Leslie Jones is an American film editor with more than a dozen film credits and nominations for several major film editing awards.
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Leslie Jones here, ready to take your questions!
A little about me: I’ve been doing stand-up since college, and I joined the Saturday Night Live writing staff in early 2014. I recently joined the cast for the show's 40th season!
I'll also be appearing in Chris Rock's new movie, Top Five, which comes out on Friday! See me with Chris, Rosario Dawson, Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, my fellow SNL cast member Michael Che, Cedric The Entertainer, JB Smoove, and many more. Here's a brand new clip: http://youtu.be/xizaL-TCSm8
UPDATE: Thanks for the questions, you guys! Really good ones. Really scary ones. But thanks for asking! I'll see you next time.
Ask me about stand-up, movies, TV... whatever!
What does Colin Jost smell like?
Like a field of sexy dandelions.
Hey Leslie, thanks for making me randomly blurt "bowls, bowls" for weeks now.
Despite auditioning for cast member last year, you started as a writer. We saw your infamous Weekend Update appearances, and this year you've officially moved to the cast. Now it seems like you should've been onstage all along.
Deadline and other sources claim you seriously impressed Lorne in your audition, but what was it in your mind that eventually got you promoted from writer to cast a year after your audition?
Bowl on the toilet, bowl on the shelf… damn you.
Honestly, I think it was a build-up of stuff. I think it was "39 Cents," strong Weekend Update, other shows asking for me. SNL just stepped up and made me exclusive.
I love you, and always will love your comic genius, but what happened with that 'married couple' skit between you and Chris Rock? Two very funny people, one not-so-funny skit. And also, thanks for always keeping it real!
It was the first sketch I ever did. I got confused with stage direction, and literally did not know what color I was on the cue cards, so I just froze! Hey people, it's live TV, and the experience has made me a better performer. AND took away the fear of being in sketches!
Hey Leslie, It's Sharon. first I gotta say paint class aint the same without you. miss you girl! and when am I gonna see you bust out a cartwheel on SNL? :) enjoy all your success and hoping to see ya again
Hey boo! I miss y'all too. Soon, bitch. Soon.
How did you find out you were going to be a cast member on SNL? How did that process of going from a writer to also a cast member go? You've killed it so far!
Literally, just walked into Lorne's office and he said, "Hey, we're just going to make you into a cast member." And I said, "...who?!"
What's been the hardest you've ever laughed in the SNL writer's room?
The first time I heard "Pornstars!" It was the Jonah Hill episode. "One time I thought I banged Seal Team Six... but it was actually just sixteen seals. I was like, 'Thanks, America!'" I remember I made them keep that joke in there!
Hi Leslie! I just want to start by saying I think you're one of the most exciting new cast members to come on SNL in recent memory, and I'm really rooting for you to succeed.
I hope this question doesn't come across as really rude, but I was just curious, when were you born? I only ask because I was talking to some people about how it's funny that white people have a hard time estimating how old black people are. You came up as an example, because I thought you were in like your late twenties, but they said you were probably older than that.
Anyway sorry if this question is really weird, I was just curious.
Black does not crack. And yes, I'm 47 years young!
Leslie! How have you been enjoying being a featured player on SNL and what has been your favorite sketch you've acted in been so far?
Yeah! I think Back Home Ballers, because I've never rapped before!
Do you ever write SNL skits with a specific player in mind first, or do you just write a skit because you think the concept will be funny?
Yes, I just write a skit because a concept would be funny, and we figure out the players later.
Leslie, you are buck wild awesome on SNL.
My question is this: I was in the front row at SNL this past Saturday wearing a blue ugly christmas sweater. Did you notice the guy in the front row wearing an ugly sweater?
No I didn't, sir. I'm so sorry that you wore that sweater, please tweet me a picture of it now: @Lesdoggg
What advice do you have for aspiring comedic writers? What type of degree do you recommend? I'm planning to double major in English and Theater, is that a smart move? Also how do I break it to my parents that I'm not actually going to school to be a doctor....
First of all, sit your parents down, and tell them that you want to be paid for something the rest of your life that you have passion for. And tell them, "Let's make a deal. If this doesn't work for the first five years, then I'll go and be a doctor." That's kind of like the deal I had with my dad, because I was on full athletic scholarship, and I wanted to quit to become a comedian. Basically... I just quit and became a comedian and he didn't approve. But he DID approve after he saw how funny I was.
In saying that, if you want to be a writer, then concentrate on being a writer. If you want to be an actor, concentrate on being an actor, because they're two different things. I got hired as a writer because I was a talented comedian for 27 years before. So it takes time.
Hey Leslie. If you could have any superpower in the world what would it be and why?
Also, why aren't pistachios called land clams?
Not answering that pistachio question because it's stupid. Superpower: Mind control! I would want to read people's minds, but I'm too sensitive and if they're saying something about me, it would make me cry. And then super strength, but I would never get a boyfriend. So mind control, so I can control EVERYONE'S MIND.
Have you ever been called a bitch by Harriet Tubman?
Yes, when I took mushrooms! Black people, stay away from mushrooms.
Who is your dream host and musical guest combo? You're hilarious you do you Leslie!
My dream host is James Spader or The Rock. I've already had my fantasy musical guest, which was Prince!
A lot of comics talk about their struggles trying to find their comedic voice. I feel like you, in particular, have a very strong and distinct voice. What would you say it was like when you found it? Was there one specific joke that did it, is it something you only really notice in retrospect?
