Sasheer Zamata channels Rihanna in 'Saturday Night Live' debut

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By Anna Chan

"Saturday Night Live" gave plenty of screen time to new featured player Sasheer Zamata Saturday in the show's first new episode of 2014. Zamata, who was hired during the show's winter hiatus, is "SNL's" first black female comedian in six years, and was featured in many of the evening's sketches.

Despite not having very many lines, Zamata revealed her talents in her debut. In addition to bringing the laughs, the comedian showed viewers that she could sing and dance as well. 

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In "Before They Were Stars," she impersonated a pre-fame Rihanna as the lead in the Barbados reboot of '90s comedy "Blossom," complete with the songstress' intense look and sexy moves.

For "Revolution Resolution," Zamata sang the chorus while the show's various men revealed the changes they were going to make in the new year.

Though much of the attention was on the new castmember, it was host and musical guest Drake who stole the show. Like other actors/musicians before him who have appeared on the comedy program (Justin Timberlake, anyone?), the former "Degrassi: The Next Generation" star showed off all of his chops.

In his monologue, he played off his culture and revisited his bar mitzvah (his mother is Jewish) and recognized both sides of his family while celebrating his talent. During the party, Drake dropped some beats, rapping, "Please don't forget I'm black! Please don't forget I'm Jewish! I play ball like LeBron and I know what a W-2 is!"

He also struck gold with his hilarious impressions of Katt Williams and Alex Rodriguez. But as good as his impersonations were, he couldn't quite top Kate McKinnon, who delivered a spot-on Justin Bieber.

Next week, Jonah Hill hosts, and Bastille is the musical guest. "Saturday Night Live" airs Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. on NBC.