Leslie Jones (comedian)

Annette "Leslie" Jones[1][2] (born September 7, 1967) is an American comedian and actress who was a cast member and writer on Saturday Night Live from 2014 to 2019. Jones has been a featured performer at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival. In 2010, her one-hour comedy special, Problem Child, was broadcast on Showtime. Jones starred in Ghostbusters (2016) as Patty Tolan. In 2017 and 2018, Jones was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on Saturday Night Live.

Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones at The Stress Factory (43785886122).jpg
Jones at the Stress Factory in 2018
Birth nameAnnette Jones
Born (1967-09-07) September 7, 1967 (age 53)
Memphis, Tennessee, U.S.
MediumComedy, television, film
Alma materColorado State University
Years active1987–present
GenresObservational humor, blue comedy, black comedy, physical comedy
Subject(s)African-American culture, everyday life, pop culture, current events
Notable works and rolesFormer Saturday Night Live cast member and writer;
Ghostbusters (2016)

Early lifeEdit

Annette Jones was born on September 7, 1967, in Memphis, Tennessee.[3] Her father was in the United States Army, and her family moved frequently.[4] Her family moved to Los Angeles, when her father took a job at Stevie Wonder's radio station, KJLH, as an electronics engineer.[3] Jones attended high school in Lynwood, California, where she also played basketball; her father suggested that she play the sport because she is six feet tall.[5]

Jones attended Chapman University on a basketball scholarship and transferred to Colorado State University when her coach Brian Berger left Chapman for Colorado State.[1][6][7] She intended to become a lawyer,[8] but changed her mind and changed her major a few times, including to business accounting and computer science, and ended up majoring in communications.[9] At Chapman, Jones became a radio DJ.[9] She was unsure of what she wanted to do and contemplated the possibility of a career playing basketball overseas.[8]

She had a brother, Rodney Keith Jones (1971–2009).[citation needed][10]



Jones started to do stand-up comedy in college in 1987, when a friend signed her up for a "Funniest Person on Campus" contest.[4][8] After she won the contest, Jones left school and moved to Los Angeles.[8] She performed at regular clubs and worked at Roscoe's House of Chicken and Waffles and UPS[11] to make ends meet. Mother Love and Dave Chappelle encouraged her to move to New York City to hone her craft for two years, where she appeared on BET's ComicView before returning to Los Angeles.[9] She performed at The Comedy Store in West Hollywood, but received unfavorable reviews.[9] She opened for Jamie Foxx and was booed by the audience. Feeling she lacked experience, Jones stopped performing for three years.[9] Fearing that she would only ever be known in African American circles around 2010 she began to stop playing so called "black clubs"[12] One night Chris Rock saw her perform and gave her name to several of "the biggest managers in comedy" all of whom "didn't get it."[13] Rock would eventually help Jones get a job at Saturday Night Live.[13]

In 2008, Jones was part of Katt Williams's It's Pimpin' Pimpin' tour.[4][14]

Netflix signed Jones for a stand-up special slated for 2020.[15]

Saturday Night LiveEdit

In December 2013, Saturday Night Live held a casting call to add at least one African-American woman to the show, and Jones auditioned. Prior to being asked to audition, Jones had criticized the show, saying that the show, and especially cast member Kenan Thompson, was "not funny".[16] Sasheer Zamata was added as a featured player, while Jones and LaKendra Tookes were hired as writers.[17] Jones appeared during the Weekend Update segment of the May 3, 2014 episode hosted by Andrew Garfield, where her jokes about her current dating problems and her potential effectiveness as a breeding slave were met with controversy.[6][18]

Jones appeared in the first and third episodes of the 40th season, hosted by Chris Pratt and Bill Hader, respectively. On October 20, 2014, Jones was promoted to the cast as a featured player, and made her official debut on the October 25, 2014 episode hosted by Jim Carrey. She became, at the age of 47, the oldest person to join the show as a cast member (surpassing Michael McKean and George Coe, who were 46 when they joined the show in 1994 and 1975, respectively).[19][20] Jones's addition marked the first time in SNL history that the show's cast included more than one African-American woman; in addition, the 40th season had the most African-American cast members to date.[21] Jones subsequently returned for Seasons 41, 42 (where she was promoted to Repertory Status), 43, and 44.

In 2017 and 2018, Jones was nominated for an Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series for her work on SNL.

Jones did not return to the 45th season, making the 44th season her last season.[22]


In 2006, Jones appeared in Master P's movie Repos.

