Why Is Leslie Jones Leaving ‘SNL’?

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In August, news surfaced that SNL’s Leslie Jones would be leaving the show after five seasons. The comedienne took to Twitter with the announcement, writing, “Yes it’s true I am leaving Saturday Night Live. I cannot thank NBC, the producers, writers, and amazing crew enough for making SNL my second home these last five years. Lorne Michaels, you’ve changed my life in so many ways! Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back. You not only have my loyalty but you have my heart!!”

She also shouted out some fellow castmates, “To the incredible cast members: I will miss working, creating and laughing with you. I will miss holding it down with Kenan everyday, I will miss Cecily’s impression of me making me laugh at myself often, I will miss Kate’s loving hugs and talks when I needed. And of course Colin, you porcelain-skinned Ken doll. I will miss all my cast mates!!”

But what’s the reason behind her departure? What’s Jones going to be working on instead? Read on.

Graduating from ‘SNL’

Jones has a lot in the works, including a hosting job for the reboot of Supermarket Sweep for Fremantle. She will also be voicing a character in The Angry Birds Movie 2 and Coming to America 2.

On top of that, Netflix has announced that Jones will have her own stand-up special on the network. In early August, Jones told The Hollywood Reporter, “I am doing a Netflix special… So ya’ll finally get to see what I really do.”

She added on that while she is an actress, stand-up is what she considers her “main profession.” Jones explained, “I mean, it’s great to be an actress but I’m actually a stand-up, hardcore. That’s what pay the bills.”

Jones’ Netflix special was filmed in Washington DC on September 10.

Jones’ History With SNL

Jones first joined SNL as a writer in 2014. Soon enough, she was bumped up to a featured player, then a cast member.

While Kate McKinnon was also rumored to be leaving the show for its’ 45th season, the comedienne will be returning for “at least part of the next ‘SNL’ season”, according to reports obtained by Variety.

Jones, who is 52 today, was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee. She initially intended on becoming a lawyer, but eventually majored in communications at Colorado State University. In the late 1980s, Jones began dabbling in comedy. After winning a “Funniest Person on Campus” contest at her school, she moved to Los Angeles, where she began performing comedy at bars and nightclubs.

For two consecutive years– 2017 and 2018– Jones was nominated for an Emmy for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on SNL. She is current filming Coming 2 America. Her most recent TV credit was as Cindy on the episode Kevin (Probably) Saves the World.

Jones first auditioned for SNL in 2013. That year, she was hired as a writer. The following year, Jones appeared on Weekend Update on an episode hosted by Andrew Garfield.

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