From none, to one...now...two: "Saturday Night Live" has named Leslie Jones as a cast member. She becomes the sixth African-American female cast member on a franchise that has had only five before her over a 40-year history.
Jones, along with LaKendra Tookes, was added to the writing staff in January after "SNL" was subjected to a online campaign that pointed out the obvious: Many new cast members and repertory players had been named, but none of the newbies were black females.
After the debate started to heat up, show czar Lorne Michaels (to his credit) launched a special casting call on the West Coast. Sasheer Zamata was added to the cast at that point.
Jones has had facetime on the show, notably in May when she had a "Weekend Update" moment -- praised by many, decried by just as many -- as she joked about how much better her love life would have been "back in the slave days."
"See, I’m single right now, but back in the slave days, I would have never been single." She's appeared a few other times, as recently as a couple of weeks ago, when Bill Hader hosted. ("39 Cents.")
Her move to the cast was first reported at Deadline, by the way.
Here's Leslie's bio, straight from her website:
Memphis, Tennessee was home until Leslie’s dad took a job in Los Angeles at Stevie Wonder’s radio station, KJLH, as a electronic engineer. “I went to high school in Lynwood. I played basketball to please my dad. I also got free shoes and could miss class. When they told me I could get a scholarship to college I said cool. Where am I going.” College first took Leslie to Chapman in the OC on a basketball scholarship. Leslie’s coach left Chapman and asked her to join him at Colorado State University. Leslie didn’t care what college she was going to. Anything to get out of the house. Leslie wanted to be able to go to the refrigerator and eat whenever and whatever she wanted.
She landed a role in Martin Lawrence’s comedy, National Security. From Comedy Central’s Premium Blend to a regular on BET’s The Way We Do It, she’s performed during the Aspen Comedy Festival, and won the national and regional Bacardi By Night Comedy Tour. She’s been featured on Comedy Central’s Laffapalooza – Urban Comedy Arts Festival. Last month, Leslie completed yet another movie for Coke Daniels, Gangsta Rap, and, on July 4, 2006, Master P’s Repos debuted on DVD.