10 talented black women “SNL” could hire

The show admits it needs black women and aims to hire one in the "near future." Here are some great candidates SLIDE SHOW

Topics: slideshow, SNL, black comics, racial diversity, Comedy, Editor's Picks,

10 talented black women "SNL" could hireAzie Dungey in her Web series "Ask a Slave"

After many criticized “Saturday Night Live” for hiring six white cast members, most of them male, and three current and former “SNL” performers spoke out about the baffling lack of people of color on the sketch show, “SNL” has finally admitted that it needs more racial diversity. Show producer Lorne Michaels told the AP that “It’s not like it’s not a priority for us,” adding, “It will happen. I’m sure it will happen.”

On Saturday, “SNL” went one step further and poked fun of itself in a sketch that said, “We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the near future … unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first.”

Now that “SNL” has responded to its critics, let’s hope the show makes good on its promise. Here’s a list of 10 black comediennes to help the show’s producers get started on their search:



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    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Darmirra Brunson

    Darmirra Brunson tops the list of black female comics who should be considered for "SNL." Current cast member Jay Pharoah told theGrio that "SNL" producers "need to pay attention" and hire her. "Why do I think she should be on the show?" he said. "Because she’s black first of all, and she’s really talented. She’s amazing. She needs to be on 'SNL.' I said it. And I believe they need to follow up with it like they said they were going to do last year.” Brunson's impersonations of Beyoncé, Rihanna and Nicki Minaj and have collectively gathered more than 3 million views on YouTube.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Jessica Williams

    "Daily Show" correspondent Jessica Williams, who also performs sketch comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, is a natural fit for "SNL." Though the actress and comedian is occupied with her current role, in 2012 she told Variety that she's open to a myriad of opportunities in the comedy world.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Sasheer Zamata

    Sasheer Zamata, a performer at Upright Citizens Brigade, is a triple threat in comedy, able to write hilarious sketches, perform improv and do great stand-up. In this clip, Zamata tells a true story about the time she met a flasher.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Franchesca Ramsey

    With 10 million views on YouTube for her "Shit White Girls Say" parody video , there is a good chance Franchesca Ramsey has already made you laugh. The video blogger produces two original videos a week on a channel that has 150,000 subscribers and work that has been featured on MTV and NPR. She's already got an audience -- now it's time for Ramsey to get a stage.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Nicole Byer

    Nicole Byer, star of MTV's "Girl Code," is also an Upright Citizens Brigade performer and has appeared on "30 Rock" and "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon."

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Nicole Randall Johnson

    "SNL" alum Jerry Minor named former "MADtv" star Nicole Randall Johnson as a prime candidate for "SNL." On MADtv, Johnson gained fame for her recurring characters, Darnell and Ka-son, but also did a host of celebrity impersonations like Oprah Winfrey, Queen Latifah and Tyra Banks.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Issa Rae

    "Awkward Black Girl" creator Issa Rae may be overcommitted, working on transforming her Web series into a television show on HBO, but the comedian is certainly "ready" for "SNL" and is a talent worth keeping an eye on.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Nyima Funk

    Second City alum Nyima Funk has appeared on "Whose Line Is It Anyway" and Comedy Central's "Key & Peele." Funk's sketch, "Nyima Funk is NOT ready to be on SNL," has been the best response to Kenan Thompson's claim that black female comics just aren't ready for the show.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Marina Franklin

    Up-and-comer Marina Franklin has appeared on nearly a dozen comedy shows, including "Chappelle's Show," Wanda Sykes' "Herlarious" and "NBC’s Last Comic Standing Season II." She's a staple at comedy festivals around the country, so hopefully it's only a matter of time before Franklin is a regular on television.

    10 black women "SNL" should consider

    Azie Dungey

    NYU grad Azie Dungey took her experiences working as "a time-traveling black girl" at a historical site into popular Web series "Ask a Slave." Dungey, who played a wide variety of women, including Martha Washington’s enslaved lady’s maid Caroline Branham, saw the comedy in the racial tension that she experienced on a daily basis -- a unique perspective that would broaden the scope of "SNL."

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Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

    On Wednesday, September 10th Amanda Stern partnered with Salon to relaunch The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series. We had the pleasure of hosting authors Leslie Jamison, Zadie Smith, and Matthew Thomas, artist Edwina White, and musician Emily Wells. Moleskine, Greenlight Bookstore, and Plymouth Gin were event partners.

    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

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    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

    On Wednesday, September 10th Amanda Stern partnered with Salon to relaunch The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series. We had the pleasure of hosting authors Leslie Jamison, Zadie Smith, and Matthew Thomas, artist Edwina White, and musician Emily Wells. Moleskine, Greenlight Bookstore, and Plymouth Gin were event partners.

    Photos from the Happy Ending Salon

    On Wednesday, September 10th Amanda Stern partnered with Salon to relaunch The Happy Ending Music and Reading Series. We had the pleasure of hosting authors Leslie Jamison, Zadie Smith, and Matthew Thomas, artist Edwina White, and musician Emily Wells. Moleskine, Greenlight Bookstore, and Plymouth Gin were event partners.

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