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Jay Pharoah on 'Saturday Night Live' departure: "They put people into boxes"


UPI News Service, 04/19/2017 

Jay Pharoah has spoken out about his exit from Saturday Night Live and what caused him to leave the sketch-comedy series.

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"You go where you're appreciated," the comedian said recently on New York City based radio station Hot 97.

"If you have multiple people on the cast saying things like, 'You're so talented and you're able and they don't use you and it's unfair. And it's making us feel bad, because they don't use you and you're a talent,'" he continued.

Pharoah also detailed how his impressions of Jay Z and Ben Carson put him into what he felt was an "impression box" on the show.

"They put people into boxes," the 29-year-old explained. "Whatever they want you to do, they expect you to do. And I'm fiery too... I'm not a 'yes [expletive].' That's not me."

Pharoah left "Saturday Night Live" after six years alongside fellow castmate Taran Killam in August. In terms of his relationship with famed executive producer Lorne Michaels, Pharoah says he has "no beef" towards him.

"Ain't no problem with Lorne Michaels," he said. "We on good graces and everything."

Pharoah recently paid tribute to the late Charlie Murphy while performing at Carolines on Broadway for helping him get his start in comedy.

"Charlie brought me with him to this very stage when I was only 19 ... so this is going to be an emotional night for me," he said.

"I will always miss him and thank him," Pharoah continued. "The same way he helped young comedians come up, I know that I should do the same thing, and I am definitely going to try."


Gage Skidmore


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