Jared Antonio Farrow, better known by his stage name Jay Pharoah, is an American actor, stand-up comedian, impressionist, rapper, and voice actor. He joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live in 2010, for its thirty-sixth season.
• Howie Mandel (Howard Michael "Howie" Mandel is a Canadian comedian, actor, television host, and voice actor. He...)
• Kevin Pollak (Kevin Elliot Pollak is an American actor, impressionist, game show host, and comedian. He started...)
• Simon Evans (Simon Evans, is an English comedian, born in Luton and now living in Hove.)» All Comedian Interviews
What's up Reddit?
It's Jay Pharoah, coming live from NBC Studios, home of the offices of Saturday Night Live. SNL's 40th season premiere is this Saturday with host Chris Pratt!
UPDATE AND SPECIAL SURPRISE ANNOUNCEMENT:
Thanks so much for your awesome questions, Reddit! As a reward for participating in this AMA, I've decided to give you a present: My new EP a day early!
Thanks again, and enjoy The Resurrection here: https://soundcloud.com/jaypharoah-jhullk/sets/the-resurrection/s-72eGB
If you could marry any key on the keyboard what would it be? and why is it caps lock?
Because she's constant and never changes..
I'm a big fan of yours and wanted to tell you that you're one of my favorite cast members. And I've wanted an answer to this for a long time so I'm hoping you can give me one.
On Friday, January 31, 2014, three of us entered the standby line around 4:15 PM, and we camped out overnight for a chance for tickets to the Melissa McCarthy/Imagine Dragons episode.
The next morning, we got the tickets—numbers 11, 12, and 13—for the dress rehearsal.
We slept all afternoon and returned that night, hopeful that our numbers would be lo enough for us to get in, and luckily they were. We went through the metal detector and into the elevator before making our way up to the studio.
And after some Colin Jost standup and another short performance, the show was starting. And the cold open from dress was one my my favorites ever—it was a parody of President Obama's (at the time recent) State of the Union address, which was interrupted by Justin Bieber's critique of the address. It was hilarious.
When I got home and turned the TV on, the cold open for the live show was the Super Bowl Half Time show sketch, which was funny, but not as good as the opening during dress.
So here's my question: why was this cut, and is there any way you can convince someone at NBC to release it?
THEY CUT SKETCHES FOR TIME IT JUST HAPPENS LOL.
Which impression took you the longest to master?
DENZEL 3 YEARS
Hi Jay! What part of your childhood do you think shaped your career path the most?
Jay, whowould you like to see host SNL this season/in the future? (PS I'm a big fan, I loved you in What Does My Girl Say)
THANK YOU AND EDDIE MURPHY
Hi Jay!! Are you working on any new impressions?
Do any of the SNL greats (Baldwin, Carvey, Ferrell, Sandler, MacDonald, etc..) show up randomly to assist with the show?
NOT TO ASSIST JUST TO DRINK
ATTENTION JAY AND REDDITORS!
You are an awesome addition to SNL! So far what has been your favourite skit to be a part of?
BRIDE OF BLACKENSTEIN
Hi Jay! I am a huge fan of yours(: I have two questions:
1) Were you nervous taking over as Obama, having to follow up after Fred Armisen?
2) What advice would you give someone like me who dreams of being on SNL one day?
NEVER LET ANYONE TELL YOU YOU CAN'T GET THERE
AND IT WAS NERVE RACKING HAVING THE BIGGEST ROLE OF THE SHOW CAST ON ME BUT I FEEL LIEK I'VE GROWN INTO IT
Huge fan Jay! What does my girl say is the best. Question - I saw Intramural at a film festival and loved it. What was it like on set and do you have any other cool movies coming out soon?
LOL THANKYOU, I'M IN THE NEW CHRIS ROCK FILM
What is your favourite film and how has it inspired you?
COMING TO AMERICA
Which impression do you think you are the best at and why is it Stephen A. Smith?
