There’s some shocking Saturday Night Live news leading up to the premiere next month, and it’s something we definitely didn’t see coming — Leslie Jones is leaving.
According to Deadline, Jones made the decision to depart after five years aboard the show in order to pursue other opportunities. She’s got some other things in the works, and since first joining the show she has done standup on another level to go along with some movie gigs. (We also still love the small cameo that she made on The Blacklist.)
The reason why Jones’ exit is so shocking is due to her still being under contract at the time. Typically SNL performers sign seven-year deals upon joining the show; the series can decline to pick up someone’s contract on occasion. Another thing that does happen from time to time is that actors ask to be released; that seems to be the case here.
We’re going to miss Jones, who brought some of the best Weekend Update bits of the past several years to the show. She was bold, hilarious, and wasn’t afraid to speak her mind. She’s also become somewhat of a social-media legend in between her love of Timeless plus her recording live reactions to the Olympics. Her story itself is inspiring — while most SNL performers arrive early on in their comedy career, Jones was in her mid-forties when she first joined. She had a more difficult path to fame but she stuck with it and it’s paid off!
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On the flip side of this news, it has now been confirmed that Kate McKinnon is coming back for what will be her eighth season on the show. McKinnon’s contract was actually up this past May, but the series is retaining arguably their biggest star for at least one more year. McKinnon’s list of notable characters include Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Hillary Clinton, the Whiskers R We spokeswoman, and the regular at the bar in the Last Call sketches. She’s always been willing to go the extra mile for comedy, even if it requires a weird costume or a ton of makeup applied on-the-fly.
What do you think about Leslie Jones leaving Saturday Night Live? Be sure to share in the comments, and stick around for more news. (Photo: NBC.)