In 2014, Jones appeared in Chris Rock's directorial debut, Top Five; Rock has said a follow-up is in the works,[23] telling Complex Magazine, "Some people really shine in Top Five. You might want to see a little more Leslie Jones."[24]

In 2015, Jones appeared in the Judd Apatow and Amy Schumer project, Trainwreck; reportedly Apatow and Schumer wrote a part specifically for Jones after seeing her turn in Top Five.[25]

In 2016, she starred in the reboot Ghostbusters as Patty Tolan, alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristen Wiig, and Kate McKinnon.[6][26]

Jones is set to appear in Coming 2 America alongside Tracy Morgan, Rick Ross, and KiKi Layne. The film is a sequel to Coming to America, starring Eddie Murphy.[27]

Olympics coverageEdit

During the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio, Jones regularly live-tweeted events and posted videos of her reactions.[28][29] Enthusiasm for Jones's commentary grew, with articles appearing like The Huffington Post's "Watching Leslie Jones Watch The Olympics Is Better Than The Actual Olympics".[30] Television producer Mike Shoemaker, one of Jones's Twitter followers, posted on Twitter that his friend Jim Bell, NBC's executive producer of the network's Olympics coverage, should add Jones to NBC's team of commentators covering the Games; Bell responded on Twitter the next day asking Jones to join NBC in Rio. She accepted and flew to Rio, covering swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and beach volleyball for NBC.[31]

Jones reprised her duties at the 2018 Winter Olympics.[32]

Other projectsEdit

Jones and fellow comedian Adam DeVine appeared in a 2016 ad campaign for Allstate Insurance, created by Leo Burnett Worldwide.[33]

Jones hosted the BET Awards on June 25, 2017.[34] This marked her hosting debut.

In 2018, Jones appeared in two advertisements for Amazon's Echo Spot.[35]


Jones has cited as her comedic influences Eddie Murphy,[8] Richard Pryor,[4] Carol Burnett,[36] Lucille Ball,[36] John Ritter,[36] and Whoopi Goldberg.[4]

Online attacksEdit

Following the release of Ghostbusters, Jones became the target of racist attacks by numerous accounts on social networking site Twitter. Twitter responded by taking action against several users, resulting in the permanent Twitter suspension of user and Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulos, who had described her as "barely literate".[37]

After continuing to receive racist comments, Jones left Twitter on July 18, 2016.[38] Jones appeared later in the week on Late Night with Seth Meyers, in which she described the ordeal and her meeting with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey. Responding to Yiannopoulos's claim that he was targeted for being a "gay conservative", Jones stated, "Free speech and hate speech [are] two different things".[39]

Nearly a month later, Jones was again the subject of numerous online attacks. Her personal website was hacked, with its contents being replaced by photos of her driver's license and passport.[40] The site was changed to display alleged nude photographs of Jones, as well as a video tribute to Harambe, the Cincinnati Zoo gorilla killed in May 2016 (a reference to the racially charged gorilla remarks directed at Jones in the earlier attack). Jones' team took the website down shortly after it was hacked.[41]

Both incidents resulted in large outpourings of celebrity and fan support, via the hashtag "#LoveForLeslieJ", which trended on both Twitter and Instagram.[42] Paul Feig,[43] Gabourey Sidibe, Ellen DeGeneres, Sara Benincasa, Ava DuVernay, Hillary Clinton, Corey Taylor,[44] Katy Perry, Octavia Spencer, Anna Kendrick, Lena Dunham[45] and Loni Love expressed solidarity with Jones. Jones responded to the hacks on the October 22, 2016, episode of Saturday Night Live.[46]

Personal lifeEdit

Jones is a fan of the MLS team Seattle Sounders FC.[47]



Year Film title Role Notes
1999 For Love of the Game (uncredited) [48]
2003 National Security Britney
2006 Repos Lay La Credited as Annette Jones
2007 Gangsta Rap: The Glockumentary Mamma Du Rag Credited as Annette "Leslie" Jones
2008 Internet Dating Too Sweett Jones
2010 Something Like a Business Vanity
Lottery Ticket Tasha
The Company We Keep Beverly Blue
2012 House Arrest Boss Lady
Christmas in Compton (aka One Bad Christmas) Tiny
2014 Top Five Lisa
Kony Montana (aka Michael Blackson is Kony Montana) Fufu
2015 We Are Family Leslie (The Driver)
Trainwreck Angry Subway Patron
2016 Ghostbusters Patty Tolan
Sing Meena's mother Voice
Masterminds FBI Special Agent Scanlon
2019 The Angry Birds Movie 2 Zeta Voice
2020 Coming 2 America Post-production


