NBC’s comedy show “Saturday Night Live” has added a Baltimore native to its cast in its 44th season.
Described as an “actor-writer-improviser-cupcake connoisseur from Baltimore” on the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater website, comedian Ego Nwodim will make her SNL debut on the Sept. 29 season premiere, with “Star Wars: The Last Jedi” actor Adam Driver as host and hip-hop artist Kanye West as the musical guest, according to NBC.
Nwodim graduated from Eastern Technical High School in Essex in 2006, according to a school spokeswoman, and studied biology at the University of Southern California. She was previously a regular cast member at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Los Angeles, where she performed her first one-woman show “Great Black Women … and Then There’s Me.”
NBC representatives and Nwodim’s publicist did not immediately respond to The Baltimore Sun’s requests for an interview.
Nwodim will be one of the handful of black women cast members in the comedy sketch show’s history — a notable addition following criticism for its lack of diversity.
In 2013, former cast member Jay Pharoah called the show too white. Though SNL had cast comedic powerhouse Maya Rudolph from 2000 to 2007, viewers pointed out that the show hadn’t hired a black female cast member in years.
SNL producer Lorne Michaels addressed the criticism by stating that hiring a black actress was a priority. Black comedian Sasheer Zamata was cast in 2014 (she left in 2017), and the show also hired Emmy-nominated comedian Leslie Jones as a writer and later promoted her to a featured player.
Judging from her humorous tweets alone (@eggy_boom), Nwodim shows promise.