Jay Pharoah Speaks Out on ‘SNL’ Firing: ‘I’m Not a ‘Yes’ N—a’ (Video)

Stand-up comic says he almost lost his job in 2013 for criticizing show’s lack of diversity

Last Updated: April 14, 2017 @ 7:08 AM

Jay Pharoah is talking about his parting of ways with “Saturday Night Live,” and the stand-up comic didn’t pull any punches on Hot 97’s “Ebro in the Morning.”

“I’m fiery … I’m not a ‘Yes’ n—a,” Pharoah started his explanation on Friday. “That’s not me.”

“‘We got this great idea where you put on a dress,'” he recalled from at least one writers room conversation. “I’m like, ‘No, I’m not doing that.'”

Pharoah also said the sketch comedy staple had no interest in doing his Obama character anymore. “No disrespect to them, but I honestly feel like they gave up,” he told Hot 97’s Peter Rosenberg and Laura Stylez.

The impressionist informed his radio hosts that this wasn’t the first time he nearly lost the high-profile gig. “Me speaking up — they were ready to get rid of me in 2013,” Pharoah said about comments he made back then about the show’s lack of black actresses and writers. “When I said what I said … I almost freakin’ lost my job.”

“I’m the reason it happened,” he said, taking credit for the show’s decision to hire Sasheer Zamata, Leslie Jones and writer LaKendra Tookes.

Still, Pharoah maintained that there “ain’t no problem with Lorne Michaels.”

The now-Showtime star also remembered his friend Charlie Murphy, who died earlier this week at age 57. Oh, and Pharoah also got super-real about his Hair Club for Men participation.

Watch the video above.