Leslie Jones (comedian)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Leslie Jones
Jones at the Stress Factory in 2018
Birth nameAnnette Leslie Jones
Born (1967-09-07) September 7, 1967 (age 56)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
  • Stand-up
  • film
  • television
EducationChapman University
Colorado State University
Years active1987–present
Notable works and rolesFormer Saturday Night Live cast member and writer;
Ghostbusters (2016)
Coming 2 America (2021)
Good Burger 2 (2023)

Annette Leslie Jones[1][2] (born September 7, 1967) is an American stand-up comedian and actress. She was a cast member and writer for the NBC sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 2014 to 2019, and hosted the ABC game show Supermarket Sweep. She has also 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. Jones starred in Ghostbusters (2016) as Patty Tolan. In 2017 and 2018, Jones was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Saturday Night Live.

Early life[edit]

Jones was born on September 7, 1967, in Memphis, Tennessee.[3] She had a younger brother, Rodney Keith Jones (1971–2009).[4] Her father was in the United States Army, and her family relocated frequently.[5] Her family moved to Los Angeles, when her father took a job at Stevie Wonder's radio station, KJLH, as an electronics engineer.[3] Jones attended high school in Lynwood, California, where she also played basketball; her father suggested that she play the sport because of her height.[6]

Jones attended Chapman University on a basketball scholarship. Initially unsure of what she wanted to study, Jones worked as a disc jockey at the student radio station, KNAB,[7] and contemplated playing professional basketball overseas.[8] When her coach, Brian Berger, left Chapman in 1986 for the head-coaching job at Colorado State University, Jones followed.[1][9][10] Once at Colorado State, Jones contemplated pursuing a pre-law degree,[8] but changed her major several times, including to accounting and computer science, before settling on communications.[7]



Jones began doing stand-up comedy in college in 1987, when a friend signed her up for a "Funniest Person on Campus" contest.[5][8] After winning the contest, Jones left school for Los Angeles.[8] She performed at comedy clubs while working day jobs at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and UPS[11] to make ends meet. Comedians Mother Love and Dave Chappelle encouraged her to move to New York City to hone her craft. She lived there for over two years, during which she appeared on BET's ComicView, before returning to Los Angeles.[7] She performed at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, but her shows there received unfavorable reviews.[7] She then went on tour, opening for Jamie Foxx where she was booed by his audience. Foxx advised her to "live life for a little while" to gain experiences for her comedy; Jones stopped performing for three years.[7] She then performed in smaller clubs until 2010, when she began asking for spots at The Comedy Store and secured prime-time slots for her act.[12] In 2012, Chris Rock saw her perform and gave her name to several of "the biggest managers in comedy" all of whom "didn't get it".[13] The following year, Rock helped Jones secure an audition for Saturday Night Live, which she landed.[13]

In 2008, Jones was part of Katt Williams's It's Pimpin' Pimpin' tour.[5][14]

Netflix signed Jones for a stand-up special slated for 2020.[15]

Saturday Night Live[edit]

In December 2013, Saturday Night Live held a casting call to add at least one African American woman to the show, and Jones auditioned. Prior to being asked to audition, Jones had criticized the show, saying that the show, and especially cast member Kenan Thompson, was "not funny".[16] Sasheer Zamata was added as a featured player, while Jones and LaKendra Tookes were hired as writers.[17] Jones appeared during the Weekend Update segment of the May 3, 2014 episode hosted by Andrew Garfield, where her jokes about her current dating problems and her potential effectiveness as a breeding slave sparked controversy.[9][18]

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.[19] At age 47, Jones became 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 1994 and 1975, respectively).[20][21] Jones' addition marked the first time in SNL history that the show's cast included more than one African American woman;[22] moreover, the 40th season was the first to have five concurrent African American cast members, beating the previous record of three.[23][24] Jones subsequently returned for Seasons 41, 42 (where she was promoted to Repertory Status), 43, and 44.

