After being on the air for 41 years, Saturday Night Live (SNL) has hired its first Latina cast member, Melissa Villaseñor.
Melissa is originally from Whittier, CA and has been in the comedy business for a while. In an interview with the Daily Dot, Melissa spoke about discovering her love of impressions when she was 15 years old. After performing in a high school talent show, Melissa knew she wanted to pursue comedy as a career and started doing just that.
In 2009, she auditioned on “America’s Got Talent” and made it to the top 16. While she did not end up winning, Melissa continued to do impressions on stage and online. Currently, Melissa makes youtube videos on her own channel and on the Más Mejor channel. Usually, her videos showcase her hilarious impressions of celebrities like Owen Wilson and Jennifer Lopez.
When she is not making videos, Melissa can often be found doing stand up comedy. During her shows, Melissa often talks about her Mexican-American identity. In particular, Melissa talks about funny family moments that many Latinxs can relate to. Melissa’s abuelita impression will seriously make you LOL.
I cannot wait to see what Melissa will bring to SNL skits!
While there are still many more steps that need to be taken in order for Latinx voices to be represented in media, Melissa’s involvement with SNL is definitely a step forward. I really do believe that Melissa’s work will inspire the young Latinxs to take chances and explore their talents. You never know, you could be the next person shouting the famous words: “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”