Stars come and go on NBC’s iconic late-night sketch series, and that means occasionally having to say goodbye to true standouts. Leslie Jones is leaving Saturday Night Live after five seasons, with the news coming a month before the start of season 45. While the show undoubtedly won’t be the same without Jones’ hilarious breed of comedy, there is a silver lining to her departure: we’ll soon be seeing her more on both the small screen and big screen.
Per Deadline, Jones chose to depart SNL prior to her contract ending. A typical SNL contract stretches for seven years, but stars pick options every year and request an early departure. Jones took that option, reportedly in order to pursue her career outside of late-night television. And who can blame her? Jones is in high demand right now.
She’s currently in theaters (well, her voice anyway) as Zeta in the animated Angry Birds Movie 2. She’s filming a role in the highly anticipated Coming to America sequel. She has two films in pre-production: I Am Maurice, an indie boxing drama with Chris Rock, and Queenpins, an indie film with Kristen Bell about housewives committing a $40 million coupon scam. And, the big news that capped her exit from SNL, Jones is set to host and executive produce a reboot of the classic TV game show Supermarket Sweep.
Of course, that doesn’t mean fans won’t miss her presence on SNL each week. Although she originally signed onto the series as a writer, Jones ultimately became one of the most popular cast members after gaining notoriety with a few viral “Weekend Update” appearances. At 47, she became the oldest new cast member in SNL history.
From debating the merits of Weezer to lusting over “Weekend Update” co-host Colin Jost and everything in between, Jones made a lasting mark with her humor and no-holds-barred approach. And, well, she’s got the Emmy nominations to prove it, having garnered a nod for the last three seasons.
You’ll be missed, Jones! Supermarket Sweep, here we come.