Leslie Jones is hosting the Emmy nominations on July 28, and we couldn’t be more excited. Here’s what else you should know about the comedian, starring next as the host of ‘Supermarket Sweep’.
Finally, more Leslie Jones on our TVs! Since leaving Saturday Night Live in 2019, there’s been a major void left by Leslie. But the hilarious comedian, 52, is bringing the laughs again as the host of the 72nd Annual Primetime Emmy Awards nominations on July 28. Before tuning in to see Leslie do her thing during the virtual ceremony, here’s what you should know about her:
1. She was one of Saturday Night Live‘s most beloved stars from 2014 to 2019. Leslie was hired as a writer for the sketch show in 2013, and first appeared on screen with a memorable Weekend Update appearance in 2014. She became a full-time Not Ready For Primetime Player later that year. At 46, Leslie was, at the time, the oldest person to join the show as a cast member. Her addition to the lineup also marked the first time in Saturday Night Live‘s history that the show featured more than one African-American woman. She was nominated for the Emmy Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in 2017 and 2018.
2. She started doing stand-up comedy in college. Leslie moved to Los Angeles after college to pursue comedy. She was paying the bills by working at Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles, but after seeing her shows, famed comedians Mother Love and Dave Chappelle told her she should move to NYC and do comedy full-time. It wasn’t easy, but Leslie persevered. She even got to open up for Jamie Foxx. When she bombed, it actually gave her the push to succeed.
“[Jamie] told me, ‘the reason you were so bad is because you didn’t have anything to talk about. You don’t have a boyfriend. You’re fresh out of college. You ain’t doing nothing. You don’t have anything to talk about. Go live life for a little while and then start writing,'” Leslie told Pollstar in 2010. “I took that time to figure it out. I think after my first boyfriend, breakup and craziness – that’s when I started doing comedy again.”
3. She had a hard time choosing a career path, at first. Leslie was admitted to Chapman University, in Southern California, on a basketball scholarship. She considered playing basketball professionally overseas. When she transferred to Colorado State University, she initially intended to become a lawyer, but changed her major multiple times. She She eventually graduated with a degree in communications. Comedy was clearly her calling, though.
4. Leslie starred in the 2016 Ghostbusters. Leslie played Patty Tolan in the 2016 reboot of the franchise alongside Melissa McCarthy, Kristin Wiig, Kate McKinnon, and Chris Hemsworth. Patty was an MTA worker who sees a ghost in a subway tunnel and contacts the team for help. She becomes the fourth Ghostbuster, using her expert knowledge of NYC to aid the scientists. Oh, and she provides the pretty killer update of the Ecto-1 — her uncle’s repurposed hearse.
5. Her hilarious live tweets of the 2016 Summer Olympics got her an official commentator gig. Leslie constantly live tweeted the 2016 games, and the tweets were so good that people started turning to her for coverage, rather than the networks. NBC, Saturday Night Live’s parent network, invited Leslie to go to Rio. She covered swimming, track and field, gymnastics, and beach volleyball for the network. She reprised her role during the 2018 Winter Olympics.