'Ghostbusters' Leslie Jones Is A Comedy Veteran

by Daniela Cabrera

ICYMI, guys, the coolest casting news was announced today: The Hollywood Reporter reports that the Ghostbusters reboot is close to organizing its all-female cast, with Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Leslie Jones and Kate McKinnon all in negotiations for leading roles. Considering these are seriously some of the funniest ladies in Hollywood right now — and considering it's been a while (like, say, since 2011's Bridesmaids) that we've been able to obsess over and bask in the glory of a female ensemble comedy —this already sounds like it's going to be an amazing movie. It'll also shine the spotlight on a group of ladies who really deserve it: Though McCarthy and Wiig have been well-known in Hollywood, Kate McKinnon has long deserved a lead role in a Hollywood film. And, of course, Leslie Jones — who was just promoted from writer to featured cast on SNL in October after only being staff writer for a few months — is a major talent that deserves to be recognized as well.

Jones, though she may be the least known amongst the cast, has actually been a part of the comedy world for quite a long time. Jones has always been a naturally funny woman, and she actually entered the world of comedy by chance: While attending Colorado State University in 1987, one of her friends signed her up for the "Funniest Person on Campus" contest, and she ended up winning it. Afterwards, she dropped out of her basketball scholarship at the school, and decided to move to Los Angeles to pursue comedy — and, in her own words, "become the next Eddie Murphy."

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

After she arrived in L.A., Jones was a regular on the comedy circuit — but, unfortunately, she didn't exactly have a promising start. According to her biography on her official website, she repeatedly bombed some performances. Even when she nabbed herself a spot to open up for Jamie Foxx, the DJ scratched over her set the entire time (which is totally awful). Luckily, though, Jones didn't give up: After comedian Dave Chappelle urged her to move to NYC, she landed a spot on BET'S ComicView and experienced some success.

Her career at SNL, however, began when she was hired as a staff writer in early 2014. She originally went to audition during the widely-reported open call for African-American female cast members (that resulted in the hiring of SNL cast member Sasheer Zamata), but ended up being nabbed by the show as a writer. It wasn't long, though, before she was on the show herself: By appearing on the show during a Weekend Update segment in May 2014, her presence marked the first time in SNL's history that more than one black woman was on the cast at one time. She told Entertainment Weekly ,

We feel…we feel like we’re part of something really awesome happening. That’s what we feel like. We feel like, let’s do our jobs, because we’re part of something really great. And I’m telling you, Lorne, he is so mediating this the right way. He’s doing it so right it’s ridiculous.

With this awesome Ghostbusters casting news, however, it seems that Jones is finally going to get more of the recognition she deserves.

Images: Getty Images