3:53pm PT by Philiana Ng
Leslie Jones Joins 'Saturday Night Live' as Castmember
Saturday Night Live has added a new castmember.
Leslie Jones has been promoted to a member of the main cast on NBC's long-running late-night sketch comedy series, The Hollywood Reporter confirms. She will begin this Saturday when Dumb and Dumber To star Jim Carrey returns to host.
The actress-comedian, who in January started as a writer on SNL, has been featured on Weekend Update numerous times since joining the program, most recently appearing on Bill Hader's Oct. 11 episode.
Jones was among the original comedians being considered for a spot in the main SNL cast in December 2013 after the long-running sketch series faced widespread criticism that its new cast lacked minority faces. Sasheer Zamata ultimately landed the gig.
Jones found herself in a controversial situation when her Weekend Update bit from May, "No. 1 Slave Draft Pick," riled media pundits and generated backlash on social media. In the segment, Jones congratulated Lupita Nyong'o, who had been named World's Most Beautiful by People, before saying that “back in the slave days, I woulda never been single.”
Jones' SNL hiring comes weeks after the 40th anniversary season kicked off and marks the latest change to the ensemble cast, which counts Pete Davidson and Michael Che (who replaced Cecily Strong as Weekend Update co-anchor) as new additions.
Jones has experience in front of the camera, guest-starring in scripted comedies such as Workaholics and The League. She is repped by APA and Integral Entertainment.