Live, from Virginia!

In our 2016 Best of Virginia issue, we took a look at the talents of Tina Fey and other Virginia representatives on Saturday Night Live

Sasheer Zamata (far right) and Jay Pharaoh (second from right) on the set of SNL.

Since it first aired in 1975, Saturday Night Live has been a national showcase for comedic talent. Among its roster have been a few of Virginia’s own: 

1992 UVA grad Tina Fey starred on SNL from 2001-2006, and served as the show’s head writer before leaving to lead her own show on NBC, 30 Rock. She is currently the producer of the Netflix series Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt.

 Chesapeake native Jay Pharoah studied business at Tidewater Community College and VCU before joining the cast of SNL in 2010. He graduated from Indian River High School in 2005, and has said that he models his character, “Principal Daniel Frye,” on James Frye, the school’s longtime principal (Pharoah asked for permission first).

You won’t see Bettie O. Rogers onstage, but you’ll certainly see her handiwork. The VCU theater alumna is SNL’s head hairstylist—you have her to thank for the bright orange hairpiece Darrell Hammon dons as Donald Trump. 

Sasheer Zamata graduated from UVA in 2008, where she helped found the improv comedy troupe Amuse Bouche. She joined the SNL cast in 2014 and also performs in the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. NBC.com/Saturday-Night-Live 


See all of our Best of Virginia 2016 winners here!

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