Those of you who witnessed the bliss that was the Kerry Washington-led episode of Saturday Night Live know that the show began with a humorous apology to Ms. Washington for the amount of black female characters she was going to play that night to make up for the show’s glaring lack of black female players. Now that apology has snowballed into a string of immediate and impressive actions on SNL’s part with the recent hire of Brooklyn-based comedienne Sasheer Zamata and now, according to the Hollywood Reporter, two black writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones.
The pair were discovered through the same audition process that led to Zamata’s hiring and for now they’ll do mostly off-screen work, but as Tina Fey-ophiles know, writers becoming players is not unheard of.
Both have ample sketch comedy experience with Jones coming from L.A.’s Comedy Store and making appearances on The League and Def Jam Comedy as well as the stand-up comedy circuit. Tookes is a news reporter-turned-comedienne (“Weekend Update,” anyone?) who regularly appears at io West.
This is definitely a positive and significant turn for SNL and come January 18th we’ll see the new hires in action when Drake hosts and performs. Good luck, ladies!