In a candid new interview with NPR, former Saturday Night time Dwell solid member Leslie Jones says the present’s limitations made her “a caricature” of herself, though she got here to appreciate that the method was par for the course on the longrunning NBC present.
“They take that one thing [about you] and they wring it,” she says. “They wring it because that’s the machine. So whatever it is that I’m giving that they’re so happy about, they feel like it’s got to be that all the time or something like that. So it was like a caricature of myself. … Either I’m trying to love on the white boys or beat up on the white boys, or I’m doing something loud.”
Jones says a chat on the subject with a former solid member (she didn’t say who) supplied further context.
“I was talking to another cast member that retired and they said ‘But in fairness, that’s how they do all of them. Not just the Black ones,’” Jones says. “I look back and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s right, Taran Killam!’ Taran wanted to do so much other stuff, but they would only have Taran in those very masculine [roles] and singing and stuff and I said, ‘Oh! This is a machine.’”
Jones additionally says she understands the pressures on government producer Lorne Michaels to maintain “the machine” operating easily.
“I used to always be like, he’s the puppet master,” she says. “So he has to make the cast happy, has to make the writers happy, he has to make the WGA happy, he has to make NBC happy. Then he has to make a family in Omaha, Nebrask, who’s watching the show happy. Imagine the strings that have to go out to him. So it’s a machine that has to work.”
Jones, who’s selling her new Hachette Books memoir Leslie F*cking Jones, appeared on SNL from 2014 to 2019, and within the new interview additionally talks about her pre-SNL years as a stand-up comedian.
“When I first started comedy, I thought I had to be sexy,” she mentioned. “I used to wear heels on stage. … But this is what happens: We walk on stage. The first thing that happens is women look at you and they go, ‘Oh, does she think she’s cute?’ And then they look at their man and they go, ‘Does my man think she cute?’ All that’s happened while you’re trying to open up. So I always say in your first couple of years: T-shirt, jeans, tennis shoes. If you can make it lovely and cute, do that. Because you don’t have to prove you’re a woman. And listen, you could do whatever you want.”
Jones, who final yr had a recurring position on HBO Max’s comedy collection Our Flag Means Dying, additionally opens up about dropping her mother and father as a younger grownup simply getting began in comedy.
“[My mom] passed away six months after my dad passed away,” she says. “I hadn’t made it yet. And they did not die with life insurance. So I didn’t go to either one of their funerals because I was working to pay for them. …I was helpless. Helpless in everything. I wasn’t rich [enough] to send them money. … I think that might have been the first experience of me trying to perform under such pain. … I was awful that first night, but the promoter was like, ‘Man, the fact that you performed,’ he was like, ‘You’re definitely getting paid.’ And I told him I was like, ‘I promise it won’t be like this, you know, tomorrow night.’”
Take heed to the total NPR interview with Jones right here.