Leslie Jones will not be returning to “Saturday Night Live.”
Reports of Jones’ decision to leave the long-running comedy sketch show surfaced on Tuesday, Aug. 27, 2019. Her departure comes after starring on the show for five years and only a month before the start of season 45.
Jones, who first served as a writer, became a regular cast member in 2014. Known for her energetic delivery and physicality, she quickly emerged as a fan favorite. The veteran comedienne reportedly asked for her release two years early in order to pursue other projects.
Although fans are disappointed, Jones has a full slate of projects set for release. In addition to her first comedy special for Netflix, she will star in the Coming 2 America sequel and host a reboot of the classic game show “Supermarket Sweep.” Jones will also co-star with Chris Rock and Kirsten Bell in a boxing documentary titled I Am Maurice.
Jones reportedly made the decision to leave the show on her own to pursue new opportunities in film. Jones’ credits include the 2016 remake of Ghostbusters, animated film Sing, and Angry Birds 2.
Early appearances on SNL’s “Weekend Update” sketch, along with impressions of Whoopi Goldberg and others, launched Jones from the writers room to the regular cast. Jones made headlines earlier this month when she told late-night host Jimmy Kimmel she was banning Trump from her performances.