The real reason Leslie Jones doesn’t miss being on SNL

Leslie Jones is an acclaimed comedian who has graced the screens of television and cinema for years with her hilarious antics. Among her numerous acting credits, Jones has appeared in films such as the 2016 reboot of Ghostbusters and Coming 2 America, and has lent her voice to characters in Sing and The Angry Birds Movie 2. She was even named one of the 100 most influential people in the world by Time Magazine in 2017. Needless to say, the famous comedian has had a whirlwind of success and a remarkable career so far.

Jones reached what some would say was the pinnacle of comedic success when she became a regular on Saturday Night Live. Generally speaking, “SNL” creator Lorne Michaels doesn’t just let anyone on the hit sketch comedy show, and when Jones was promoted to series regular, that alone put her in a “different class” of comedians. She first joined in January 2014 as a writer before being promoted to a full-time cast member in October of that year.

During her time on SNL, Jones received three Emmy nominations. After an outstanding performance and five seasons on the show, Jones decided to say goodbye to “SNL” in 2019 ahead of the 45th season, which shocked fans.

Leslie Jones wanted more freedom

After five seasons of Saturday Night Live, fans thought Leslie Jones was staying for a while. Although the show boosted her career and seemed like an incredible opportunity, she had other plans. In a 2020 interview with Entertainment Tonight, Jones made it clear that she was fine with leaving “SNL” behind. “I don’t miss it. Not at all,” she said. “That job was tough, man. That job was like two jobs and also very restrictive. I wasn’t very free there.”

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Shortly after it was revealed that Jones would not be returning for “SNL” season 45, she took to Instagram to share a montage of her many iconic skits and confirmed her exit. “Yes, that’s right, I’m leaving Saturday Night Live,” she wrote in an Instagram post in September 2019. In the post, she thanked the network, producers, writers and her co-stars for making the show their “home away from home,” and gushed about what the experience meant for her.

“Lorne Michaels you have changed my life in so many ways!” she wrote. “Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back. Not only do you have my loyalty, you have my heart!! You showed me skills I never thought I had. Because of you, I’m leaving a better performer.” And it seems like Jones carried those skills into the next phase of her career.

Leslie Jones hosted Supermarket Sweep

Following her departure from Saturday Night Live, Leslie Jones appears to be looking for a gig that allows for a little more creative freedom. She ended up auditioning and landing the role as the host of the Supermarket Sweep reboot. “I’ve always dreamed of being on ‘Supermarket Sweep,'” the comedian shared in a statement (via Deadline). “Seriously, I tried for the show years ago, and after being turned down, I knew I had to take matters into my own hands. Being able to bring the iconic game show back to life on ABC is my ultimate redemption story!”

The show originally aired on ABC from 1965 to 1967 before being picked up by various networks. However, the show returned to ABC for its 2020 reboot. Though the show’s premise stayed the same as the original, the “SNL” grad has put her creative spin on things to make them her own. “I’m letting the contestants design their own sweatshirts this time, so you’ll see a whole range of different versions and styles,” she told Entertainment Tonight.

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While Jones told ET that the gig was a “comedian’s dream come true,” that dream seems to have come to an end after just two seasons. In May 2022, Deadline reported that ABC had “indefinitely postponed” the Supermarket Sweep reboot. That being said, it doesn’t seem like Jones is going anywhere anytime soon. As of this writing, she has several projects in different stages of production.