Sasheer Zamata. Photo taken by Robyn Von Swank, courtesy Sasheer.com

Who is Sasheer Zamata?

Sasheer Zamata 27, is an actress/comedienne who grabbed the attention of media around the world when she joined the cast of NBC’s Saturday Night Live.

Zamata was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana and graduated in 2004 from Pike High School. In 2009 she earned a drama degree from the University of Virginia.

She regularly performs with Upright Citizen’s Brigade in New York City. She has done standup at numerous comedy festivals including the Letterman Showcase at the North Carolina Comedy Arts Festival and Comedy Central’s Comics to Watch Showcase.

Zamata’s has also been featured on the NBC’s Today and Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell on FX, has performed in online videos for The Cooking Channel, and co-starred in the ABC News hidden camera series Primetime: Would You Fall For That?

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

After receiving  considerable backlash for not having a black female cast member for several years, NBC’s Saturday Night Live hired Sasheer Zamata as a featured player in January 2014.

Zamata made her triumphant SNL debut January 18 alongside Drake, who pulled double duty as the show’s host and musical guest.

The actress, who has been featured in The New York Times, Time Out New York, Jezebel, and Vulture, represents the fifth black SNL female cast member and the first African-American female to be a part of the show’s regular cast since Maya Rudolph left the show in November 2007.

What’s Next for Zamata?

SNL has launched the careers of some of the most successful female comediennes including Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph, Molly Shannon, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Kristen Wiig and more. Zamata is now part of comic royalty. The sky is the limit for this 27-year-old rising star.

Follow Sasheer Zamata on Twitter @thesheertruth