Leslie Jones quits ‘Saturday Night Live’ after five seasons, she ‘chose to depart’

70th Emmy Awards (2018) - Arrivals

Most of the time, we hear that Saturday Night Live cast members are leaving the show at the end of a season, which is usually in May or June. There’s always turnover in a show like SNL, and there are always comedians and actors on the show who get offered bigger and better projects, or they just get burned out on the grind of putting on a weekly live show. If you told me that Leslie Jones was tired of the grind of it, plus maybe she was tired of the misogynists on the internet, I would understand completely. But… she’s quit SNL just a few weeks before the new season begins, and she’s doing it because she’s got bigger things going on. Do you believe that? Hm.

Leslie Jones has quit “Saturday Night Live” after five seasons, Page Six has learned. The comic, 51, recently scored a role in Eddie Murphy’s “Coming To America” sequel as well as her own Netflix special.

A source told us: “Leslie has chosen to depart as she has several upcoming projects in the works — and she thought it was the right time to go.”

Meanwhile, after months of speculation, Kate McKinnon will return, we’re told. Jones is currently on screen in “Angry Birds 2” and will film her Netflix stand-up comedy special in Washington, DC, on Sept. 10 at the Warner Theatre. She was originally hired as a writer on the NBC show and made appearances on “Weekend Update” before being given a full-time cast member gig in 2014.

Jones was among the original comedians being considered for a spot in the main “SNL” cast in December 2013 after the long-running sketch series faced widespread criticism that its new cast lacked minority faces. Sasheer Zamata ultimately landed the gig but left in 2017.

[From Page Six]

There were a lot of moments where I wasn’t sure the writers really knew what to do with Leslie, but over the past few years, it seems she’s been writing more stuff for herself, and at this point, she’s legitimately one of the most famous cast members on SNL. She will be missed. Especially since SNL will probably replace her with some white dude. But I’m happy that she’s got a lot of stuff going on, and I hope she continues to develop her own projects and get all kinds of gigs.

2018 Time 100 Gala

Photos courtesy of WENN.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

53 Responses to “Leslie Jones quits ‘Saturday Night Live’ after five seasons, she ‘chose to depart’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. Eribra says:

    She looks so good in that blazer mini skirt!

  2. Nev says:

    Go Leslie!!!! Love her.

  3. notpretentious says:

    Good luck to her. I hope she’ll be making more movies. Oh, and legs!! She has great legs, I didn’t know that.

  4. Giddy says:

    Love Leslie, partly because she always seems to be enjoying herself so much. I hope that there will be another program that we can enjoy watching “with her” like for Game of Thrones. Maybe she’ll do a running commentary again on the Olympics.

  5. Nanea says:

    I will miss Leslie.
    That said, I hope “SNL will probably replace her with some white dude.” won’t happen, in fact some other white dudes should be replaced, Colin Jost for starters, who is quite unfunny.

  6. Arizona says:

    I like her and thinks she’s funnier than Pete Davidson but they had the same kind of thing going where it seems like they were mostly just playing themselves. I’m not convinced that she left because of bigger and better projects, because so far the only thing announced is a reboot of supermarket sweep.

    • Cay says:

      She’s been doing stand up and I think she has 3 movie projects listed.

      • Cay says:

        I’m not sure when her coupon movie will come out, but I would guess in 2020. That would be a reason for either her and/or Kristen Bell (ugh) to host SNL.

  7. boredblond says:

    It is surprising; cast members usually know they’re not returning and get the big send-off on the last show. maybe it was a contract thing. Anyway, she’s a funny lady and I wish her well.

  8. Erinn says:

    She looks amazing in that suit and heels. She’s got some nice legs.

    I hope she does well. She’s not my favorite comedian, but she seems like a great person and I only have well wishes for her.

    Hopefully they’ll replace her with someone who will bring more diversity to SNL.

  9. Chelly says:

    I haven’t watch SNL in YEARS, I mean, like the Chris Kattan days and didn’t even know she was part of the ensemble. But I could totally see how she’d fit right in, her standup is what introduced me to her and wish her well! (I may watch a few seasons of SNL on Hulu, if even just to see her)

  10. Guest says:

    I love her – I find her very funny. Good luck to her, I wish her great things!

    • LadyT says:

      Same here. When she comes on I find myself smiling before she even opens her mouth.

      • lucy2 says:

        Me too! She’s hilarious and full of joy, especially when she’s excited about something she loves, like the Olympics.
        I’m really happy she’s leaving for bigger things, I hope her film career goes well. She can probably do a movie or two a year and make more than she did on SNL, and without the insane schedule and pressure.

      • Joanna says:

        I love her! She just seems so genuine!

    • Turtledove says:

      Same. I am going to miss her on SNL though. She was so good!

  11. Lizzie says:

    i bet she has a lot of stuff going on and when she tried to work her schedule with SNL they weren’t accommodating so she bounced. i think she’s hilarious and i hope she continues to flourish professionally. she just seems like good people to me.