In 2017 and 2018, Jones was nominated for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on SNL.

The 44th season was Jones's last on SNL.[25]


In 2006, Jones appeared in Master P's film Repos.

In 2014, Jones appeared in Chris Rock's directorial film, Top Five; Rock has said a follow-up is in the works,[26] telling Complex Magazine, "Some people really shine in Top Five. You might want to see a little more Leslie Jones."[27]

In 2015, Jones appeared in the Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer project, Trainwreck; reportedly Apatow and Schumer wrote a part specifically for Jones after seeing her turn in Top Five.[28]

In 2016, she starred in the reboot Ghostbusters as Patty Tolan, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.[9][29]

Jones appeared in Coming 2 America alongside Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross, and KiKi Layne. The film is a sequel to Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy.[30]

She has been a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in the Actors Branch since 2017.[31]

Olympics coverage[edit]

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Jones regularly live-tweeted events and posted videos of her reactions.[32][33] Enthusiasm for Jones's commentary grew, with articles appearing like The Huffington Post's "Watching Leslie Jones Watch The Olympics Is Better Than the Actual Olympics".[34] Television producer Mike Shoemaker, one of Jones' Twitter followers, posted on Twitter that his friend Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer of the network's Olympics coverage, should add Jones to NBC's team of commentators covering the Games; Bell responded on Twitter the next day asking Jones to join NBC in Rio de Janeiro. She accepted and flew to Rio de Janeiro, covering swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and beach volleyball for NBC.[35]

Jones reprised her duties at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea,[36] and live-tweeted again for the postponed 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, Japan.[37] She live-tweeted for the final time for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, China. She released a message on Twitter stating that this would be the last Olympics that she would live-tweet, claiming broadcaster NBC is pressuring her to stop.[38]

Other work[edit]

Jones and fellow comedian Adam DeVine appeared in a 2016 ad campaign for Allstate Insurance, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide.[39]

Jones hosted the BET Awards on June 25, 2017.[40] This marked her hosting debut.

In 2018, Jones appeared in two advertisements for Amazon's Echo Spot.[41]

In 2020, Jones hosted a Supermarket Sweep reboot. In 2021, she returned for season 2.[42]

Jones was the host for the 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards.[43]


Jones has cited as her comedic influences: Eddie Murphy,[8] Richard Pryor,[5] Carol Burnett,[44] Lucille Ball,[44] John Ritter,[44] and Whoopi Goldberg.[5]

Personal life[edit]

Jones is a fan of the soccer team Seattle Sounders FC.[45] She is also an avid fan of RuPaul's Drag Race.

Online harassment[edit]

After the release of Ghostbusters in July 2016, Jones became the subject of racist and misogynistic attacks over Twitter. The social media platform responded by taking action against several users, resulting in the permanent banning of user and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who had described Jones as "barely literate".[46]

After continuing to receive racist comments, Jones temporarily left Twitter on July 18, 2016.[47] She appeared later in the week on Late Night with Seth Meyers, where she discussed the ordeal and her meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. In response to Yiannopoulos' claim that he was targeted for being a "gay conservative", she argued that "hate speech and freedom of speech are two different things."[48]

A month later, Jones was again subjected to online harassment. Her personal website was hacked, with its contents being replaced with photos of her passport and driver's license.[49] The site was also changed to display alleged nude pictures of her, as well as a video tribute to Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla killed in May 2016 (a reference to the racially charged gorilla remarks hurled at Jones in the earlier attack). Her team took the website down soon after it was hacked.[50]

Both incidents resulted in outpourings of support for Jones from fans and celebrities alike, via the hashtag #LoveForLeslieJ which trended on both Twitter and Instagram.[51] Those who voiced support include Paul Feig,[52] Gabourey Sidibe, Ellen DeGeneres, Sara Benincasa, Ava DuVernay, Hillary Clinton, Corey Taylor,[53] Katy Perry, Octavia Spencer, Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham,[54] and Loni Love. Jones responded to the hacks on the October 22, 2016 episode of Saturday Night Live.[55] When Jones appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers on May 12, 2015, she was praised as an inspirational figure by a montage of fans showing support for her.[56]



