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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE Names Leslie Jones Its Newest Cast Member

Although Saturday Night Live may now officially be over the hill, the House that Lorne Built Continues to make shrewd moves in its 40th season. After adding standout newcomer Pete Davidson to its lineup at the beginning of the season, SNL has kept the casting train rolling by promoting comedian Leslie Jones from its writing staff to cast member. A writer for SNL since early 2014, Jones will begin her new job will this weekend with the Jim Carrey-hosted episode on Saturday, October 25. In her appearances this season, she has absolutely stolen the show, appearing on the Weekend Update desk to dole out advice on relationships, and in video sketches like “39 Cents”, the hilarious send-up of Save the Children commercials. In short, capitalizing on this dynamic performer with an outsized personality is a very smart move on SNL‘s part

This shouldn’t come as a surprise to those in the know either. Last year, Leslie Jones was one of twelve finalists invited to audition in front of Lorne Michaels on the SNL stage during their mid-season talent search. Although the spot ultimately went to Sasheer Zamata, Michaels and his team liked Jones so much that they brought her on as a staff writer. Quickly establishing herself a a force to be reckoned with off-screen, Jones started making waves on-screen too with appearances on Weekend Update. And now, it seems, her hard work has paid off.

In case you need a refresher, here are some of Jones’ best appearances to date:

39 Cents

Weekend Update – Relationships

Weekend Update – People Magazine’s Most Beautiful Person

Keep it up, Lorne, and you guys might just have forty more seasons ahead.

Are you excited by this casting news? Let us know in the comments below!

Image: NBC

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  1. superty says:

    This just makes me miss Phil Hartman Chris Farley Gilda Radner and John belushi

  2. donovan says:

    The 39 Cents bit was funny but she
    ‘s not a “show-stealer”. She’s mostly just loud/annoying. She can be glad, if she’s “survives” this season. SNL gets shittier with every year. The Bill Hader episode just showed us how good it can be, if you have a true talent leading the stage.

  3. Archie says:

    The only thing I’m worried about is that they have too many specialists. A lot of their cast members feel like they’re only good in one type of role. Not a BAD thing, but you look at Ferrell and Wiig and Armisen and wish there was someone who could wear more hats. It’s probably unfair to compare the new kids to the vets right now, though.

  4. Cody says:

    I guess I’m the only person who finds Jones terribly unfunny.  Apparently a lot of folks want to see her play the same exact character in tons of sketches.  Enjoy that.
    This seems like another terrible decision in a long line of them for the past couple years on SNL.  Moving Cecily off update, putting Jost on update, hiring Zamata, keeping Bennett but firing Wheelan after he had zero chances, and on and on and on.  I’ll watch SNL until the day I die, but Jesus, sometimes I just want to throw a brick at my television.

    • Tim says:

      She wasn’t playing characters in two of those skits. She was just introduced as herself, I would wait a bit and see what they put her in before you judge.

  5. Simon says:

    I’m sure people will see this as more “tokenism” but, truth be told, Leslie Jones first Weekend Update appearance was one of the funniest things I’ve seen on SNL. I hope becoming a cast member works for her like it did for Tracy Morgan.
    And, to counter DougieFly’s comment, I think Che is very funny but he’s been a bit poor on Update so far (I’m hoping that’s just nerves). I also think Aidy Bryant is fantastic. She’s just nailed it in so many sketches.I do miss Cecily on Update, though. I didn’t see why they had to add Colin Jost to that job, I’m sure she could have presented it by herself perfectly.

  6. DougieFly says:

    what i want to know is who bitched to snl enough to make them hire so many black people?… they went on a tear just hiring whatever black people they could find, despite them being funny at all. luckily Jones is funny.. Zamata.. not funny in the least, neither is Che… at least they stopped hiring fat people because Melissa McCarthy is fat,, Aidy Bryant is the worst cast member in history…rant complete