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‘Saturday Night Live’ Re-Casts The President With A Pharoah

Saturday Night Live Barack Obama Jay Pharoah Fred Armisen
NBC / Stephen Lovekin, Getty Images

Earlier today we were ecstatic to confirm the news that longtime ‘Saturday Night Live‘ star Jason Sudeikis would stick with the NBC sketch-comedy series through another season, rather than depart with Andy Samberg, Kristen Wiig and Abby Elliott.  Now, as ‘Saturday Night Live’ prepares to launch season 38 this Saturday night, we have even more turnover to report, though this time internally.  Fred Armisen will be stepping down from the role of President Barack Obama, but who will take his place?

It looks like ‘Saturday Night Live’ will Barack the boat when it premieres its new season on Satuday, September 15, undergoing a change in sketch-comedy leadership.  Series staple Fred Armisen will step down from his role as Barack Obama, an impersonation he’d performed since 2008, to be replaced with fellow series star Jay Pharoah.

The news was first reported in a New York Times interview with ‘SNL’ creator and  NBC honcho Lorne Michaels, who explains, “Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own.  I just thought it might be time to shake it up.”  Not to worry about Armisen’s role in the series however, as Michaels described him as “the backbone of the show.”

Pharoah’s casting will surely be a boon to ‘SNL’s upcoming political satires, which will include prime-time political specials on September 20 and 27.  Today’s earlier announcement that Jason Sudeikis would be sticking with the series also means that Pharoah will have both Sudeikis’ Joe Biden and Mitt Romney impersonations to play off of.

‘Saturday Night Live’ premiere’s its 38th season this weekend, with host Seth MacFarlane and musical guest Frank Ocean.

Check out Jay Pharoah’s Barack Obama impression in the clip below (beginning 7:00), and tell us what you think of the ‘Saturday Night Live’ swap in the comments!

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