Cornell will welcome yet another Saturday Night Live comedian to campus Nov. 4, when actor Jay Pharoah performs in Statler Auditorium, the Cornell University Program Board announced Wednesday.
Pharoah, born Jared Farrow, is best known for his stand-up comedy routines and impressions of celebrities including President Barack Obama, Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, Denzel Washington and Kanye West. He also plays the recurring role of school principal Daniel Frye on SNL.
In the SNL season premiere Sept. 15, Pharoah made his debut as the show’s new Obama for the 2012 election season. He replaced SNL veteran Fred Armisen, who had played Obama on the show since 2008.
Pharoah will round out a trifecta of recent performances at Cornell by SNL stars. Comedians Seth Meyers and Kenan Thompson performed stand-up routines at Bailey Hall, in March and April, respectively.
Tajwar Mazhar ’13, executive chair of CUPB, said the organization was not specifically seeking another SNL star to perform on campus when it selected Pharoah.
“It wasn’t something on purpose. We were looking at a few options, but he seemed like the most popular,” she said. “It’s not something intentional, but [SNL] is one of the few mainstream showcases for comedic talent.”
Pharoah, 25, is now in his third season of SNL after joining the cast at the start of the show’s 36th season in 2010. He began his career performing at local comedy clubs, and his past experience includes sketch comedy series “Charlie Murphy’s Crash Comedy” and BET’s “One Mic Stand.”
Pharoah will perform a stand-up routine and showcase his celebrity impressions Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. in Statler Auditorium.
“He does really good [impressions]. His Obama and his Denzel Washington are kind of incredible,” Mazhar said. “Apparently his Kanye West is really good too.”
General admission tickets to the show will be sold at $10. Tickets will be available for purchase Oct. 23 at cornellconcerts.com.