With the election season heating up, "Saturday Night Live" has decided to make a change in its political lineup — scrapping its past Barack Obama impressionist and giving the job to another cast member.
Fred Armisen, who has been doing Obama on the show, is stepping aside in favor of Jay Pharoah, who joined the show in 2010, to portray President Obama in sketches, reports Bill Carter in The New York Times.
"Jay has been doing Obama in his act this summer, and Jay is coming into his own,” said producer Lorne Michaels. “I just thought it might be time to shake it up.”
Armisen will still have plenty of work on the show, with Michaels calling Armisen "the backbone of the show now."
The change means Pharoah will be facing off against Jason Sudeikis as presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. As previously reported, Sudeikis decided just this week to return to the show, which returns Saturday.
Here’s a video of Pharoah in a 2009 stand-up appearance in which he does an early version of his Barack Obama impression: