When it comes to black comediennes, is the talent pool just too small for the estimable Saturday Night Live to pick from? Or, are there plenty of well-suited candidates out there that have been overlooked, as cast member Jay Pharoah has suggested? In any event, the debate has created an opportunity for SNL to do what it does best: poke fun at itself with wit and charm.
Saturday night's cold open, starring host Kerry Washington, had the Scandal actress playing Michelle Obama, Oprah Winfrey, and Beyoncé, all within a matter of minutes. SNL has no black female cast members this season to take on these high-profile role, so Washington graciously stepped on and off camera, entering as a new woman each time.
During one of these costume changes, SNL's producers took a moment to apologize to Washington: "We make this request both because Ms. Washington is an actress of considerable range and talent, and also because "SNL" does not currently have a black woman in the cast. We agree this is not an ideal situation and look forward to rectifying it in the future...unless, of course, we fall in love with another white guy first."
To emphasize the point, six different Matthew McConaugheys — read: six white, male cast members — stop by to see Obama. All right, all right, all right. And, what have we learned from this sketch? In the words of Reverend Al Sharpton, who popped on screen for a quick cameo at the end, "As usual, nothing." (USA Today)