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* has posted a list of African American women finalists who will compete next week in New York for a gig on “Saturday Night Live.”

“No one is talking,” writes Deadline’s Nellie Andreeva, “but I have compiled the names of nine young performers rumored to potentially take the ‘SNL’ stage on Monday to vie for a featured player spot on the venerable NBC sketch comedy show.

Executive Producer Lorne Michaels told The New York Times that he plans to audition 7-8 women. The in-studio test follows preliminary auditions, including one held in Los Angeles, where some 25 hopefuls we seen.

According to Deadline, here are the names on the short list for the Monday test:



Bresha Webb, whose photo from the Los Angeles audition posted online brought to light “SNL‘s” casting plans.



Tanisha Long, improv player and cast member of MTV’s “Girl Code”



Misty Monroe, who comes out of Groundlings.



Gabrielle Dennis, who recurred on BET’s “The Game” as Janay.



Amber Ruffin, member of Boom Chicago, an Amsterdam-based sketch group.



Leslie Jones, an actress-comedian.

Also possibly testing are UCB (Upright Citizens Brigade) Theatre performers: Sasheer Zamata, whose name had been floated as a suitable “SNL” candidate before, and Natasha Rothwell, who previously won an NBC Universal Diversity Scholarship; as well as Briana KC.

Michaels also told NYT that the show plans to add one black female cast member in January, with a slight chance of a second one.


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“Saturday Night Live” Reveals Shortlist of Black Female Castmembers  was originally published on