Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah grab leads in two new Showtime comedy pilots

Turns out there’s more to the story of the sudden departures of both Taran Killam and Jay Pharoah from Saturday Night Live in the summer before their seventh seasons on the comedy showcase.

Showtime had been negotiating with SNL and NBC to cast both of them in new comedy pilots for the cable network.

After SNL fired Killam and Pharoah this past week, that made it a lot easier for Showtime to move forward. So Showtime announced today that Killam will star in the pilot for Mating, an anthology series from Jason Katims about a recently divorced guy trying to date again; and Pharoah will star in the pilot for White Famous, a comedy from Jamie Foxx about a rising stand-up comedy star dealing with the crossover from black audiences to the mainstream.

“Our conversations have been with the actors, individually, over the last several months,” Showtime’s David Nevins said today. “We were prepared to work around their SNL schedules. Our schedule ended up being easier when they got released from the show.”

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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