Jay Pharoah Says He Wasn't Appreciated On Saturday Night Live

It's hard to believe it's been nearly a year since the somewhat shocking departures of Jay Pharoah and Taran Killam from Saturday Night Live.

Jay Pharoah is scheduled to perform at Carolines On Broadway in New York City on April 14 and April 15.

"You go where you're appreciated", he said of his departure in August before the current season began.

'And if you have multiple people on the cast saying things like you're so talented and you're so able and they don't use you and it's unfair and it's making us feel bad because they don't use you and you're a talent'.

But now, in a new interview with Hot 97, Pharoah explained that SNL "gave up" on Obama long before his termination.


Talking to Hot 97 DJs Rosenberg and Laura Stylez, Pharoah relayed the complex feelings of respect (for Lorne Michaels, mainly) and defiance he feels in the wake of his six-season run on SNL. "That's not me." Pharoah says they couldn't understand why he would be so opposed to wearing the dress, wondering, "'What?! "Whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do", he added.

"I was at the audition and me speaking up, they were ready to get rid of me in 2013 when I spoke up", he said about the casting call for African-American women. Pharaoh also claimed that he almost lost his job back in 2013 after pushing the show to diversify and get more black people on as cast members and other talent. "I'm fiery too... I'm not a yes n--a".

Pharoah said he believes the controversy led to "SNL" bringing on Sasheer Zamata and Leslie Jones, who are both African American. "We on good graces and everything".

Pharoah may have gotten the boot, but he's gonna do fine: his next project is starring in Showtime's White Famous, a comedy based on Jamie Foxx's experience as a young black upstart whose entertainment career is skyrocketing into "white famous" territory.

  • Kyle Peterson