LORNE MICHAELS announced SNL changes for the opening Saturday night this week. It includes African American Jay Pharoah taking over the job of portraying President Barack Obama, which was formerly played by Fred Armisen. There had been continual puzzlement on why a black man wasn’t playing the President and now we’ll get a new look at what SNL can offer on Obama.
The show’s creator and guiding hand (as executive producer) for most of its history, Mr. Michaels said in an interview in his office at Rockefeller Center that he has looked forward to campaign years going back to 1976, when Gerald R. Ford and Jimmy Carter were running for the White House.
“We had that line that year: ‘I was told there’d be no math,’ which defined something,” Mr. Michaels recalled. “It was our first time through it; we came on after Watergate. Politics was something we felt we needed to pay attention to.”