In recent days, Ivory Steward has heard her daughter's name mispronounced by Whoopi Goldberg, Kathie Lee Gifford and Hoda Kotb.

Sasheer Zamata (Col '08) zoomed into pop-culture consciousness on Monday, when Saturday Night Live hired the 2004 Pike High School graduate to be the newest cast member on the long-running comedy show.

Sasheer Zamata (Col '08) will make her SNL debut on Jan. 18. Photo: AP/Cate Hellman Photography

"If I could do anything, I'd get everybody to say her name right," said Steward, mother of the 27-year-old actress.

For the record, it's "Za-MATE-ah," and so many people are talking about her because she's the first black woman to join the SNL company since 2007 and just the fifth black woman in the show's 39-year history.

NBC representatives said Zamata isn't available for interviews while she prepares for her debut on the next episode of SNL, which will be seen on WTHR-13 at 11:30 p.m. Jan. 18.

But that didn't stop the University of Virginia graduate from posting a celebratory video at her Tumblr blog site. The clip shows Zamata playing with a "Skip-It" toy popularized in the 1980s and '90s, accompanied by text that makes a not-so-serious reference to her historic hire:

"Thank you all SO so so so much for all your love and support. I have finally learned how to successfully Skip It. It's been 7 years since a black woman has been able to Skip It, so it's a really big deal."

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