Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Tonight is Sasheer Zamata's highly anticipated Saturday Night Live debut. And, it's one for the books: She's the first black woman to join the SNL cast since Maya Rudolph's departure in 2007. Plus, two black female writers have joined the show's writing team. So, on this historic day, Business Insider reminds us that the women of SNL have been making waves for years.
Among the girl-power highlights is Jane Curtin's brilliant turn as the first female Weekend Update anchor. Curtin later made headlines when she called out John Belushi for being sexist. And, remember that time Julia Louis-Dreyfus refused to straighten her curly hair regularly for the show? Did you know that Amy Poehler was promoted from featured player to cast member in the middle of her very first season? The only other member to ever achieve that was Eddie Murphy. In the 2008-2009 season, Kristen Wiig appeared in more sketches than any other cast member. And, we don't even need to discuss the comedic powerhouse that is Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
One of the best parts about this round up is that some of the most empowering moments come courtesy of the show's male cast members. Though he admittedly made some offensive remarks about female comedians, Kenan Thompson refused to cross-dress until Lorne Michaels hired a black female cast member. And, let us not forget that when Michaels first put the show together in 1975, Gilda Radner was his first hire. Check out the full list. It's guaranteed to get you in the mood for tonight's epic show, hosted by our favorite Canadian, Drake. (Business Insider)