Year Film title Role Notes
1999 For Love of the Game (uncredited) [57]
2003 National Security Britney
2006 Repos Lay La Credited as Annette Jones
2007 Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary Mamma Du Rag Credited as Annette "Leslie" Jones
2008 Internet Dating Too Sweett Jones
2010 Something Like a Business Vanity
Lottery Ticket Tasha
The Company We Keep Beverly Blue
2012 House Arrest Boss Lady
Christmas in Compton (aka One Bad Christmas) Tiny
2014 Top Five Lisa
Kony Montana (aka Michael Blackson is Kony Montana) Fufu
2015 We Are Family Leslie (The Driver)
Trainwreck Angry Subway Patron
2016 Ghostbusters Patricia "Patty" Tolan
Sing Meena's mother Voice[58]
Masterminds FBI Special Agent Scanlon
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Zeta Voice[58]
2021 Coming 2 America Mary Junson Winner – MTV Movie Award for Best Comedic Performance
2023 Good Burger 2 Charlotte Reed


Year Title Role Notes
1996 In the House Female Basketball Player (uncredited) Episode: "Hoop Screams".
1997 Coach (uncredited) Episode: "It's A Swamp Thing".
2001–02 The Way We Do It Various
2004 Girlfriends Mabel Episode: "Love, Peace and Hair Grease". Credited as Leslie.
2007 Mind of Mencia Nurse Brownsugar/Bodyguard 2 episodes
American Body Shop Roshanda Washington Episode: "Fluids"
2010 Chelsea Lately Herself (roundtable panelist) Episode: "Crispin Glover"
Problem Child: Leslie Jones (aka Big Les: Problem Child) Herself Showtime stand-up comedy special
2012 Daddy Knows Best Angry Woman Episode: "Taser"
2013 Sullivan & Son Bobbie Episode: "Acceptance"
See Dad Run Security Guard Episode: "See Dad Be Normal...ish"
The League Stand Up Student Episode: "The Bringer Show"
2014–19 Saturday Night Live Various Cast member and writer
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (2019)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2017, 2018)
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"
2017–19 The $100,000 Pyramid Herself 3 episodes
2018 Kevin (Probably) Saves the World Cindy Episode: "The Right Thing"[59]
2020 Supermarket Sweep Host
RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Episode: "The Ball Ball"
Death to 2020 Dr. Maggie Gravel Television special
Leslie Jones: Time Machine Herself Netflix special
2021 Celebrity Wheel of Fortune Herself Episode: "Leslie Jones, Chandra Wilson and Tony Hawk"
2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards Host Television special
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver Herself Episode: "Hair"
2022 Out of Office Ally Television film
2022–23 Our Flag Means Death Spanish Jackie Recurring role
2023 The Daily Show Guest host 7 episodes (Jan. 17-19, Nov. 13-16)[60] [61]
BMF SAC Tracy Chambers 2 episodes
Hit-Monkey Voice[62]


  • Jones, Leslie (2023). Leslie F*cking Jones: A Memoir. Foreword: Chris Rock. New York: Grand Central Publishing. ISBN 9781538706497. OCLC 1371748489.


