Because of Jones’ breakout year and her likely breakout role, it makes sense to take a look back at her best work on Saturday Night Live in an effort to introduce Leslie Jones to those who are unaware.
“I’m strong, Colin. STRONG!”
Jones’ take on the shifting definition of beauty was clever and fearless — which is an impressive thing considering it was her first time on the show. I liked it a lot, but I absolutely loved her unapologetic response to the ample blowback that followed.
Here is a portion of Jones’ full response:
“I’m a comic it is my job to take things and make them funny. to make you think. Especially the painful things. Why are y’all so mad. This joke was written from the pain that one night I realized that. Black men don’t really f*ck with me and why am I single. And that in slave days I would have always had a man cause of breeding. If anybody should be offended is white folks cause it’s what they did. Y’all so busy trying to be self righteous you miss what the joke really is. Very sad I have to defend myself to black people. Now I’m betting if Chris Rock or Dave Chappelle did that joke or or jay z or Kanye put in a rap they would be called brilliant. Cause they all do this type of material. Just cause it came from a strong black woman who ain’t afraid to be real y’all mad. So here is my announcement black folks, you won’t stop me and Im gonna go even harder and deeper now.”
This is what Lorne Michaels gets when he decides to give the SNL spotlight to someone who has been made tough by years of working her way up the ladder: someone who will push boundaries and push back when people’s delicate sensibilities are shaken up a bit. Strong indeed.
With Cameron Diaz on the show to promote the Annie remake, it wasn’t surprising to see SNL‘s writers have some fun with the movie. While some didn’t love the idea of Jones playing a 43-year-old orphan Annie with three kids and battle-tested courtroom experience, it still stands out as a commanding performance. Especially since, as Jones noted during her recent Reddit AMA, it was the first live sketch that she didn’t screw up after her notable flub beside Chris Rock two weeks prior.
Jones’ first experience with the supernatural doesn’t go very well in this spoof of ghost hunting shows, but perhaps she’ll be a bit less likely to scream in terror and break through a door when she’s got an unlicensed nuclear accelerator on her back.
“Have You Ever Been Called a B*tch By Harriet Tubman?”
Jones has gone back to the Update desk a couple of times since her debut. This time, things get wonderfully weird as she details a two-hour long conversation with abolitionist Harriet Tubman about the innate rivalry that exists between HBO and Showtime, and the hazards of choosing mushrooms over pot.