Studio 8H is about to lose a major presence: According to Variety, Leslie Jones is preparing to leave Saturday Night Live after five seasons to pursue film and other outside projects, like her upcoming Netflix stand-up special. Jones has been a cast member since 2014 after boarding the late-night sketch show as a writer. She has been one of only seven Black female cast members over the course of 45 seasons.
Jones’ departure has brought some attention to the show’s remaining veterans. Emmy winner Kate McKinnon is reportedly returning for at least part of the upcoming season. And just to get the annual “will he/won’t he” speculation out of the way: No, there are currently no reports of longest-tenured member Kenan Thompson leaving his post as prized reactor anytime soon.
If film doesn’t quite pan out, the bold comedian definitely has a future as a professional fan. Jones’ brand of enthusiasm and commentary has landed her appearances at the Winter Olympics and on friend and fellow SNL alumni Seth Meyers’ Late Night for the Game Of Thrones segment, “Game Of Jones.”