We analyze the current cast’s overall importance to the show
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7. Jay Pharoah
Were Pharoah not playing President Obama, he’d be near, if not at, the bottom of this list. But the role of the President is so vital, and leads to so many appearances in the cold open, that simply being chosen to play this role pushes him towards the middle of the pack. “SNL” as a whole still has no handle on Obama himself, meaning that Pharoah is often stuck with an accurate vocal facsimile and nothing else. But Pharoah’s recurring character Principal Frye demonstrates that he’s worth more than mere celebrity impressions. Whether or not “SNL” capitalizes on that or not has yet to be seen.