The revolving door of Saturday Night Live has claimed another one. The hilarious Leslie Jones won't be returning to the stage this fall after five seasons. As SNL contracts typically last seven years with actor's options picked up every year, Jones will be saying goodbye before her studio time runs out. The performers are allowed to ask to be released early and according to sources, Jones opted to do so.
The comedian originally joined SNL as a writer, but after a few "Weekend Update" appearances, she quickly carved a place for herself in the dynamic cast. Leslie Jones ultimately joined the cast in 2014, becoming the oldest member ever to join the show. Once through the door, she burst onto the scene with memorable roles like her impersonation of Whoopi Goldberg, her "House Hunters" parody with Liev Schreiber, Weezer sketch with Matt Damon and her "Weekend Update" commentaries on anti-abortion legislation. Jones even earned an Emmy nomination this year for her "Upper East Side Rap."
Her breakout success on the small screen has led to some big screen appearances as well. She had roles is Chris Rock's Top Five, joined fellow female comedian Amy Schumer's Trainwreck and of course Paul Feig's Ghostbusters alongside SNL star and impression expert Kate McKinnon.
Jones seems to be using this momentum to expand her reach in the comedy field. She has signed on to join the growing cast of the highly anticipated Eddie Murphy sequel Coming 2 America. She is also going to show up on your Netflix interface soon with her own stand-up special. Thankfully, the powerhouse comedian seems to be keeping busy because we can't wait to see what she does next.
While Leslie says farewell, the national staple Saturday Night Live keeps chugging along with new announcements. Despite her growing film career, the delightful Kate McKinnon has decided to return to the SNL stage in the upcoming season, though it isn't yet clear whether she will be returning full-time or not.
McKinnon has had several starring roles including the aforementioned Ghostbusters reboot. Along with appearing on SNL, McKinnon is set to headline and executive produce a limited series for Hulu about the rise and fall of Elizabeth Holmes and her company, Theranos. The series is titled The Dropout. McKinnon has received two Emmy nominations for her work on the show and arguably the most attention for her straight-faced and outlandish personality on stage. If you haven't seen her impersonation of Justin Bieber or her ability to make Ryan Gosling cry in the "alien abduction" skit, treat yo' self.
Also returning are Steve Harvey impersonator Kenan Thompson, Aidy Bryant and Cecily Strong.
A strong lineup of hosts has been announced for the show's upcoming season. On that list so far are Taylor Swift, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Billie Eilish, Eddie Murphy and more. Saturday Night Live returns for its 45th season on September 28 with Woody Harrelson as host for his fourth time. The chart-topping Billie Eilish will be his musical guest. This news comes directly from Variety.