Garrett Morris, first Black SNL cast member, gets star on Hollywood walk

Garrett Morris received his star on his 87th birthday Thursday, nearly 50 years after he debuted on the iconic sketch comedy show.

Garrett Morris, the first Black “Saturday Night Live” cast member has joined the growing list of celebrities who are honored with a Hollywood Walk of Fame star for making significant contributions to the entertainment industry.

Morris received his star on his 87th birthday Thursday – almost 50 years after he debuted as the first-ever Black cast member of the iconic sketch comedy show.

“I got this news at 86 years old!” Morris told People. “But still, whenever it comes [it] is all right. I’m grateful.”

Garrett Morris
Garrett Morris attends a ceremony honoring him with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)

The New Orleans native said he never imagined being on “Saturday Night Live.” He grew up in his grandfather’s dirt-poor Southern Baptist church, where, at the age of four, he joined the choir, People reported.

He relocated to New York to become a Broadway star, landing a gig with the Harry Belafonte Folk Singers.

Morris, also a playwright, started on SNL as a writer until creator Lorne Michaels recognized some of his routines needed a Black actor. Morris helped recruit.


“Gilda Radner and Laraine Newman, they told Lorne Michaels, ‘Hey you’ve got Garrett bringing in these actors, but he’s an actor himself,'” recalled Morris. “So he called me and offered me the job, but I told him I’d only do it on the condition that I didn’t also have to be a writer,” he told People.

Morris’ would go on to portray memorable characters, including a pastor organizing a “White Guilt Relief Fund” and “News for the Hard of Hearing” as a segment on “Weekend Update,”

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