HAHAHA QUESTION ANSWERED I LOVE IT
If you were stuck on a desert island, would you want the mermaid to be top-half human, bottom-half fish, or top-half fish, bottom-half human?
TOP HALF FISH SO I COULD STILL GET LAID
Hi Jay! Any favorite moments backstage at SNL? Thanks! Big fan!
ELI THE MUSICAL DIRECTOR AND I COOKING AND FREESTYLING
Hi Jay! You, Taran Killam and Bobby Moynihan are some the best on SNL in recent years. Thanks for breathing some life back into it.
Anyway, who's been your favorite cast member to work with? Past or present.
THANK YOU AND I BELIEVE EVERYONE IS DOPE I LOVE WORKING WITH EVERYBODY HERE
It is my understanding that your name was originally Jay Farrow and you changed it. If it was your intention to take on the name of Egyptian royalty, how come you spelled "pharaoh" wrong?
TO MAKE YOU ASK ME THIS QUESTION RIGHT NOW
Are we going to get anymore waking up with Kimye sketches now that Nasim is leaving?
NO CLUE LOL
What impression are you working on for next season? You're one of the best on the show, keep it up, and I'm looking forward to your continued success!
Jay have you ever met Yeezus and has he made you repent for your impersonation of him?
Hahahaha, he actually called me after the VMA's but he said I did a great job he appreciates the impression and he just wanted to give me a backstory, he was very nice and cordial..we're friends now
no, but really, why?
It's a strategic marketing tool I'm using it's like the old movie theaters when they use to flash a picture of a coke to make you buy one from the concession..
Who is your favorite SNL member from the Decades before the 2000s?
Dana Carvey Mike Meyers Bill Murray Eddie Murphy
Is Mia Farrow your mom?
She's my cousin, and we're still looking for Woody Allen.
Huge fan. What has been the coolest experience with a host behind the scenes?
Robin Williams finished the lyrics of Good Music's "Ridiculous" and rapped with me..it was the most awesome thing ever
How hard would you say it was to get on SNL and what was it that got you there?
IT'S ALL LUCK AND PRAYER
Top five favourite musicians of all time? And do you have any guilty pleasures?
Jeff Beck, Louis Armstrong,Prince, Ryan Leslie,Bootsy Collins
And guilty pleasure I enjoy a woman with a nice set of legs with a nice pair of stockings lol..
Hi Jay! I love you on SNL. Who is the worst person that has hosted since you have been a cast member?
THERE WERE LIKE 4
Who makes you laugh? Are there any up-and-coming talents that you think are worth checking out?
SAM ROCKWELL, BILAL IS AMAZING AS AN ARTIST
What cast member from past seasons would have most liked to work with?
Dana Carvey one of my heroes was awesome!!
When the writers do a sketch that includes President Obama, where do you find the comedy in this public figure? Do you feel that he is too sacred to mock, or are there foibles for you to capitalize upon?
I FEEL LIKE WE FINALLY HAVE A TAKE ON HIM WELL I DO ESPECIALLY IN MY STANDUP
where did the idea come from for Principal Frye?
A 911 intercom conversation from my principal..
I love you on SNL. Your impressions are incredibly credible. I have an audition at my city's improv company next month, any advice for a novice improviser?
Don't be afraid to fail at the audition go for it and have fun..
Why are you yelling?
CLEARS THE VOCALS!
Now that you have a ep.. are you gonna do half hiphop show half stand up shows?
I'll end up doing both but continue my standup I usually do about an hour and a half of material, and I my ep is about a half hour so, it could def work brother
What did you do in your SNL audition?
Also, how is it decided which anchor on WU will interact with a character?
Super excited for season 40!
IT WAS DOPE I GUESS IT GOT ME HIRED LOL AND THEY JUST PICK THE FEATURES RANDOM
Do you prefer producing digital videos like What Does My Girl Say? or live sketches?