  1. ^ a b Phifer, Tony (Fall 2015). "Leslie Jones Found Her Funny at CSU". The Magazine. Fort Collins, Colorado: Colorado State University. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017. Jones (who went by Annette Jones at the time)... Additional July 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Intoxicating Humor". Vibe. Vol. 8, no. 5. June–July 2000. p. 112. ISSN 1070-4701. Bacardi Comedy Champion Annette 'Leslie' Jones...[permanent dead link]
  3. ^ a b "Leslie Jones Biography: Actress, Comedian (1967–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  4. ^ Jones, Leslie [@lesdoggg] (February 13, 2015). "Really missing my brother today..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017 – via Twitter. "quote=Rest in peace Rodney Keith."
  5. ^ a b c d e 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.
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  8. ^ a b c d e 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.
  9. ^ a b c Marantz, Andrew (January 4, 2016). "Ready for Prime Time". The New Yorker. pp. 22–29. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  10. ^ Gay, Verne (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones joins 'Saturday Night Live' cast". Newsday. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  11. ^ "BIOGRAPHY". Justleslie.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Marantz, Andrew. "Ready for Prime Time". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Rock, Chris (December 3, 2014). "Chris Rock Pens Blistering Essay on Hollywood's Race Problem: "It's a White Industry"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ Nickolai, Nate (August 13, 2019). "Leslie Jones Sets New Comedy Special With Netflix". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Patricia Tone (October 27, 2013). "Leslie Jones – Russell Simmons' A.D.D." – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "'SNL' Adds Two Black Writers, LaKendra Tookes And Leslie Jones, After Hiring Black Cast Member (VIDEO)". HuffPost. January 8, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Defends Controversial Slave Sketch (VIDEO)". HuffPost. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones Named 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  20. ^ "Original 'SNL' Cast MemberGeorge Coe Dies". TMZ. July 20, 2015.
  21. ^ Wright, Megh (July 9, 2013). "Saturday Night's Children: Michael McKean (1994–1995) | Splitsider". Splitsider. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  22. ^ Tonya, Pendleton (October 17, 2020). "Leslie Jones: 'I don't miss SNL'". Yahoo! Entertainment. Retrieved January 13, 2021.
  23. ^ Murphy, Keith (May 18, 2020). "The Undisputed Ranking of Every Black 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member". LEVEL. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  24. ^ Wezerek, Gus (December 14, 2019). "The 'Saturday Night Live' Stars Who Lasted, and the Ones Who Flamed Out". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 11, 2022.
  25. ^ "Leslie Jones to Leave 'Saturday Night Live' Ahead of The 45th Season". TheWrap. August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  26. ^ Chen, Jonathan (March 19, 2015). "A New Chris Rock Film is in The Works, Follow-up to Top Five". Paste Magazine. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  27. ^ Frazier, Tharpe (March 19, 2015). "Interview: Chris Rock Talks His New Movie and Racist Fraternities: "The Girls Scare Me More Than the Guys"". Complex. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  28. ^ Jung, E. Alex (December 28, 2015). "Leslie Jones Is Awesome, So Obviously Her New Yorker Profile Is Too". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  29. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Meet Your All-Female 'Ghostbusters'!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  30. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Coming To America 2' Adds Tracy Morgan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  31. ^ Hammond, Pete (June 28, 2017). "Film Academy Invites Record 774 New Members, From Gal Gadot To Betty White". Deadline.com.
  32. ^ Dessem, Matthew (August 7, 2016). "Leslie Jones' Olympics Tweets Are So Intense, NBC Invited Her to Rio". Slate. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  33. ^ Liptak, Andrew (August 7, 2016). "Leslie Jones' Olympic live tweeting just got her invited to Rio". The Verge. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  34. ^ Delbyck, Cole (August 6, 2016). "Watching Leslie Jones Watch The Olympics Is Better Than Actual Olympics". HuffPost. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  35. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (August 8, 2016). "Leslie Jones Accepts NBC Invite To Rio Olympics After Tweet-Storm Goes Viral – Update". Deadline.com. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  36. ^ "Leslie Jones joins 2018 Winter Olympics coverage as NBC contributor". EW.com.
