EXCLUSIVE: Saturday Night Live loves to promote from within, and the late-night sketch show has done it again, pinning featured player stripes on a member of the writing staff. Starting with this week’s show hosted by Jim Carrey, Leslie Jones will be joining the cast of SNL, where she has been a writer since early 2014.
Actress-comedian Jones took part in the talent search for a new SNL cast member last fall. She was one of 12 finalists invited to audition on the SNL stage and was in serious contention for the spot that ultimately went to Sasheer Zamata. But Lorne Michaels and his team liked Jones too and brought her in as a writer. She quickly established herself not only off- but also on-screen with appearances on Weekend Update. Her bit on slavery in May made a lot of noise, and she also was featured in the SNL season premiere last month. (Watch the video below.)
Like Jones, new Weekend Update co-anchor Michael Che also started as a writer on SNL, a long-standing tradition on the show. Jones, who will continue to write on SNL, joins Pete Davidson as the second new featured player this fall. She is repped by APA, Integral Management and Pierce Law Group.