'SNL's Sasheer Zamata and 5 Other Rising Comediennes of Color That You Need to Follow

Last Saturday marked Sasheer Zamata's second show as this season's new SNL cast member. And, with just two episodes under her belt, she's already shown the world she has what it takes to navigate the murky waters she's in. (Just take her first sketch, which also starred Kenan Thompson. Wonder how he feels about her readiness.)

In honor of the fact that Zamata is totally killin' it, check out these five comediennes of color that have been making us laugh long before SNL decided to finally diversify its whitewashed cast. Lorne Michaels, are you listening?

Jessica Williams

Neilson Barnard/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

As the first female of color to land a correspondent role on The Daily Show (bad ass!), Williams has quickly become my favorite correspondent. It took a while for her to find her voice but now that she has, I’m hooked. Her bits on the show addressing frustrating race issues are always subversive, nuanced, and, of course, hilarious. Just see The Real Cinco De Mayo.

Let’s hope she brings some of her badassery to Girls .

Sayjal Joshi

Second City is no stranger to the comedy scene. The 50+-year old-comedy factory has produced comedic greats like Tina Fey and Stephen Colbert.

A rising star in the current Second City community is Sayjal Joshi. She’s an actress, improviser, stand-up comedian, and adorable. She currently stars in Mayor’s Aide, an original Second City Web series, and can be found kicking comedic ass all over the greater Chicago area.

Image: http://sayjaljoshi.weebly.com/

Veronica Osorio

After watching her character reel, which featured a spot-on impression of Aubrey Plaza, Osorio instantly became my new favorite female comedian. Of course, as a fellow Venezuelan, I might be tad biased. But it fills my heart with so much delight to see a UCB performer address race issues that are specific to young Latinas.

To boot, Osorio also made fun of one of my (and I’m sure your) least favorite stereotypes, The Manic Pixie Dream Girl, making the comedienne really, truly dreamy.

Image: http://vaov.wordpress.com/

Nicole Byer

A current cast member of MTV’s Girl Code, Nicole Byer is Sasheer Zamata’s partner in crime. The two comediennes have been friends since they performed alongside one another at UCB and starred in their own Web series, The Pursuit of Sexiness.

Unfortunately, Byer didn’t join Zamata on her next venture, despite also having secretly auditioned for SNL. Anyone who, like myself, was lucky enough to watch her audition at The Groundlings in Los Angeles last year could attest to her talent, and, likely, how close she came to securing a spot in Studio 8H. Even though she wasn’t chosen as the new SNL cast member, it’s inevitable that she’ll make it big very soon. Like tomorrow.

Image: MTV

Akilah Hughes

Another UCB performer, Akilah Hughes is all kinds of talented. She writes, she acts, she blogs, she photographs, she basically dominates the Internet. Her website features her varied interests, ranging from hair to make-up to race issues. Her YouTube channel, smoothiefreak, is a must-subscribe. Unless, of course, you hate funny pop culture reviews or poignant relatable content on being a twentysomething woman in NYC.

Top hits include, 20- Something Friday and Meet Your First Black Girlfriend. Watch!