Tag: Leslie Jones

Check Out Trailer for Chris Rock’s Upcoming Release, “Top Five” (VIDEO)

Chris RockAs GBN reported last month, Chris Rock’s new film Top Five sparked a bidding frenzy at the Toronto International Film Festival, with Paramount Pictures emerging as the winner for distribution rights to the tune of $12.5 million. Last week, the studio dropped the first trailer.  Written, directed by, and starring Rock, Top Five tells the story of New York City comedian-turned-film star Andre Allen, whose unexpected encounter with a journalist (Rosario Dawson) forces him to confront the comedy career—and the past—that he’s left behind.

Kevin Hart, Tracy Morgan, Cedric The Entertainer, J.B. Smoove, Sherri Shepherd, Anders Holm, Romany Malco, Leslie Jones, Michael Che, and Jay Pharoah also star.

The movie is set for a limited release on December 5, going wide a week later on December 12.

If you can’t wait to see Rock in action before then, check out him and musical guest Prince as he hosts “Saturday Night Live” this weekend.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

“Saturday Night Live” Writer Leslie Jones Becomes Show’s Latest Cast Member

'Saturday Night Live' Adds New Cast

According to Variety.com, NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” has added Leslie Jones, a member of its writing staff, to the cast.  She’ll begin in this role as regular performer starting with this week’s Jim Carrey-hosted episode.

The comedian was a contender in the search for a new cast member of color last fall. The spot went to Sasheer Zamata, but producers decided to bring Jones on as a writer.  Jones is the latest “SNL” cast member to be plucked from the writing staff.  Michael Che, the new Weekend Update co-anchor, was also upped from his spot as a writer earlier this season.

Jones has appeared several times on SNL’s Weekend Update segment, including one in the 40th season premiere, proving her onscreen chops. She also starred in her own comedy special, “Problem Child,” for Showtime.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (follow @lakinhutcherson)

African-American Female Writers Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes Join Writing Staff of “Saturday Night Live”

Leslie Jones
Leslie Jones
LaKendra Tookes

According to Variety.com, NBC sketch-comedy show Saturday Night Live added Leslie Jones and LaKendra Tookes, two comedians who recently auditioned for the program, as writers for the late-night series. Earlier this week, the show announced Sasheer Zamata, a veteran of improv troupe Upright Citizens Brigade, would begin as a featured player as of its January 18 broadcast.

The two new writers took part in auditions recently held in different parts of the U.S. with the express purpose of finding a female African-American to join the show’s cast of “Not Ready For Prime Time Players.”

While the current cast of Saturday Night Live includes two African-American men – Kenan Thompson and Jay Pharoah – it has not had an African-American woman in the cast since Maya Rudolph, a comic actress of mixed heritage, was in the cast between 2000 and 2007.

The show has not featured many women of color during its history.  Yvonne Hudson, an African-American woman, was a featured player during the program’s 1980-1981 season.  Danitra Vance, SNL‘s first African-American female full cast member, joined the show for its 1985-1986 season, part of show creator Lorne Michaels’ return to the program after an absence of several years. Ellen Cleghorne joined the cast from 1991-1995.

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson