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Latina Comedienne Melissa Villaseñor Joins SNL Cast

Melissa Villaseñor has over 10 years of comedy experience. She has headlined over 100 clubs and colleges around the country
First Impressions - Season 1
Season:1 -- with Melissa VillasenorUSA Network / NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

There is a new Latina in town that will be making audiences laugh on Saturday nights.

Comedienne Melissa Villaseñor joins Saturday Night Live as their first Latina cast member.

The California native has over 10 years of comedy experience. She has headlined over 100 clubs and colleges around the country and was a top 16 finalist on the 6th season of NBC’s “America’s Got Talent.”

She is best known for her Owen Wilson, Jennifer Lopez, Kristin Wiig, Hillary Clinton and Sonia Sotomayor impressions.

Villaseñor’s hiring comes after public criticism of SNL's lack of diverse actors and writers. The show also came under fire from Hispanic groups for inviting Donald Trump to host the show shortly after his controversial comments about Mexicans and immigrants at the start of his presidential campaign bid.

In January, Lorne Michael’s Broadway Video Enterprises launched Más Mejor, a digital initiative, created to bring more Latino comedians into the scene and to engage Latino millennials. Villaseñor was one of those comedians recruited for this initiative.

In 2009, Villaseñor auditioned for SNL in front of Lorne Michaels, but did not get a part. She reflected on her experience in a Facebook post.

“So I did not get it, but I am perfectly fine with that because I know I have so much to work on and learn. SNL is one of the main reasons why I started comedy at 15 and I pray to be there someday when I am ready and have even more to offer,” she wrote.

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Seven years later, Villaseñor will form part of the SNL cast.

Watch Villaseñor and the other two newest members of Saturday Night Live, Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, as they make their SNL debut on Oct. 1on NBC.

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