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Posts tagged as leslie jones

Watch a Behind-the-Scenes Look at 'Top Five' with Chris Rock, Leslie Jones, Kevin Hart, and More

Here's a behind-the-scenes peek of Chris Rock's new film Top Five featuring Kevin Hart, Questlove, and SNL cast members Leslie Jones and Jay Pharoah, who explain why it's best to work with a friend like Rock who's "just a phone call away." The film premieres in theaters this Friday, and you can check out the trailer here.

'SNL' Review: A New Hope with Chris Pratt

The seasons have certainly changed at Saturday Night Live. The show's 40th season began with an episode that hardly resembled a season premiere, with little pomp or circumstance over SNL's impressive four-decade lifespan, and in its place a straightforward night of comedy that reflected a show well adjusted to its new lineup. Nerves did occasionally get the better of the performers — especially first-time host Chris Pratt, who coasted on his signature goofy charm, flashing that Andy Dwyer "oops" face a few times – but overall the episode charged forward with a leaner (and more colorful) cast, and a greater confidence in its sense of humor.

We aren't out of the woods just yet, though. SNL's live sketches suffer [...]

How 'SNL' Addressed Race in Season 39, as Shown in 11 Sketches

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here, we look at the show's shifting tone on race over the arc of this season.

This has not been an easy year for SNL to talk about race. From the moment the show announced its six new cast members — the largest turnover in more than a decade — and viewers noticed that not one of them was a person of color, SNL once again became a target of progressive viewers calling for the cast to [...]

'SNL's Leslie Jones and the Problem with Misplaced Outrage

Forty years ago, Saturday Night Live aired a sketch wherein Chevy Chase interviewed Richard Pryor for a job. It became instantly infamous because of a word association game the two comedians engaged in that culminated with Richard Pryor calling Chase a "dead honkey" after Chase offered up the word "nigger." Paul Mooney, the legendary comedian who penned the sketch, said he based it on his experience being overly interviewed by network executives as to whether or not he was qualified to be one of Pryor's writers for the episode. Forty years later, it is arguably one of the greatest sketches the show has ever aired.

This past Saturday, newcomer Leslie [...]

'SNL' Adds Two Black Female Writers, LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones

Earlier this week, Saturday Night Live added Sasheer Zamata to its cast, the show's first black female cast member in over five years, and now, they've hired two black female writers. LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones, who both auditioned during to be SNL cast members last month, have been added to the writing staff, THR reports. Their first show will be the next new episode on January 18th, with host and musical guest Drake, during which Zamata will also make her debut.

Lorne Michaels's long-running sketch series faced scrutiny in the fall for the lack of diversity amongst its new cast, prompting the show to [...]

Chris Rock Explains How He Helped Leslie Jones Get Hired at 'SNL'

Chris Rock has a powerful Hollywood Reporter essay out today that breaks down his thoughts on Hollywood's race problem, and in the middle of the essay there's some great SNL trivia for fans of newly added featured player Leslie Jones. According to the essay, Rock was lobbying to get Jones on the show long before she actually got the job:

And I have a decent batting average. I still remember people thinking I was crazy for hiring Wanda Sykes on my old HBO show. I recommended J.B. Smoove for Saturday Night Live, and I just helped Leslie Jones get on that show. She's about as funny as [...]

Leslie Jones, Mike O'Brien, LaKendra Tookes, and More Have Reportedly Left the 'SNL' Writing Staff

Saturday Night Live updated the "About" section of their website this week to include newly hired writers Alison Rich, Jeremy Beiler, Natasha Rothwell, Streeter Seidell, and Nick Rutherford, but even more important are some of the names that are no longer credited as full-time writers this year. According to the SNL website, season 39 writers Leslie Jones, Paula Pell, Marika Sawyer, LaKendra Tookes, and Mike O'Brien will not be officially returning to the writing staff. Sawyer has moved on from SNL to work with John Mulaney on his new Fox sitcom, Paula Pell (who has been an SNL writer since 1995) is currently busy working on [...]

The 24 Best Sketches of 'SNL' Season 39

With SNL's 39th season coming to a close, we're taking a look at the past season with a series of posts examining the highs, lows, and other memorable moments from the past eight months. Here we recall some of our favorite sketches from the season — both live sketches and videos.

Season 39 of SNL certainly hasn't been the most popular among viewers, with its first half bogged down with criticism over the lack of diversity in the cast, and its second half attacked (often unfairly) for uneven writing under new head writer Colin Jost. Even though the show hired Sasheer Zamata (along with two black female writers), and the script [...]

'SNL' Review: Andrew Garfield Couldn't Save the Day

When I started reviewing SNL three years ago, I was proud to consider myself a defender of the show. Of course, not that the mainstream pop culture institution needed any defending. My frustration was with the show's cynical viewers — online critics, comedy nerds, pretty much everyone in my hometown — who had jumped on the hip bandwagon of dismissing SNL as "not as funny as it used to be." It didn't matter to them that the show is broadcasted live, with each episode written and produced in less than six days. Even if SNL managed to pull off a handful of good sketches week after week, that wasn't good [...]

'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Is Now a Featured Player

SNL just made an excellent (and long overdue) casting decision by promoting writer and sometimes-performer Leslie Jones. Deadline reports that Jones has officially been added as a featured player, and her first credited episode will be this Saturday's episode hosted by Jim Carrey. Click through to watch the SNL appearances Leslie Jones has made as a writer so far as well as her standup appearance on Late Night last month:

'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Urges Women to Take the Crazy Back on 'Late Night'

SNL writer Leslie Jones, who won all our hearts on Weekend Update back in May with the eternal question "Can a bitch get a beef bowl?", did standup on last night's Late Night. Jones covers booty calls, why texting makes women crazier than they already are, and why women shouldn't be ashamed of the fact that they're crazy in the first place.

Is 'Saturday Night Live' Becoming 'Saturday Night Pretaped'?

Last year, in his third time hosting SNL, Zach Galifianakis gave us a wonderful sketch called "Darrell's House." The sketch came in two parts. The first part was an odd piece that aired live early in the episode, with Galifianakis playing a public access TV show host who barked at an off-screen director to make various specific edits in post: remove a fight with his wife, insert a shot of a laughing crowd at the Apollo, etc. But it was the second part that was the true marvel. At the end of the night, SNL aired a recut version of the sketch with exactly all of the edits Galifianakis [...]

'SNL's Push to Diversify Was Problematic, But the Results Are Worth It

This week, Saturday Night Live hired three African-American women to prominent positions: Sasheer Zamata as a cast member and LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones as writers. Zamata is the show's first black female cast member since Maya Rudolph, who departed in 2007, and Tookes and Jones are the show's first black female writers since Vanessa Middleton, who was briefly on the show's staff from 1992 to 1993. It's great to see SNL making more diverse hires, but it's disappointing that producers were shamed into adding the show's first black female writers/performers in years by the recent wave of criticism that came SNL's way for its lack of diversity. Zamata, Tookes, [...]