Leslie Jones (comedian)

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Leslie Jones
Born (1967-09-07) September 7, 1967 (age 48)[1]
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
Medium Stand up comedian, actress
Alma mater Colorado State University
Genres Observational humor
Influences Eddie Murphy,[2] Richard Pryor,[3] Whoopi Goldberg[3]
Notable works and roles Saturday Night Live cast member, writer

Leslie Jones (born September 7, 1967)[1] is an American comedian and actress, currently 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 2011, her one-hour comedy special, Problem Child, was broadcast on Showtime.[2]

Early life[edit]

Leslie Jones was born in Memphis, Tennessee.[2] Her father was in the United States Army and her family moved frequently.[3] 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 played basketball. She attended Chapman University on a basketball scholarship and transferred to Colorado State University when her coach left Chapman for Colorado State.[4] She intended to become a lawyer,[2] but changed her mind and changed her major a few times, including business accounting and computer science and eventually ended up majoring in communications.[5] At Chapman, Jones became a radio DJ.[5] She was unsure of what she wanted to do, and contemplated the possibility of a career playing basketball overseas.[2]


Jones started to do stand-up comedy in college in 1987, when a friend signed her up for a "Funniest Person on Campus" contest.[2][3] After she won the contest, Jones left school and moved to Los Angeles.[2] She performed at regular clubs and worked at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and UPS[6] to make ends meet. Mother Love and Dave Chappelle encouraged her to move to New York to hone her craft for two years and appeared on BET's ComicView before returning to Los Angeles.[5] She performed at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, but received unfavorable reviews.[5] She opened up for Jamie Foxx and was booed by the audience. Feeling discouraged, Jones stopped performing for three years.[5]

In 2010, Jones was part of Katt Williams' It's Pimpin' Pimpin' tour.[3][7]

In December 2013, Saturday Night Live held a casting call to add at least one African-American female to the show, and Jones auditioned. Sasheer Zamata was added as a featured player, while Jones and LaKendra Tookes were hired as writers.[8] 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.[9]

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. At the age of 47, she is the oldest person to become a cast member on the show (surpassing Michael McKean and George Coe, who were 46 when they joined the show in, respectively, 1994 and 1975).[10][11] Jones' addition marks the first time in SNL history that the show's cast has included more than one African-American female; in addition, the 40th season has the most African-American cast members to date.[12] Jones subsequently returned for Season 41.

In January 2015, she was reported as having a starring role in the upcoming Ghostbusters film, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.[13]



Year Film Role Notes
1987 Home Is Where the Hart Is Night Nurse
1998 Wrongfully Accused Sergeant Tina Bagley
1998 Sploosh Short film
1998 Does That Make Me a Bad Person? Marilyn Dukekne Short film
2000 Mermaid Clerk Television film
2000 A Feeling Called Glory Vapid Nurse Short film
2002 The New Beachcombers Maud Wrecht Television film
2003 National Security Britney
2003 A Guy Thing Sales Employee
2006 Repos Lay La
2007 Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary Mamma Rag
2008 Internet Dating Too Sweett Jones
2010 Something Like a Business Vanity
2010 Lottery Ticket Tasha
2010 The Company We Keep Beverly Blue
2012 House Arrest Boss Lady
2014 Top Five Lisa
2015 Masterminds Detective
2015 We Are Family Leslie
2015 Trainwreck Angry Subway Patron
2016 Ghostbusters Patty Tolan Post-production
2016 Sing Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
2001 Dark Angel Waitress Episode: "Boo"
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"


  1. ^ a b "Comedy for the Cure". Susan G. Komen for the Cure. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g 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. 
  3. ^ 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. 
  4. ^ Gay, Verne (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones joins 'Saturday Night Live' cast". Newsday. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c d e "Leslie Jones: Comedian At Work". Pollstar. March 19, 2010. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  6. ^ "BIOGRAPHY". Justleslie.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014. 
  7. ^ 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. 
  8. ^ "'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. 
  9. ^ "'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Defends Controversial Slave Sketch (VIDEO)". The Huffington Post. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  10. ^ Saturday Night Live Dead TMZ. Retrieved 2015
  11. ^ Wright, Megh (July 9, 2013). "Saturday Night's Children: Michael McKean (1994-1995) | Splitsider". Splitsider. Retrieved December 18, 2014. 
  12. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones Named ‘Saturday Night Live’ Cast Member". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 
  13. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Meet Your All-Female ‘Ghostbusters’!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 21, 2014. 

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