I LIKE BOTH BUT I'M A LYRICIST SO...YEA
Both have their qualities but the shorts go viral quicker..
What is your favorite book?
The Chosen is my fav book.. excellent read.
Do you Like SubWay Sandwiches? If you don't then kiss ma Ass
As expected hell yea!
What's the best prank you've pulled (or someone has pulled on you) while on set of SNL?
I acted like the stage people ran over my foot..shit was funny as hell to me
Jay, after the VMA's a lot of people on twitter and facebook and the like were giving you flack for your Jay-Z impersonation.. I love it personally. But my question is do you plan to work on that and do you have any other impersonations you're good at that we haven't seen yet that you might be whipping out soon? HOVA!
Work on it why? People on twitter that complain are basically unhappen with themselves and jealous of you..I have no problems with it personally
What's your favorite sketch that never aired?
SKIP AND BUPKIS
What is your favorite rap album and why is it Wu-Tang Forever?
HAHAHA honestly my favorite is back for the first time, it was the first album I owned.
Top 3 favorite rappers?
If you hadn't gotten SNL, how do you think you would've tried to progress your comedy career?
How do you respond to critics of the show who say the quality has dropped the last few years?
2. Hard work and hunger
3.Everyone is entitled to their opinion, I believe we have a talented group of artist on the show..
Hi Jay! Which host has been your favorite to work with so far and who do you hope to see host soon?
Kerry Washington was one of my fav. host and I hope we get Eddie Murphy to host..
who is your favorite character to play on SNL?
There are really to many to count really..
Hi Jay! Who is your favorite character to impersonate on Weekend Update?
Who was your favorite cast member to work with?
I'm Looking forward to season #40!!
Stephen A. Smith, and my fav cast member to work with has to be Taran and Bobby
Hey Jay!! Good luck for the new season! Chris Pratt, Sarah S and Bill H are an excellent starting trio of hosts! What happens if a cast member gets really sick and cannot do the show? Are they made to feel really bad?
No we are a nurturing show and when somebody does get sick we adjust, Hader was sick a whole week and yet he was still in the show pre-taped
Hey Jay, who is your favorite member of One Direction?
who is your favorite character to play on SNL?
Principal Frye is always fun
Hey Jay, do you think you could beat Tracy Morgan in an "acting crazy" contest or is Tracy too good?
That guy is the epitome of being able to say crazy things, he wins hands down
Hey Jay Pharoah,
What was it like when you started stand up? And have you ever been labeled a nonthreatening black male? I know those are two different questions but its what I wanted to ask you.
It was so young but I already had a background in theater so it wasn't too frightening, just a little different. And I get hugged by everyone so I guess in sign language it's saying "You aint a scary black man"
What's the best movie that you've seen that came out this year?
Hercules was pretty awesome but Guardians of the Galaxy..DOPEEEEEEE!!
Which past cast member do you miss the most and which new cast member do you think has the most talent?
Armisen & Hader, and as of now we all are super talented.
What's good, Jay? Got to meet you in Lexington KY earlier this year. Who's your top 5 dead or alive? And who do you think the best battle rapper is right now?
Best battle rapper i would say, Loaded Lux but Mook destroyed him.......My top 5 are Jay,Big, Big L, Ludacris, Talib
Hello Jay. Big fan, looking forward to seeing you on SNL this season and hearing your new EP. I saw you do stand up in Lexington, KY a few weeks ago (which was amazing.) I told you I'd seen you at Bonnaroo and you mentioned that Bonnaroo didn't go well for you but someone asked for a picture before you got to finish talking. I personally thought your show was great, just curious as to why you weren't happy with it? I guarantee to you the crowd was loving it.
As far as material goes it wasn't my strongest because I had just started headlining and had vaguely gone through minor experiences. I feel now I've grown so much as a comic and entertainer that, the set when I was 23 isn't up to par with me now..feel me?
