December 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • in fact

      You are more delusional than I thought. Keep taking your meds and going to counseling.

      December 16, 2013 at 7:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      What's so delusional with what that guy had to say? He seems to know more than you. Hate to tell you this, buddy, nobody is as delusional as the GOP, and anyone who believes their crap.

      December 16, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Report abuse |
    • Fred

      Obvious troll is obvious. You fell for it again. No use in trying to explain it to you. Your head would explode.

      December 16, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  22. Firsty the Snowman

    It's good to be firsty !

    December 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  23. Firsty the Snowman

    😃😃😃😃😃😃YAAAAY YOU ARE THE Champion😃😃😃😃😃❄️

    December 13, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Report abuse |
  24. Ffffffffffffffffffffff....


    December 13, 2013 at 3:07 pm | Report abuse |

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