"SNL" Switches Obama, Hands Role to Jay Pharoah

Pharoah joined the show in 2010, and has since stood out for his impressions of Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith.

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012  |  Updated 10:24 PM CDT
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"SNL" Switches Obama, Hands Role to Jay Pharoah

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Jay Pharoah, pictured here at the "Men In Black 3" New York Premiere after party, joined "SNL" in 2010.

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"Saturday Night Live" has elected a new Barack Obama: Jay Pharoah will take over the plum role of impersonating the president.

"SNL" creator and executive producer Lorne Michaels announced the casting switch in an interview with The New York Times posted Wednesday. Michaels said it was time "to shake it up."

Veteran cast member Fred Armisen has played Obama since 2008. Pharoah joined the show in 2010, and has since stood out for his impressions of Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith.

Michaels also said that Jason Sudeikis will remain with the show at least until January, and will continue to play Obama's Republican opponent, Mitt Romney.

The 38th season of "SNL" premieres Saturday with host Seth MacFarlane, creator of "Family Guy," and musical guest Frank Ocean.

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