Hey Jay! HUGE FAN.
First of all, SUPER EXCITED FOR THE RESURRECTION.
Where was your inspiration behind the EP? Is there anything theme in particular that it takes on? Have you always wanted to rap, or is it something that you decided later on in your career? Who are some of your rap influences? Who are you listening to right now?
Secondly, which of your impressions is your favourite? Which was the first you mastered?
Thirdly, what does your girl really say?
IT'S A JOURNEY OF MY STRUGGLE AS OF RIGHT NOW WITH MY SPIRITUAL BASE AND THE SHIFTA AND TURNS PEOPLE DON'T THINK WE GO THROUGH AS CELEBRITIES SUPER RELATABLE TO EVERYONE LISTENING
And I've been rapping for 13 years, before i started stand up, Jay is a big influence so is Ludacris, talib, big L, and even cassidy
Holy shit I am excited for Saturday. You are so funny.
But more importantly--When will we get to see Doo Doo Man and Squiggy again?????
When Cranston gives back his emmy's
Hey, Jay! We met after the Kerry Washington show last season. My question is: What can you tell us about Pete Davidson so far? Is he gonna fit in well? So excited for this season!
He's literally like a little brother, he's funny and original..I think he'll do well
Hi Jay, I remember back in the day seeing your video doing impressions. How did you learn you had such an awesome talent? Who do you look up to? Thanks!
When I did an impression and somebody came in the room looking for that person
What up Jay and thank you for doing this AMA. I have been a fan of yours since you started on SNL. Your impressions are impeccable. So here's my question(s)...
Yo Jay, what's your thoughts on battle rap? Considering its rising popularity, how do you think battle rap will affect the hip-hop culture, community, and future artists? I would love to see a sketch involving battle rap on SNL, but I'm sure it's popularity would need to rise even further. Make it happen Jay, MAKE IT HAPPEN!
Thank you again and keep making us laugh dude.
Battling is an important part of the culture, hell I used to battle rap, but the thing is I have tried a battle rap sketch, just think it was to premature for snl, I'll revamp it this year..
As a huge fan of SNL, I will always watch show. I understand that the show goes through slumps, and some years are better than others, but I just didn't like last season that much. I'm always excited for a new season to start, and can't wait to see you guys yuk it up with Chris Pratt. Can you tell me anything to give me some more confidence for that coming season? What are you guys gonna do to make it better and funnier? Please say "more Jay Pharoah impressions.
You just have to watch homie, I'm def. going to put it down this season as are the rest of us that love this show.
Did you get to hang out with Kevin Hart when you were working on Ride Along and if so what's he like? Also can you impersonate him at all? I imagine that would be really funny.
Of course I can impersonate Kev that's my homie even before all of his success he put me on when I was 20
Hi Jay, what do you usually eat after performing on SNL ?
I enjoy sushi california crunch rolls are the shit!
Will I ever get to watch this movie starring Bryan Cranston, Anna Kendrick, Allison Brie, and yourself?
Tootsie Pop Answer, the world may never know
Love your Kanye and Kim show. Who'll be replacing kim now that nasim is gone? Also, any friction with the new other skinny black dude?
I don't know who will replace her if ewe do I'm thinking no one, and Michael Che is like my brother literally love that guy..
Hey Jay! I've been a huge fan ever since I saw your Denzel impression. Anyway, my question is, how long do think you'll stay on SNL? And who's your favorite impression to do?
Don't know how long tbh, and my favorite impression has to be stewie from family guy
Do you think you have "made it" yet?
Not Yet, I never get comfortable and feel like I have so much more to do..
JAY, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO QUIT THE COMEDY CAREER AND ENTER THE RAP GAME?? HMMMMM?
Quit my comedy career? Never..Just into the game well EP tomorrow!!
And I'm dropping the private link so everybody right now can check it out just for participating..
Are you going to do any stand up comedy in NC anytime soon?
ALL THE TIME