There seems to be new faces popping up on each season of NBC's Saturday Night Live, but this year they've added a little more diversity to the lineup: the first Latina cast member.
Melissa Villaseñor, who is of Mexican descent, will join the show for its 42nd season, alongside other newcomers Alex Moffat and Mikey Day. Villaseñor follows Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen as only the third comedian of Hispanic descent to join the cast of SNL.
"I did my high school talent show with a few impressions, and that was when I felt it," she told The Daily Dot. "It went so great that I realized this is what I am supposed to be doing, at 15 years old. It was a powerful feeling—I felt like there were flames in my chest." Villaseñor got her start in stand-up comedy soon after finishing high school and got her first real break when she reached the semifinals on the sixth season of America's Got Talent.
Villaseñor then went on to do voiceover work for several television shows, including Family Guy and Adventure Time. Her incredible impressions can be seen on her web series Más Mejor, which is a digital comedy studio launched by SNL production company Broadway Video and aimed at finding new Latino talent. From Hillary Clinton to Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and fellow SNL cast members Kristin Wiig and Sarah Silverman, Villaseñor definitely knows how to bring a character to life. Check out her Jennifer Lopez impression:
As celebrated as Villaseñor's appointment to Saturday Night Live has been, it's also been marred by some controversy. Before the announcement that she would be added to this season's cast went out, her Twitter profile went to unlisted, where it seems she deleted more than 2,000 tweets, several of which were allegedly considered racist.
I'm excited about the first latina on SNL but not gonna lie: deleting 2K tweets in 5 days is... odd. pic.twitter.com/p7D5Alm6qE— Aura Bogado (@aurabogado) September 17, 2016
Neither Villaseñor nor Saturday Night Live have commented on the tweets.
Despite this, Villaseñor's addition to SNL should be a welcome change for a show that has started the careers of many talented comedians.
Photo by: Eric Johnson Ejohnsonphoto.com