Leslie Jones (born September 7, 1967) is an American comedian and actress who is a cast member on Saturday Night Live. Jones has been a featured performer at the Just For Laughs festival in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival. In 2010, her one-hour comedy special, Problem Child, was broadcast on Showtime.
Leslie Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee. Her father was in the United States Army and her family moved frequently. Her family moved to Los Angeles, when her father took a job at Stevie Wonder's radio station, KJLH, as an electronic engineer. Jones attended high school in Lynwood, California, where she also played basketball; in May 2015, she stated on Late Night with Seth Meyers that her father suggested that she play the sport because she is six feet tall. She attended Chapman University on a basketball scholarship and transferred to Colorado State University when her coach left Chapman for Colorado State. She intended to become a lawyer, but changed her mind and changed her major a few times, including business accounting and computer science and eventually ended up majoring in communications. At Chapman, Jones became a radio DJ. She was unsure of what she wanted to do, and contemplated the possibility of a career playing basketball overseas.
Jones started to do stand-up comedy in college in 1987, when a friend signed her up for a "Funniest Person on Campus" contest. After she won the contest, Jones left school and moved to Los Angeles. She performed at regular clubs and worked at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and UPS to make ends meet. Mother Love and Dave Chappelle encouraged her to move to New York to hone her craft for two years, where she appeared on BET's ComicView before returning to Los Angeles. She performed at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, but received unfavorable reviews. She opened up for Jamie Foxx and was booed by the audience. Feeling discouraged, Jones stopped performing for three years.
In December 2013, Saturday Night Live held a casting call to add at least one African-American woman to the show, and Jones auditioned. Sasheer Zamata was added as a featured player, while Jones and LaKendra Tookes were hired as writers. Jones appeared during the Weekend Update segment of the May 3, 2014 Saturday Night Live, where her jokes about her current dating problems and her potential effectiveness as a breeding slave were met with controversy.
Jones appeared in the first and third episodes of the 40th season, hosted by Chris Pratt and Bill Hader, respectively. On October 20, 2014, Jones was promoted to the cast as a featured player, and made her official debut on the October 25, 2014 episode hosted by Jim Carrey. She became, at the age of 47, the oldest person to join the show as a cast member (surpassing Michael McKean and George Coe, who were 46 when they joined the show in, respectively, 1994 and 1975). Jones' addition marks the first time in SNL history that the show's cast has included more than one African-American woman; in addition, the 40th season has the most African-American cast members to date. Jones subsequently returned for Season 41.
In 2016, she starred in the reboot of the 1984 film Ghostbusters as Patty Tolan, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon. Following the film's release, Jones became the target of numerous Twitter accounts making racially charged attacks. Twitter responded by taking action against several users, including a lifetime ban against Breitbart blogger Milo Yiannopoulos who was accused of orchestrating it. After continuing to receive racial comments towards her, Jones announced that she would be leaving Twitter on July 18, 2016.
Jones and fellow comedian Adam DeVine appeared in a 2016 ad campaign for Allstate Insurance, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide.
|1987||Home Is Where the Hart Is||Night Nurse|
|1998||Wrongfully Accused||Sergeant Tina Bagley|
|1998||Does That Make Me a Bad Person?||Marilyn Dukekne||Short film|
|2000||A Feeling Called Glory||Vapid Nurse||Short film|
|2003||A Guy Thing||Sales Employee|
|2006||Repos||Lay La||Credited as Annette Jones|
|2007||Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary||Mamma Rag|
|2008||Internet Dating||Too Sweett Jones|
|2010||Something Like a Business||Vanity|
|2010||The Company We Keep||Beverly Blue|
|2012||House Arrest||Boss Lady|
|2015||We Are Family||Leslie|
|2015||Trainwreck||Angry Subway Patron|
|2001||Dark Angel||Waitress||Episode: "Boo"|
|2002||The New Beachcombers||Maud Wrecht||Television film|
|2012||Daddy Knows Best||Angry Woman||Episode: "Taser"|
|2013||Sullivan & Son||Bobbie||Episode: "Acceptance"|
|2013||The League||Stand Up Student||Episode: "The Bringer Show"|
|2014–present||Saturday Night Live||Various||Cast member and writer|
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy/Variety Series (2015)
|2014||Workaholics||Lynette||Episode: "The One Where the Guys Play Basketball and Do the Friends Title Thing"|
|2015||The Awesomes||Silent But Deadly||Voice, Episode: "The Final Showdown"|
|2016||The Blacklist||Citizen||Episode: "Lady Ambrosia"|
- ^"Leslie Jones Biography: Actress, Comedian (1967–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
- ^Downs, Gordon (November 3, 2011). "Leslie Jones on the Craft of Comedy". SanDiego.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^Gardenswartz, Noah (March 15, 2010). "Leslie Jones: Just wants to make you laugh". LaughSpin. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
- ^"Jane Fonda/Leslie Jones/Kay Cannon". Late Night with Seth Meyers. May 12, 2015. NBC. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
- ^Marantz, Andrew (January 4, 2016). "Ready for Prime Time". The New Yorker. Condé Nast: 22–29. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
- ^Gay, Verne (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones joins 'Saturday Night Live' cast". Newsday. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^"Leslie Jones: Comedian At Work". Pollstar. March 19, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- ^"BIOGRAPHY". Justleslie.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- ^McCarthy, Sean L. (March 2, 2010). "Leslie Jones, aka Big Les, may be a "Problem Child," but knows when to take Katt Williams' advice". thecomicscomic.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
- ^"'SNL' Adds Two Black Writers, LaKendra Tookes And Leslie Jones, After Hiring Black Cast Member (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. January 8, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^"'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Defends Controversial Slave Sketch (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^TMZ Staff (July 20, 2015). "Original 'SNL' Cast MemberGeorge Coe Dies". TMZ.
- ^Wright, Megh (July 9, 2013). "Saturday Night's Children: Michael McKean (1994-1995) | Splitsider". Splitsider. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
- ^Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones Named 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Meet Your All-Female 'Ghostbusters'!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
- ^Roy, Jessica (19 July 2016). "Twitter bans Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos for harassment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- ^Jenkins, Nash (20 July 2016). "Twitter Suspends Account of Conservative Writer Milo Yiannopoulos". Time. Retrieved 21 July 2016. Among the suspended accounts is that of incendiary right-wing pundit Milo Yiannopoulos, who reportedly spearheaded the coordinated assault.
- ^Fisher, Lucina (20 July 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Star Leslie Jones Quits Twitter After Online Harassment". ABC News. Retrieved 20 July 2016.
- ^Lazare, Lewis (2016-05-12). "Allstate turns to Adam DeVine and Leslie Jones for comedic effect in new brand ads". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved 2016-06-05.
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