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If you've been watching Saturday Night Live's current season, chances are, you've already seen the long-running sketch comedy's latest casting addition. Leslie Jones, who's been featured on "Weekend Update," and a recent sketch, has been added to Saturday Night Live's Season 40 cast as a featured player.
Deadline notes that Leslie Jones was hired as a writer for Saturday Night Live last January. Since then, she's only appeared on screen a handful of times, including this Weekend Update appearance from the Season 40 premiere (Chris Pratt's episode). Check it out below:
And more recently, she appeared in a sketch during Bill Hader's episode. She shows up toward the end of the "39 Cents" sketch...
Jones' appearances aren't limited to the current season. She appeared on "Weekend Update" last May in a segment focusing on 12 Years a Slave's Lupita Nyong'o, who had just been featured on People's Most Beautiful People cover. Jones' jokes about slavery caused a bit of controversy. See the video below:
Controversy aside, Leslie Jones appears to have a good handle on stand-up, which seems to be the direction "Weekend Update" has been going with its guest segments lately. (See also newcomer Pete Davison, who's also appeared a couple of times on "Weekend Update") So we may expect to see her at the news desk more now that she's officially added to the cast. It'll definitely be interesting to see how Jones settles in among the current cast.
Deadline notes that Jones was among the finalists in line to join the cast last season when Sassheer Zamata was eventually cast. Jones was hired as a writer, but it clearly didn't take her long to find a place for herself in front of the camera. Her first official episode as a featured player will be this week's, which will be hosted by Jim Carrey.
In addition to SNL, Leslie Jones' credits include appearances in Workaholics, The League, Sullivan & Son and going back a bit further, an episode of Dark Angel. Her IMDB page also notes a credit in Chris Rock's Top Five.