Meet the 11 black female comics who just auditioned for “SNL”

One of these women might join the cast in January VIDEO

Topics: Video, diversity, Comedy, SNL, Saturday Night Live, black female comics, Lorne Michaels, Race,

Meet the 11 black female comics who just auditioned for "SNL"Lorne Michaels and the eleven women who auditioned for "SNL"(Credit: AP/Jordan Strauss/flickr/Gabrielle Dennis Twitter)

Lorne Michaels has revealed that “Saturday Night Live” will add at least one — and perhaps two — black female comedians to its cast in January, following months of criticism that the show hasn’t had a single black female performer since 2007. “SNL” held a secret audition last week, and Michaels told the Times that he’s narrowed the pool down to seven or eight women, who will audition on Monday.

In photographs that circulated across the Internet on Thursday, 11 comics — some of whom Salon had suggested “SNL” consider — made the casting call. Though Deadline speculates that these are the women who have made the cut for Monday’s audition, here’s a brief introduction to those 11 women who made “SNL” history last week:

Azie Dungey

Azie Dungey, high on Salon’s shortlist for “SNL” considerations, already boasts a strong YouTube following with her “Ask a Slave” series.

Nicole Byer

It’s likely that you’ve seen the hilarious Upright Citizens Brigade performer Nicole Byer on MTV’s “Girl Code.” We hope to see her on “SNL” soon, too.

Darmirra Brunson

Jay Pharoah specifically named YouTube star Darmirra Brunson as someone that “SNL” “needs to pay attention” to. “She’s amazing,” he told theGrio in September. “She needs to be on ‘SNL.’” Brunson’s videos, which include sketch comedy, parody and celebrity impersonations, have racked up millions of views on YouTube.

Bresha Webb



Bresha Webb, trained in acting, dance and voice, is a relative newcomer to the world of stand-up comedy. Best known for her role as Imunique on TV One’s comedy “Love That Girl!,” she is also a top-notch impersonator of Tiny, wife to rapper T.I.

Gabrielle Dennis

Actress and comedian Gabrielle Dennis is perhaps best known as Janay Brice from the CW’s dramedy “The Game,” but she’s been on television since she was a kid — her first appearance was in a television movie, “A Mom for Christmas,” starring Olivia Newton-John. You can see her on the big screen in “Black Coffee,” to be released at a limited number of theaters in January.

In the clip below, Dennis is an officer for a black sorority in “Campus Ladies,” a short-lived comedy on Oxygen from 2007 that featured cameos by major comedians like Will Forte, Maya Rudolph and Jason Alexander.

Amber Ruffin

Amber Ruffin, a Second City performer and Boom Chicago member, is one-third of YouTube comedy sketch group RobotDown. The writer, producer and actress has also appeared on “Key & Peele.”

Misty Monroe

Misty Monroe is an elementary school drama teacher and improv performer at the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles. She’s had cameos on “How I Met Your Mother,” “2 Broke Girls” and Zach Galifianakis’ “Between Two Ferns” Web series.

LaKendra Tookes

LaKendra Tookes is an iOWest performer who does impersonations of Oprah, an English infomercial host and a black girl with a YouTube series.

Beth Payne

Actress and comedian Beth Payne has appeared in BET reality series “Sunday Best,” and has voiced six different characters on the animated PBS series “Maya and Miguel.” The Midwest native has toured with Charlie Murphy, opened for Michael Bolton and had cameos on “The Jamie Foxx Show.”

Simone Shepherd

You might recognize Simone Shepherd from the first season of BET’s dating show “Hell Date” in 2007, but the actress has a background in improv and sketch comedy. She’s garnered some attention from her Vine videos, creating racially charged satire in six-second clips:

Tiffany Haddish

According to her bio on Laugh Factory’s website, Tiffany Haddish was attracted to comedy as a child in foster care, and “it was her excessive talking and imaginary friends that prompted her increasingly flustered social worker to steer her into stand-up comedy.” Now, the Haddish is a successful actress and stand-up comedian, having appeared on the Laugh Factory, HBO’s “Def Comedy Jam” and Bill Bellamy’s “Who’s Got Jokes?”

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.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 17
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    John Stanmeyer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Container City: Shipping containers, indispensable tool of the globalized consumer economy, reflect the skyline in Singapore, one of the world’s busiest ports.

    Lu Guang

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Man Covering His Mouth: A shepherd by the Yellow River cannot stand the smell, Inner Mongolia, China

    Carolyn Cole/LATimes

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Angry Crowd: People jostle for food relief distribution following the 2010 earthquake in Haiti

    Darin Oswald/Idaho Statesman

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    “Black Friday” Shoppers: Aggressive bargain hunters push through the front doors of the Boise Towne Square mall as they are opened at 1 a.m. Friday, Nov. 24, 2007, Boise, Idaho, USA

    Google Earth/NOAA, U.S. Navy, NGA, GEBCO

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Suburban Sprawl: aerial view of landscape outside Miami, Florida, shows 13 golf courses amongst track homes on the edge of the Everglades.

    Garth Lentz

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Toxic Landscape: Aerial view of the tar sands region, where mining operations and tailings ponds are so vast they can be seen from outer space; Alberta, Canada

    Cotton Coulson/Keenpress

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Ice Waterfall: In both the Arctic and Antarctic regions, ice is retreating. Melting water on icecap, North East Land, Svalbard, Norway

    Yann Arthus-Bertrand

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Satellite Dishes: The rooftops of Aleppo, Syria, one of the world’s oldest cities, are covered with satellite dishes, linking residents to a globalized consumer culture.

    Stephanie Sinclair

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Child Brides: Tahani, 8, is seen with her husband Majed, 27, and her former classmate Ghada, 8, and her husband in Hajjah, Yemen, July 26, 2010.

    Mike Hedge

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Megalopolis: Shanghai, China, a sprawling megacity of 24 Million

    Google Earth/ 2014 Digital Globe

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Big Hole: The Mir Mine in Russia is the world’s largest diamond mine.

    Daniel Dancer

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Clear-cut: Industrial forestry degrading public lands, Willamette National Forest, Oregon

    Peter Essick

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Computer Dump: Massive quantities of waste from obsolete computers and other electronics are typically shipped to the developing world for sorting and/or disposal. Photo from Accra, Ghana.

    Daniel Beltra

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Oil Spill Fire: Aerial view of an oil fire following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil disaster, Gulf of Mexico

    Ian Wylie

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Slide 13

    Airplane Contrails: Globalized transportation networks, especially commercial aviation, are a major contributor of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Photo of contrails in the west London sky over the River Thames, London, England.

    R.J. Sangosti/Denver Post

    Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

    Fire: More frequent and more intense wildfires (such as this one in Colorado, USA) are another consequence of a warming planet.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

Loading Comments...