Year Title Role Notes
1996 In The House Female Basketball Player (uncredited) Episode: "Hoop Screams".
1997 Coach (uncredited) Episode: "It's A Swamp Thing".
2001–02 The Way We Do It Various
2004 Girlfriends Mabel Episode: "Love, Peace and Hair Grease". Credited as Leslie.
2007 Mind of Mencia Nurse Brownsugar/Bodyguard 2 episodes
American Body Shop Roshanda Washington Episode: "Fluids"
2010 Chelsea Lately Herself (roundtable panelist) Episode: "Crispin Glover"
Problem Child: Leslie Jones (aka Big Les: Problem Child) Herself Showtime stand-up comedy special.
2012 Daddy Knows Best Angry Woman Episode: "Taser"
2013 Sullivan & Son Bobbie Episode: "Acceptance"
See Dad Run Security Guard Episode: "See Dad Be Normal...ish"
The League Stand Up Student Episode: "The Bringer Show"
2014–19 Saturday Night Live Various Cast member and writer
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Original Music and Lyrics (2019)
Nominated – Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series (2017, 2018)
Nominated – Writers Guild of America Award for Outstanding Writing in a Comedy/Variety Series (2015)
2014 Workaholics Lynette Episode: "The One Where the Guys Play Basketball and Do the Friends Title Thing"
2015 The Awesomes Silent But Deadly Voice, Episode: "The Final Showdown"
2016 The Blacklist Citizen Episode: "Lady Ambrosia"
2018 Kevin (Probably) Saves the World Cindy Episode: "The Right Thing"[49]
2020 Supermarket Sweep Host
RuPaul's Drag Race Herself Episode: The Ball Ball
RuPaul's Drag Race: Untucked Herself Episode: The Ball Ball


