Comedian and actress Melissa Villaseñor made history today (September 12) when NBC announced her as one of three new “Saturday Night Live” (“SNL”) cast members, making her the late night sketch staple’s first ever female actor who is publically billed as Latinx (Noël Wells, who appeared on the show’s 2013-2014 season, is half Tunisian and one-quarter Mexican, according to Remezcla).
The Mexican-American actress’ arrival comes as the show still publicly struggles with issues of diversity and representation. She is only the third Latinx featured player, following Horatio Sanz and Fred Armisen.
Villaseñor, along with comedians Mikey Day and Alex Moffat, will join the show as featured cast members, effectively filling the spots Jay Pharoah, Taran Killam and John Rudnitsky vacated last month. All three will make their debut on the show’s October 1 season premiere.
Villaseñor’s best-known on-air appearance to date is from “America’s Got Talent,” where she made it to the finals during the show’s sixth season. She has also voiced characters on Cartoon Networks’ “Adventure Time,” worked with video network Más Mejor and performed her stand-up comedy across the country.
Check out her “America’s Got Talent” trial performance above, in which she impersonates Barbara Walters, Natalie Portman and Christina Aguilera.