Sasheer Zamata went live from New York on Saturday night. Saturday Night Live, that is.
Zamata, whose hiring made much fanfare because she is the first African-American female cast member since Maya Rudolph left the show in 2007, kicked off her regular gig on SNL with the words "Mazel Tov." It was during host and musical guest Drake's opening monologue-skit that fans got their first glimpse of cast member Zamata on the SNLstage.
While much reaction on social media was about the rapper's first hosting stint on the NBC show, Zamata drew attention even before the broadcast as controversy began in the fall over the lack of diversity in the SNL cast. The announcement of her hiring in early January made headlines. Celebrities, including recent guest host and Scandalactress Kerry Washington and regular cast member Bobby Moynihan, expressed theirsupport of the selection.
During her debut, Zamata showed the range of characters she could bring to the regular Saturday night party in more sketches: She did a Rihanna-Blossom impression and played a pre-teen who hosted a sleepover in which Drake played her father.