  37. ^ "Leslie Jones' Olympics Commentary Greatest Hits: 'I Can't Do This S- With a Floatie'". Thewrap.com. August 8, 2021. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  38. ^ "Leslie Jones Says She May No Longer Live Recap Olympics: I Won't Stay 'Anywhere I'm Not Welcomed'". People.com. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  39. ^ Lazare, Lewis (May 12, 2016). "Allstate turns to Adam DeVine and Leslie Jones for comedic effect in new brand ads". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  40. ^ "Leslie Jones to Host 2017 BET Awards". Billboard.
  41. ^ "Amazon's Super Bowl Ad Came With an Extra Spot After the Game". Adweek.com.
  42. ^ "Supermarket Sweep Season 2 Release Date on ABC; When Does It Start?". NextSeasontv.com. December 28, 2020. Retrieved February 28, 2022.
  43. ^ Chloe Melas (April 28, 2021). "Leslie Jones to host 2021 MTV Movie & TV Awards". Cnn.com. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  44. ^ a b c LeslieJonesVideoBlog (December 9, 2011). "Leslie Jones Video Blog: Female Comics" – via YouTube.
  45. ^ "Watch the Seattle Seahawks' reaction to the Sounders' MLS Cup win". Foxsports.com. December 11, 2016.
  46. ^ Roy, Jessica (July 19, 2016). "Twitter bans Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos for harassment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  47. ^ Fisher, Lucina (July 20, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Star Leslie Jones Quits Twitter After Online Harassment". ABC News. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  48. ^ Liptak, Andrew (July 22, 2016). "Leslie Jones: 'hate speech and freedom of speech are two different things'". The Verge. Retrieved July 22, 2016.
  49. ^ Sblendorio, Peter (August 25, 2016). "Leslie Jones' website hacked, with nude photos and personal information exposed". nydailynews.com.
  50. ^ Zimmerman, Amy (August 25, 2016). "The Hacking of Leslie Jones Exposes Misogynoir at Its Worst". The Daily Beast.
  51. ^ "#LoveForLeslieJ Trends On Twitter After "Ghostbusters" Backlash". July 20, 2016.
  52. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (August 24, 2016). "Celebrities Rally Around Leslie Jones After Vicious Internet Hack". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  53. ^ Yee, Lawrence (August 24, 2016). "Leslie Jones Hack: Celebrities Come to Her Defense". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  54. ^ O'Malley, Katie (August 25, 2016). "Celebrities Come Out To Support Leslie Jones Following Hacking". Elle. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  55. ^ Golgowski, Nina (October 23, 2016). "Leslie Jones Shoots Down Trolls in Epic 'Saturday Night Live' Segment". The Huffington Post. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  56. ^ Symons, Alex (2023). Women Comedians in the Digital Age (1st ed.). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. p. 85. ISBN 978-1-003-26868-0. OCLC 1349461077.
  57. ^ "Leslie Jones on MySpace Comedy – Comic Clips, Funny Videos & Jokes". Myspace. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  58. ^ a b "Leslie Jones (visual voices guide)". Behind The Voice Actors. Retrieved October 8, 2023. A green check mark indicates that a role has been confirmed using a screenshot (or collage of screenshots) of a title's list of voice actors and their respective characters found in its opening and/or closing credits and/or other reliable sources of information.
  59. ^ Darwish, Meaghan (February 19, 2018). "Jason Ritter Teases What's to Come on 'Kevin (Probably) Saves the World'". TV Insider.
  60. ^ "The Daily Show Guest Host Lineup". Comedy Central. Retrieved June 22, 2023.
  61. ^ Cobb, Kayla (October 12, 2023). "'The Daily Show' Sets All-Star Host Lineup for Return With Leslie Jones, Desus Nice, Sarah Silverman and Charlamagne tha God". TheWrap. Retrieved October 13, 2023.
  62. ^ Otterson, Joe (February 2, 2023). "'Hit-Monkey' Renewed for Season 2 at Hulu". Variety. Archived from the original on February 2, 2023. Retrieved February 2, 2023.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
David Ruprecht
(1990–1995, 2000–2003)
Host of Supermarket Sweep
2020–2022 (on hiatus)
Succeeded by