It takes 10 years to become funny, first of all. You don't start thinking about your voice until you REALLY realize that you're funny. I pretty much know who I am as a person, so that's why my voice is so real. Because I'm honest. It took me a long time to accept myself, people, and once I did, it was on and crackin.'
Who kills it at the table on Wednesdays consistently?
Kenan and Taran and Aidy and Kate.
Hi Leslie! On a scale from 1-10 how nerve wracking are auditions for SNL?
What is something you didn't anticipate about SNL? How long do you guys work on each show a week?
The hours. We work on each show FOREVER. Another thing I didn't expect - how good EVERYBODY is at their job. Like, EVERYBODY.
Hi Leslie! Will you be doing stand up again soon or maybe after this season of snl?
Yes! Lots and lots of it! I miss it so much, dammit! Really wish I could perform during SNL, but it's so hard with the hours!
Follow up, what's your favourite skit that you've written?
It hasn't been on yet, but it will be!
Hi Leslie, based on your incredible work as a relationship expert on SNL- what should I and my lady do to keep things fresh?
To keep things fresh, have sex in as many different places as you can. Role-playing is always fun. And you know what turns a girl on more than anything? Take out the trash sometimes!
Does anyone ever bring up Taran Killam's work as a child star? Like on the Amanda show or in the Disney channel movie 'Stuck in the Suberbs'? I mean, those highlights...on point.
Yes, he showed me those! Taran is so cute! I love him!
Was there a stand up comic that you looked up to when you started?
Yes, Richard Pryor. He was literally my everything.
How weird is Kyle Mooney in real life?
Totally not weird at all. Totally, one of the most normal and coolest dudes you'll meet in your entire life.
Hi Leslie! You're my favorite new SNL cast member in years! Seriously, you're going on top of my Christmas tree instead of Dolly Parton this year.
Who would you love to have host SNL and work with?
The Dolly Parton thing sounds uncomfortable.
How closely do the hosts usually work with the writing staff during the week? Are they only involved in a few meetings during the week, or are they with everyone up all night helping write stuff?
Also, did you ever get someone to buy you a beef bowl?
They meet with us, then we write for them. They're pretty much with us on writers night, helping us bang it out. I don't really actually eat beef, but yes, sir, someone did get that bowl for me. Thank you very much for asking.
Leslie! Where can I see you do stand up in the city?
The Comedy Cellar, whenever I'm there. That's my home.
What do you think ended up happening to that terrible girl on the MetroNorth?
Whatever happened to her, she's irritating somebody now with her cell phone. Trust and believe.
What is your favorite topping on a hotdog and why?
I don't eat hot dogs. Ew. They're like bologna - all the leftovers from the animal.
You are one of my favorite new cast members - - I loved 'Black Annie.'
Who are your greatest comedic inspirations?
Richard Pryor, Carol Burnett, Lucille Ball, Buster Keaton, Whoopi Goldberg (of course), Redd Foxx, Louis C.K. and Bill Burr.
Do you get paid overtime for the late hours -- do aftershow parties count as mandatory work time?
What was your favourite moment from working with legends like Chris Rock and Tracy Morgan in Top Five?
Thanks for being funny!
Every moment with them is so funny. Tracy is just non-stop funny. We laughed so much, I don't know how we finished the movie!
Leslie, what's your favorite non-comedy film?
Anything X-Men or has Wolverine involved. I love magic movies. I love sports movies like "Hoosiers" I live for the underdog story. "Remember the Titans" is one of my favorite movies. At the end of the movie, when the quarterback blocked for the runner, I was in tears yelling "TEAMWORK!!!"
Hi Leslie big fan. Who would win in a wrestling match: Colin Jost or John Mulaney?
Colin Jost. Colin Jost has firefighter in his blood AND he's from Staten Island. PERIOD.
What is your favorite part of getting to work with Colin Jost?
Being able to call him so many fun names. And he loves it. It started off around the office. I used to yell 'What's up, sexy bastard?!" at him in the hallway.
What do you and cast members do for hangouts offset? It must be so much fun to chill with them!
We drink, we laugh. We hang out! It's like family.
As soon as I saw your first appearance on Weekend Update I knew you would appear more often, absolutely hilarious. I wanted to know what was the funniest sketch in your opinion , that you have written/helped write?
"Black Annie" was really fun to do because it was the first sketch I did successfully. Cameron Diaz was freakin' awesome.
Do you like Taylor Swift's music, do you dislike it, or are you actually a reluctant convert like your character in "Swiftamine"?
Also, do you have any advice for someone who wants to one day write for SNL?
For those who missed the sketch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PAhAz7JU0dg
I LOVE Taylor Swift. My actual favorite song by her is "Mean." It helped me get through a really bad relationship.
You are SO refreshing in this season! Love your characters. What fuels your creativity? What do you like to do in your free time?
The tickle. The tickle is the core of laughter. We all have it, and it's only triggered by funny people. You feel that when you really laugh at a comic.
The tickle drives my soul. And I love to watch TV in my free time.
What part of fame are you having a hard time coming to terms with?
So many people asking me questions.
Legit... if you could replace you hands with deadly weapons, what would they be?
And lets say Ice-T killed your family while you were serving in afghanistan, would you seek revenge with your deadly hands? Or would you learn forgivness and save him from falling off a bridge than walk away in slow motion during the climatic third act?
SOMEBODY's watching too much TV! And yes, I would have swords as hands. I could not kill Ice T. He's in my Top Five.