Jay Pharoah Opens Up About Leaving SNL: "You Go Where You're Appreciated"

Katie RamirezApr 15, 2017

"You go where you're appreciated", Pharoah told hosts Peter Rosenberg and Laura Stylez. And it's making us feel back because the don't use you, and you're like a talent.' They just, I think, they put people into boxes, and whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do.

Pharoah's Barack Obama impersonation was pitch-perfect, but once the president left office, the sketch-comedy show apparently didn't see much of a need for the amusing man. "That's not me." Pharoah says they couldn't understand why he would be so opposed to wearing the dress, wondering, "'What?!

Pharoah admitted he's a "fiery" person and noted he wasn't always willing to say yes to certain sketches when they were presented to him. "He said 'Without you wouldn't be here, and when you get onstage, carry him with you, because you can't do the performance without God'".

Pharoah also spoke in the interview about almost losing his job for speaking out about the lack of black female cast members. "Along those same lines, he pointed out that the show essentially gave up on Obama during the past year and a half that he was on, despite the series" increasingly political point of view in the run up to the election. And I was at the audition and, me speaking up, they were ready to get rid of me 2013, September, when I spoke up. Pharaoh also claimed that he almost lost his job back in 2013 after pushing the show to diversify and get more black people on as cast members and other talent. I had three characters and those impressions that went viral-I didn't really wanna do them at first, Leslie Jones talked me into do the first one [about Kevin Hart and Katt Williams].

Pharoah said he doesn't regret how he handled things with the show, and that he and executive producer Lorne Michaels don't have a problem with each other. "We're on good graces".

"Yes", he responds. "I'm the reason it happened".

Pharoah will reportedly play the lead role in "White Famous", a half-hour comedy series that has been picked up by Showtime.

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