Sasheer Zamata

Sasheer Zamata born May 6, 1986. She is know professionally as Sasheer Zamata, is an American actress and comedian. She is a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Her first appearance on the show was January 18, 2014.

Zamata was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and is a 2004 graduate of Pike High School. She is the daughter of Ivory Steward and a father who was a lieutenant colonel in the Air Force. She attended the University of Virginia, and graduated in 2008 with a Bachelor of Arts degree. Zamata was a founding member of the University’s long-form improv comedy troupe, Amuse Bouche.

Zamata has performed regularly at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre in New York City since 2009. Zamata co-starred in the ABC News hidden camera series Primetime: Would You Fall For That? She was a cast member on MTV’s series Hey Girl. Zamata has also appeared in sketches on Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell and Inside Amy Schumer. She stars in the webseries Pursuit of Sexiness. Additionally, she has appeared in sketches for CollegeHumor.

Videos on Zamata’s YouTube channel include impersonations of Michelle Obama, Rihanna, Nicki Minaj, Tyra Banks, and Beyoncé

In 2014, Zamata joined the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live (SNL) during its 39th season. She joined the SNL cast amid a season in which black cast members Jay Pharoah and Kenan Thompson, TV critics, and other black comedians had criticized Saturday Night Live for not being ethnically diverse (specifically, not hiring any black female cast members at the start of the new season and only having five of them in the near-40 years the show has been on the air). Zamata is the first black female cast member on SNL since Maya Rudolph departed midway through the show’s 33rd season in 2007.

Zamata debuted on SNL as a featured player in the January 18 episode hosted by Drake, in which she impersonated Rihanna. Her debut received positive reactions. She was promoted to repertory player in the first episode of Season 41.