Friday, December 31, 2010

Jay Pharoah pays tribute to his Indian River HS principal on 'SNL'

Here's the article. The question came out whether or not this was a character or impression of the principal. This fits more as character, because Jay changed the name to Daniel Frye (a lot of SNL characters are basically elaborate impressions of random people that the actor or writer has seen). Also, Jimmy Frye and Jay are referring to this as a character. Here's the article with more info...

"Saturday Night Live" earned a few extra laughs in Hampton Roads this weekend when featured player Jay Pharoah, a 2005 graduate of Indian River High School, paid tribute to his former principal.

In a sketch about a high school's "holiday jam," Pharoah played Principal Daniel Frye. Despite the change in first name, there's no doubt about the source of Pharoah's inspiration.

Jimmy Frye, principal of Indian River High School

At the mere mention of "Saturday Night Live," Jimmy Frye, principal of Indian River High School, erupted into a cackle and asked, "You heard about that, huh?"

"Jay was at the school to visit just before the Thanksgiving break," Frye said. "He told me he'd written up some skits and stuff, and he wanted permission for what he was doing. So he did ask me, and I said that it was fine with me!"

Pharoah was unavailable for comment. Before the show Saturday night, he sent a message over Twitter: "Everybody from Indian River High especially watch SNL tonight..."

On his Facebook page Sunday, he mentioned the skit.

Jay Pharoah as Principal 'Daniel Frye' on SNL

"Mr. Frye is my first character on SNL and I asked him about it before I did it, he approved with a smile," Pharoah wrote on the website.

A former member of the local children's theater troupe Hurrah Players, Pharoah joined the cast of "Saturday Night Live" in September. In addition to his take on Principal Frye, he has offered up impressions of Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy and Will Smith, among others.

Frye isn't surprised at Pharoah's accomplishments, but he's impressed by the speed at which they've occurred. "He was always serious about his comedy," Frye said. "I didn't know his success would come so soon, but I knew he'd keep at it."

Frye learned the sketch had aired after a phone call from his son. "I guess some of the staff and students saw it, too," he said. "They were stopping me in the hallway and asking me if I'd seen it."

"It was sweet," said Kayla Hazlett, a senior at Indian River High School. "His voice sounded just like Mr. Frye, and the brown suit was spot on. "

"It's just a nice gesture that he remembered me," Frye said. "He's shown me a lot of love over the years."



This isn't the first time Jay did this impression/charcter. Jay actually returned back to his high school at age 19 to do his standup. He did impressions of Principal Frye and several teachers (along with various celebs).

To see Jay's first time he performed this impression/character, click here:


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