    • deezee says:

      That’s what I think too. I have heard that Lorne Michaels will ok some time off for one castmember and say no to others in a way that makes it seem random and frustrating for the castmember trying to capitalize while they can.

      I bet he wasn’t budging for her and she said eff it and left. It’s too bad. She’s my second favourite on the show.

  12. Tina says:

    I didn’t find her that funny in sketches. She had a few good update sketches but she is quite limited in her range when compared to the other women.

    • Amelie says:

      Yeah same here. I also don’t think she has much range and seemed to play the same kind of characters (though that could be because of the writers giving her not great skits?). While I enjoy her interviews and I think she has an awesome personality, she’s never been my favorite comedian. But I will check out her Netflix special, maybe outside of the confines of SNL I might see a different side to her.

    • Bella Bella says:

      She was always breaking character too. Laughing and forgetting lines. It was her thing.

  13. hindulovegod says:

    I’m guessing the game show offered her more money for less work, with more flexibility for other projects. Why not grab it?

  14. Himmiefan says:

    She will be missed! I’ll definitely check out her new stuff.

  15. T says:

    LOVE Leslie Jones! I hope this is truly what she wanted and can’t wait to see her upcoming projects!

  16. Constance says:

    I loved her in the Weezer sketch with Matt Damon. She looks fab in that blazer dress!

  17. SJR says:

    I like her. She got a lot of exposure from SNL, and should be getting more offers.
    I agree that Colin Jost is unfunny.
    SNL needs a lot of help to stay afloat these days, IMO.

  18. JanetDR says:

    I enjoy her so much! The timing does seem a little suspect. Leslie being Leslie is my favorite thing, so let’s have some more of that.

    • Tiffany says:

      Re: Leslie being Leslie.

      Yep. I still remember when James Spader did a interview on Fallon and he talked about how much he enjoyed talking to Leslie (she is a fan of the show and has a huge crush on him) and so much that they arranged for her to have a cameo on The Blacklist where she flirted with him for 5 minutes in a DMV office.

  19. Dal says:

    She’s funny but has a hard time staying in character as she always ends up laughing … throughout her skits ..think that’s what made her even more fun to watch !

  20. Cay says:

    I know one of the “big stars” at SNL and she told me in May that Leslie Jones was leaving. SNL knew it but they didn’t release the info until now.

    • TQB says:

      That’s interesting. Any idea why they’d hold the news until now? Were they trying to woo her back?

      • Cay says:

        I’m not really sure, but do you remember on the last show last season when she went off in Weekend Update about abortion in Alabama? My “contact” said that the segment was her sign off and she wanted to go off the show with all her opinions in full view. I think SNL has just been trying to figure out who was going to replace her. I don’t think there was anything shady going on.

  21. Parigo says:

    She really grew on me. Will miss seeing her.

  22. Renee says:

    Damnit! Why couldn’t Jost or Che leave? I love Leslie. She is brilliant & saves skits that are not even funny. She will definitely be missed.

    • lucy2 says:

      No “or” I want both Jost AND Che to go!
      After so many years of great pairings on Weekend Update, those two are really bad.

  23. shells_bells says:

    Congrats to her. I think she could be doing much bigger things and this will definitely free up some time
    And on a superficial note… Damn… her legs are fire!

  24. Lowrider says:

    Good, she was awful. Her fawning all over Jost was irritating.

    • ME says:

      She flubbed her lines on SNL a lot. It seemed like she was either very nervous all the time or just never arrived prepared for the show. I also didn’t find her very funny. I do hope she has success with movies.

  25. Slacker says:

    Love that woman and her energy.

  26. J ferber says:

    I love her, too.

  27. Alyse says:

    I hope next projects includes watching more TV with Seth

  28. K says:

    She actually seems funny and likable enough just as herself, but on the show she was a terrible fit most of the time. Just did not seem suited for SNL type live skits, constantly flubbing lines, awkwardly breaking character and not believably morphing into very different types of characters with accents or impressions, etc. Can’t believe they kept her so long when I’ve gone to $5 improv shows with more exciting performers, but glad she has different types of opportunities and I look forward to the new blood they’ll bring in.

  29. barbwire says:

    i adore the irrepressible Leslie and her crazy humor..she always cheered me up when i saw her onscreen. her antics with colin jost just made me genuinely laugh. but perhaps the days of SNL and it’s witty take and commentary on society is coming to its end. with trump as president and the current state of things in America, society is now a caricature of the caricatures and sketches SNL put out. they can no longer push the boundaries because everyday you open the papers, Cheetos strikes again. SNL can’t compete with natural stupidity

  30. Sam says:

    Good riddance!

  31. Yes Doubtful says:

    I think I’m the only one who never thought she was a big deal anyway. She always messed up her lines on the show.