Leslie Jones comments on her Saturday Night Live departure

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1767 -- Pictured: (l-r) Leslie Jones, Colin Jost during "Weekend Update" on May 18, 2019 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 1767 -- Pictured: (l-r) Leslie Jones, Colin Jost during "Weekend Update" on May 18, 2019 -- (Photo by: Will Heath/NBC) /

An Instagram post from Leslie Jones confirms that the comedian will not be returning to Saturday Night Live.

Saturday nights are going to look a little different this fall. Leslie Jones has made her first statement since news broke that she would not be back for the upcoming season of Saturday Night Live.

It was a week ago that it was reported Jones would not be a cast member in season 45. It marks an end to a five year stint in which Jones made an undeniable impact on the show. Fan reaction ranged from devastated to indifferent. However, there is no questioning that Saturday Night Live will be different this season.

From the outside, it was very clear that Jones was popular among the writers and performers at Saturday Night Live. They rallied around Jones and supported when necessary and her chemistry with Colin Jost, Kyle Mooney, and Cecily Strong were highlights of her tenure.

The bond between Jones and the rest of her Saturday Night Live family is further proved by her Instagram post acknowledging the departure. Jones thanked producer Lorne Michaels, castmate Kenan Thompson and more in her post.

Jones uses the “DMX Challenge” to recap her five seasons on SNL. She may not have created any iconic or long lasting characters. Instead, Jones’ time on the show will be defined by how she was unapologetically herself. Her “Weekend Update” segments were fan favorites and allowed the comedian to be herself rather than step behind a character.

The post from Jones proves what Saturday Night Live fans have always known about the show: it brings people together and creates incredibly strong bonds. It’s not hard to find examples of other SNL performers who became lifelong friends and collaborators. So even if Jones is walking away from the show, she won’t be walking away from the people she came to love at SNL.

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Fans will no doubt be eager to see what is next for Leslie Jones. As her hashtag notes, she’s not dead but simply “graduating.” And for a comedian, there isn’t a better alma mater to have than Saturday Night Live.