'SNL's About to Lose Nasim Pedrad Right When They Need Her Most
Great news, everyone! Nasim Pedrad is going to be on a critically-hyped comedy show! Bad news, everyone! Nasim Pedrad might be leaving Saturday Night Live! Why, exactly? Fox has finally picked up comedian John Mulaney's untitled ensemble comedy series, which was bounced around a bunch at NBC during pilot season but ultimately didn't get picked up. Pedrad was cast in the show's pilot when it had the potential to be picked up at NBC, and now that the show has been picked up for a six-episode order by Fox, Pedrad has re-joined the cast.
The show is based off Mulaney's life as an aspiring stand-up comedian as well as the lives of his boss, roommates and neighbors. Pedrad plays Jane, one of Mulaney's roommates who's a fitness trainer "fixated on fairness and justice in her life — particularly, her romantic life."
It's good news for Pedrad, who's shown she has the talent to move on to the world of sitcoms. It's bad news for Saturday Night Live, a show that needs Pedrad, now more than ever.
The comedy variety show came under fire when all its newest hires but one were white dudes, which sparked a discussion about the glaringly obvious lack of women of color on the show. Pedrad, who's Iranian-American, is currently the only non-white woman in the show's cast, so her absence will only make the lack of diversity in the cast all the more obvious. If it's anything that SNL needs more of right now, it's women and people of color, and they'll be losing both of those when Pedrad leaves.
Not only will SNL be losing out on diversity, but they'll be losing out on the range of impersonations that their comedians can do. Since Pedrad was the only woman of color on the show, she had to impersonate everyone from M.I.A. to Maria Menounos to Nicki Minaj. With Pedrad most likely leaving the show, the best we can hope for is Kenan Thompson in drag, yet again.
But there's a possible bright side to all of this. When the show finally addressed the issue with a sketch where Kerry Washington had to do impressions of some of the most prominent black women in popular culture, their stance on the issue seemed to basically be shrugging and saying "Oh man, sorry about that! But we already hired all these people so...what are you gonna do, ya know?"
Now that Pedrad is set to leave the show, not only will they be forced to hire another cast member, but they'll be forced to fix the problem of having no women of color on the show. As much as Kenan Thompson wants to make excuses for the show, there are plenty of funny black women out there... and now Saturday Night Live has no excuse not to hire them.