SNL’s New Cast: Who Will Pass As Which Race This Season

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Racist SNL gif(via)

As I hope you're aware, if you saw the delightfully nip-slippy promos, Saturday Night Live returns tomorrow night with host Tina Fey and musical guest Arcade Fire and we. are. excited. The show lost a bunch of performers last year: Jason Sudeikis, Fred Armisen, and Bill Hader all left the show, Seth Meyers will be leaving early next year to host Late Night, and Tim Robinson is being moved to the writing staff. So that's five white guys leaving the show, and with all the backlash SNL has been getting lately about its lack of diversity, I just knew that it would be replacing those dudes with some people of color. I just knew it.

But then I started looking through the new roster of players — Mike O'Brien is being added as a performer in addition to writing for the show, and the show has hired new cast members Beck BennetKyle Mooney, Noël Wells, and John Milhiser — and I was like myyyy goodness, what a lot of white humans we're adding to this situation. It's almost like diversity isn't a concern at all! But that simply can't be, so I decided to take a closer look at each cast member, and really get to the bottom of exactly what we're working with, here. A full breakdown of who comes from what background and the races they'll likely be asked to play.

Or, if you're lazy like me, you can just look at this helpful chart:

WHITE: 11 people
BLACK: 2 people
JEWISH: 1 and 1/4 person
IRANIAN: 1 person
TUNISIAN: 1/2 person
HISPANIC: 1/4 person
‘BOHEMIAN': 1/4 person

Why you ignorant little kidney beans! With all that complaining you were doing, I bet you didn't realize that African-Americans were the second most highly-represented demographic in the cast! I bet you feel really silly now, now that you realize there's an 11:2 ratio of white people to black people on the show, just like in America, as proven by the 2010 Census*. What a lot of egg on your face. Let's break this down to brass tacks so you can feel even more foolish.



Vanessa Bayer G Shock The World August 8 2013 New York City NY(Photo: WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / Jewish / American
Vanessa may be white, but she is also Jewish, so she is allowed to portray Jacob the Bar Mitzvah boy on Weekend Update and can wear just as many prosthetic noses as she wants without offending anyone.


Seth Meyers NBC Upfronts May 13 2013 New York City NY(Photo: Joel Ginsburg/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: Ashkenazi Jewish from his paternal grandfather, Bohemian from his paternal grandmother, and Swedish, English, and German from his mother.
Another white human being, Seth's European melting pot background allows him to play…himself, at the Weekend Update desk.


Taran Killam The Worlds End Premiere Los Angeles California August 22 2013(Photo: Nikki Nelson/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Taran is white, but he also has a youthful face, so he can play kids without kid's right organizations getting up-in-arms.


Bobby Moynihan Monster's University World Premiere June 17 2013 Hollywood California(Photo: FayesVision/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
He's already the fourth white person on the list, but because he's a bigger guy and has curly hair, Bobby is allowed to expand his repertoire play Italian-Americans. Don't worry, I checked.


Nasim Pedrad NBC Fall 2013 Launch Party September 16 2013 New York City NY(Photo: Try CW/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: Iranian / American
Please try to keep your heartbeat to a reasonable level, but we've just come across the first person of color on the show. Nasim was born in Iran, ergo she can play any and every ethnicity, from Chinese to Greek. Still advisable not to place this cast member in black face, but you do you, Lorne Michaels.


Jay Pharoah iHeartRadio Music Festival September 22 2013 Las Vegas Nevada(Photo: Judy Eddy/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: Black / American
His skin tone enables Jay to play Latin American, specifically Dominican, very readily, but he should be asked to play Barack Obama only if Fred Armisen is unavailable.


Kenan Thompson Arrives at NBC Studios February 7 2012 New York City NY(Photo: WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: Black / American
Probably the busiest member of the cast, as he's the only person on-set (or in the world!!!!) who can play an African-American woman.


Beck Bennet Fresh Perspectives(Photo: Youtube)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
My apologies for not knowing more about Beck, but we haven't seen him in action yet. I'm assuming he'll be really great at playing tall, white, Jason Sudeikis businessman types.


Aidy Bryant NBC Fall Launch Party September 16 2013 New York City NY(Photo: Try CW/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Excellent at playing marginalized, self-conscious characters, due to her gender and weight. Should never be used for anything else.


Kate McKinnon NBCUniversal Summer Press Day April 22 2013 Los Angeles California(Photo: Brian To/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Probably the best-utilized person in the cast, so let's make sure we keep her as a featured player and lean heavily on the fact that she's a lesbian even in unrelated sketches.


John Milhiser Impatient Man(Photo: Youtube)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Again, I apologize for not being able to find out more about the new cast members, but John attended my alma mater, Hofstra, so that's enough street cred to join Vanessa Bayer in a bar mitzvah sketch, should that become necessary.


Kyle Mooney Roomies Video(Photo: Youtube)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Please fill me in if you know anything I don't, but a cursory scan of Kyle suggests that he's another Caucasian guy joining the cast. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I hope I'm not because I think we're only at six white dudes so far.


Mike O'Brien 7 Minutes In Heaven Video(Photo: Youtube)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White/American
Phew, seven. What a relief.


Cecily Strong Hands On A Hard Body Opening March 21 2013 New York City NY(Photo: Joseph Marzullo/WENN)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Okay yes, Cecily is white, but she also has dark hair! So she can officially play any and every character of Latin American descent so the show doesn't have to hire anyone matching that description.


Noel Wells as Michelle Bachman(Photo: Youtube)

Ethnicity / Nationality: 1/2 Tunisian, 1/4 Hispanic
You guys! We officially have a whole quarter of a Hispanic person on the show, and half of a Tunisian person! Diversity is raining down from the sky like cats and dogs! This will be perfect! I bet Noel can play Asian people so the show doesn't have to break their streak of not hiring Asian-Americans, and plus she has a fancy ‘e' in her name, so the world is pretty much her oyster, y'know? This is turning out great!


Brooks Wheelan Guitar Vine(Photo: Twitter)

Ethnicity / Nationality: White / American
Annnnd eight. What a relief. Looks like we get to pioneer a bunch of those Anglo-centric dude scenes that SNL is always taking so much heat for not doing.

See, you guys! Don't you feel silly for saying there was no diversity on the show! You idiot! There are only eight white guys, four white ladies, and we're sooooo gravy with a whole two African-Americans and almost an entire Hispanic person! Well played, casting! I was worried we wouldn't have to have anyone in brown-face this season, but it looks like we still have it covered.