Leslie Jones Joins Regular Cast of ‘Saturday Night Live’

Saturday Night Live has promoted actress, writer and comedienne Leslie Jones, who has already appeared on a handful of Weekend Update bits, from writer to “featured player,” Deadline is reporting.

Leslie confirmed her promotion via Twitter Monday morning.

Jones was one of 12 finalists competing for an open job on Saturday Night Live last fall – a job that ultimately went to Sasheer Zamata, according to New York Daily News. Even though she didn’t get the job, SNL producer Lorne Michaels was impressed enough with her to give her a spot in the writers’ room, according to this Inquisitr report.

Prior to getting her Saturday Night Live job, Jones had been working the stand-up comedy circuit; she had her own Showtime comedy special (Problem Child) and also had made appearances at the Just for Laughs festival in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival, according to MSN.

Despite being a writer, and not an official cast member, on Saturday Night Live, Leslie has managed to appear in a couple of Weekend Update bits, showcasing her talents as a brash and unapologetic comedian. One particular Weekend Update bit, entitled “No. 1 Slave Draft Pick,” generated its share of controversy, according to Hitflix. Watch the video below, but be warned: it’s been called offensive by more than one source.

Jones responded to the controversy in typical Leslie Jones fashion, with a blistering series of tweets in which she told her critics that they can’t stand the idea of a strong black woman, and that she’s just going to “go even harder.”

Leslie Jones’ first appearance as a Saturday Night Live featured player will be this Saturday, October 25, with host Jim Carrey.

[Image courtesy of: Hitflix]