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Leslie Jones’ best quotes on diversity, success and working hard

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Hannah-Rose Yee
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Leslie Jones

 After five years this comedian is leaving Saturday Night Live. We celebrate her most hilarious moments both on and off the sketch show.

A moment of silence for Saturday Night Live, which is losing one of its best and brightest stars next season.

After five years, Leslie Jones has revealed that she will not be returning to the iconic sketch comedy show. The comedian joined SNL in 2014 as a writer and quickly became one of its most hilarious cast members, most memorably as a guest host on the long-running segment ‘Weekend Update’.

Jones, you will be missed. Especially by audience members who craved seeing a black woman on the series, which has a poor history of employing women of colour. But we know that Jones will go onto bigger and better things in her career and we can’t wait to see what she does next. 

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For now, lets celebrate Jones’ SNL legacy with some of her funniest quotes: 

Leslie Jones on people who say that black women don’t want to be comedians

“There’s motherfuckin’ three bitches I can call right now, goddammit, that will fill that spot. Just because you don’t know them, that don’t mean that they don’t fucking exist. That’s like saying Italy does not exist. Motherfucker, yes, it does. I’ve been there.” – Alias Smith and Leroi podcast 

Leslie Jones on success coming when she was older

“I’m glad this whole success thing is happening now. I can’t even imagine a twenty-three-year-old Leslie in this position. They would have kicked me off the set after two days. I would have fucked half the dudes in the crew. I was a less confident person back then. And damn sure not as funny.” – The New Yorker

Leslie Jones speaks about the Alabama abortion ban
Leslie Jones on Saturday Night Live

Leslie Jones on embracing being tall 

“For a long time, I slouched. I was maybe in the fifth or sixth grade, and then one day I saw some girl that had on heels, and she was tall, and I was like, “Why are you wearing heels? You’re tall!” And she was like, “Bitch, because I look good.” And I was, “Oh, oh, OK.” I don’t know when I actually began feeling confident about my height. Maybe when I started joking about it onstage. I started taking it on more as a persona.” – ESPN

 Leslie Jones on hard work

“You’ve got to work for what you want. The world, society is about to realize that the quick and easy shit is not going to last. The reason everybody is so amazed and enamored with me right now is because I have worked every angle, I have worked every formula, I have worked every equation, I have seen every club, I have seen every performance, I have seen every joke, I have studied, I have done my job. That’s why I’m good. It’s not because I got up one night and decided I wanted to tell some fucking jokes.” – ESPN 

Leslie Jones on Hollywood’s restrictive beauty standards

“I know I’m fly – don’t get me wrong. But I don’t look, like, standard Hollywood. As a comedian, it’s something you learn to use.” – The New Yorker 

Leslie Jones on the myth of overnight success

“It doesn’t work like that. And you shouldn’t even want it, if it is like that. Because when it comes that easy, it’s going to end that easy. Take Beyoncé. Beyoncé has been working her ass off for a long time. You can’t just wake up and do Formation. That shit’s not gonna happen automatically. You know what I mean? People think I’m an overnight success. No. It’s just that you all found me overnight.” – ESPN

Leslie Jones on timing

“I believe that you hit it when you’re supposed to hit it, and I hit it as a nice, seasoned comedian. I know what I do, and I’m going to give you what you want. I understand the young kids are what’s happening. But they’re not giving you what you need. They’re just giving you pretty.” – The New York Times

Leslie Jones on when she realised she wanted to be a comedian

“I always thought I was fun to be around. People always invited me to parties, like: ‘When you come to parties, girl, it is on.’ I was always getting invited places, but until I won a college contest, I never thought of myself as a comedian.” – Guardian 

From left: Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristin Wiig, and Kate McKinnon
From left: Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones, Kristin Wiig, and Kate McKinnon

Leslie Jones on being her own cheerleader

“If I sat around and waited for somebody to tell me that I was great and to keep going, I wouldn’t be doing this. Everybody was telling me to sit my ass down. Everybody was telling me to get a real job. Everybody was asking me, “What are you doing? You’re ruining your life. You’re embarrassing your family.” That’s all I got. So you can’t listen to that. You have to listen to yourself.” – ESPN

Images: Getty

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Hannah-Rose Yee

Hannah-Rose Yee is a writer based in London. You can find her on the internet talking about movies, television and Chris Pine.

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