The barrier-breaking Melissa Villaseñor, a five-year Saturday Night Live cast member, will teach students how to draw as part of Cornell University Program Board’s first virtual show of 2021.
The “draw your own dinner setting” class kicks off Feb. 11 at 7 p.m. ahead of Valentine’s Day. Villaseñor will alternate between stories about her past lovers and practical advice on how to get that sketch just right.
Villaseñor, who is Mexican-American, became the first Latina cast member in SNL’s 46-year runtime. Her status as a trailblazer, she said, changed her approach to comedy.
“I’m obviously very proud of my heritage, but having it hyped like that caused pressure too,” she told Metro Philadelphia in 2018. “Now that I am talking about my life and family in my stand-up that’s cool, but I wasn’t doing that when I first started at SNL.”
Villaseñor, a native of Whittier, California, got her start doing stand-up at a Laugh Factory Comedy Camp in Los Angeles. But it wasn’t until she became a semi-finalist in the 2011 season of America’s Got Talent that she made her big break with a series of celebrity impressions.
Villaseñor is best known for her voice work in the movies Toy Story 4 and Wreck-It Ralph 2, and TV shows American Dad! and Family Guy. Her impressions, as well as her stand-up, helped land her a spot on SNL in 2016.
But this is not the first time Villaseñor has performed for Cornell students. In 2018, Villaseñor opened for fellow SNL cast member Colin Jost to a packed Bailey Hall.
Students can register for the webinar on the CUPB website.