  1. ^ a b Phifer, Tony (Fall 2015). "Leslie Jones Found Her Funny at CSU". The Magazine. Fort Collins, Colorado: Colorado State University. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017. Jones (who went by Annette Jones at the time)...CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link) Additional July 31, 2017.
  2. ^ "Intoxicating Humor". Vibe vixen. Vol. 8 no. 5. Photo caption) Vibe (Vibe Media Group. June–July 2000. p. 112. ISSN 1070-4701. Bacardi Comedy Champion Annette 'Leslie' Jones...
  3. ^ a b "Leslie Jones Biography: Actress, Comedian (1967–)". Biography.com (FYI / A&E Networks). Archived from the original on July 19, 2016. Retrieved July 19, 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e Gardenswartz, Noah (March 15, 2010). "Leslie Jones: Just wants to make you laugh". LaughSpin. Archived from the original on November 2, 2014. Retrieved November 1, 2014.
  5. ^ "Jane Fonda/Leslie Jones/Kay Cannon". Late Night with Seth Meyers. May 12, 2015. NBC. Archived from the original on May 28, 2015. Retrieved August 4, 2015.
  6. ^ a b c Marantz, Andrew (January 4, 2016). "Ready for Prime Time". The New Yorker: 22–29. Retrieved January 27, 2016.
  7. ^ Gay, Verne (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones joins 'Saturday Night Live' cast". Newsday. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  8. ^ a b c d e Downs, Gordon (November 3, 2011). "Leslie Jones on the Craft of Comedy". SanDiego.com. Archived from the original on January 9, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  9. ^ a b c d e "Leslie Jones: Comedian At Work". Pollstar.com. March 19, 2010. Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  10. ^ Jones, Leslie [@lesdoggg] (February 13, 2015). "Really missing my brother today..." (Tweet). Archived from the original on July 31, 2017. Retrieved July 31, 2017 – via Twitter. "quote=Rest in peace Rodney Keith."
  11. ^ "BIOGRAPHY". Justleslie.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  12. ^ Marantz, Andrew. "Ready for Prime Time". The New Yorker. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  13. ^ a b Rock, Chris. "Chris Rock Pens Blistering Essay on Hollywood's Race Problem: "It's a White Industry"". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved October 8, 2019.
  14. ^ McCarthy, Sean L. (March 2, 2010). "Leslie Jones, aka Big Les, may be a "Problem Child," but knows when to take Katt Williams' advice". thecomicscomic.com. Retrieved November 3, 2014.
  15. ^ Nickolai, Nate (August 13, 2019). "Leslie Jones Sets New Comedy Special With Netflix". Variety. Retrieved August 8, 2019.
  16. ^ Patricia Tone (October 27, 2013). "Leslie Jones – Russell Simmons' A.D.D." – via YouTube.
  17. ^ "'SNL' Adds Two Black Writers, LaKendra Tookes And Leslie Jones, After Hiring Black Cast Member (VIDEO)". HuffPost. January 8, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  18. ^ "'SNL' Writer Leslie Jones Defends Controversial Slave Sketch (VIDEO)". HuffPost. May 5, 2014. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  19. ^ "Original 'SNL' Cast MemberGeorge Coe Dies". TMZ. July 20, 2015.
  20. ^ Wright, Megh (July 9, 2013). "Saturday Night's Children: Michael McKean (1994–1995) | Splitsider". Splitsider. Archived from the original on December 18, 2014. Retrieved December 18, 2014.
  21. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Leslie Jones Named 'Saturday Night Live' Cast Member". Deadline. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  22. ^ "Leslie Jones to Leave 'Saturday Night Live' Ahead of The 45th Season". TheWrap. August 27, 2019. Retrieved August 27, 2019.
  23. ^ Chen, Jonathan (March 19, 2015). "A New Chris Rock Film is in The Works, Follow-up to Top Five". Paste Magazine. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  24. ^ Frazier, Tharpe (March 19, 2015). "Interview: Chris Rock Talks His New Movie and Racist Fraternities: "The Girls Scare Me More Than the Guys"". Complex. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  25. ^ Jung, E. Alex (December 28, 2015). "Leslie Jones Is Awesome, So Obviously Her New Yorker Profile Is Too". Vulture. Retrieved September 12, 2016.
  26. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (October 20, 2014). "Meet Your All-Female 'Ghostbusters'!". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved October 21, 2014.
  27. ^ D'Alessandro, Anthony. "'Coming To America 2' Adds Tracy Morgan". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 20, 2019.
  28. ^ Dessem, Matthew (August 7, 2016). "Leslie Jones' Olympics Tweets Are So Intense, NBC Invited Her to Rio". Slate. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  29. ^ Liptak, Andrew (August 7, 2016). "Leslie Jones' Olympic live tweeting just got her invited to Rio". The Verge. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  30. ^ Delbyck, Cole (August 6, 2016). "Watching Leslie Jones Watch The Olympics Is Better Than Actual Olympics". HuffPost. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  31. ^ Lincoln, Ross A. (August 8, 2016). "Leslie Jones Accepts NBC Invite To Rio Olympics After Tweet-Storm Goes Viral – Update". Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  32. ^ "Leslie Jones joins 2018 Winter Olympics coverage as NBC contributor".
  33. ^ Lazare, Lewis (May 12, 2016). "Allstate turns to Adam DeVine and Leslie Jones for comedic effect in new brand ads". Chicago Business Journal. Retrieved June 5, 2016.
  34. ^ "Leslie Jones to Host 2017 BET Awards".
  35. ^ "Amazon's Super Bowl Ad Came With an Extra Spot After the Game – Adweek". Adweek.
  36. ^ a b c LeslieJonesVideoBlog (December 9, 2011). "Leslie Jones Video Blog: Female Comics" – via YouTube.
  37. ^ Roy, Jessica (July 19, 2016). "Twitter bans Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos for harassment". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  38. ^ Fisher, Lucina (July 20, 2016). "'Ghostbusters' Star Leslie Jones Quits Twitter After Online Harassment". ABC News. Retrieved July 20, 2016.
  39. ^ "Leslie Jones on Her Twitter Trolls". NBC. July 22, 2016.
  40. ^ "Leslie Jones' website hacked, exposing nude photos, personal info".
  41. ^ Zimmerman, Amy (August 25, 2016). "The Hacking of Leslie Jones Exposes Misogynoir at Its Worst".
  42. ^ "#LoveForLeslieJ Trends On Twitter After "Ghostbusters" Backlash". July 20, 2016.
  43. ^ Ledbetter, Carly (August 24, 2016). "Celebrities Rally Around Leslie Jones After Vicious Internet Hack". HuffPost. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  44. ^ Yee, Lawrence (August 24, 2016). "Leslie Jones Hack: Celebrities Come to Her Defense". Variety. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  45. ^ O'Malley, Katie (August 25, 2016). "Celebrities Come Out To Support Leslie Jones Following Hacking". Elle. Retrieved August 31, 2016.
  46. ^ Golgowski, Nina (October 23, 2016). "Leslie Jones Shoots Down Trolls in Epic 'Saturday Night Live' Segment". HuffPost. Retrieved October 25, 2016.
  47. ^ "Watch the Seattle Seahawks' reaction to the Sounders' MLS Cup win". December 11, 2016.
  48. ^ "Leslie Jones on MySpace Comedy – Comic Clips, Funny Videos & Jokes". Myspace. March 1, 2009. Archived from the original on March 1, 2009. Retrieved February 26, 2020.
  49. ^ "Jason Ritter Talks 'Kevin (Probably) Saves the World,' Guest Leslie Jones & More".

External linksEdit