Jared Antonio Farrow, better known by his stage name Jay Pharoah, is an American actor, stand-up comedian, impressionist, and rapper. He joined the cast of NBC's Saturday Night Live in 2010, for its thirty-sixth season. In 2015, he was ranked the 55th greatest Saturday Night Live cast member by Rolling Stone magazine. Pharoah began doing impersonations at age six and cites Gilbert Gottfried's character in Aladdin, Iago, as his first voice, explaining, "My father put me in a talent competition a couple of months later, and out of the whole thing I got fifth place." In 2005, Pharoah graduated from Indian River High School in Chesapeake. One of his characters, Principal Daniel Frye, is heavily influenced by IRHS's former principal, James Frye. Pharoah went on to study business at Tidewater Community College and Virginia Commonwealth University. Pharoah has been performing stand-up comedy in community theaters and at comedy clubs in Virginia since he was 15. He at one point toured with Corey Holcomb and Charlie Murphy. He became known for his many celebrity impressions, including Barack Obama, Will Smith, Jay-Z, 50 Cent, Eddie Murphy, Charlie Murphy, Chris Rock, Kanye West, Stephen A. Smith, and Denzel Washington. Pharoah can also be seen on an episode of MTV's Yo Momma. Pharoah became an internet phenomenon when his impersonation of Barack Obama became widely seen on YouTube. In early 2010, Pharoah appeared in a series of segments that aired on 106 & Park in promotion for the 2010 BET Awards, where his character had to deliver an important package for television personalities Rocsi and Terrence J. In 2010, Pharoah was hired by Saturday Night Live as a featured player for the show's 36th season. Pharoah debuted on Saturday Night Live on September 25, 2010 and was regarded by Rob Moynihan of TV Guide as the "breakout player" for that season, for his impersonations of Barack Obama, Ben Carson, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Stephen A. Smith, Will Smith, Eddie Murphy, Tracy Morgan, Chris Rock, Chris Tucker, Michael Strahan, Lil Wayne, Kendrick Lamar, and Denzel Washington. He debuted his SNL impersonation of Barack Obama in the 38th season premiere on September 15, 2012, succeeding Fred Armisen in that role. Rolling Stone magazine described him as the "Jimmy Fallon of 2 Chainz impressions."Since 2017, he has been dating singer Sonna Rele.
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