Jay Pharoah

By
Photography Robbie Fimmano

Published April 15, 2011

The youngest star of NBC’s Saturday Night Live, 23-year-old Virginia native Jay Pharoah  toured with comics Corey Holcomb and Charlie Murphy (Eddie’s brother), before catching the attention of Lorne Michaels last year with his audition tape. He’s now best known for his spot-on impersonations of Will Smith, Denzel Washington, Jay-Z, and Barack Obama, among others.

Who’s the most unintentionally funny person today? Sam Rockwell. His Wild Bill character in The Green Mile cracks me up! I don’t think it’s supposed to be funny, but I quote his lines daily: “Boy . . . Whatcha looking at?”

Have you heard any feedback from people you’ve done impressions of?

Yeah, I’ve heard that Will Smith loves the impression but that Jaden [Smith’s son] isn’t convinced. And Denzel Washington said that I’m very good at both his and Will Smith’s impression.