SNL’s Leslie Jones provides a night of raunchy fun
Sponsored by the De Florez Fund for Humor
Feb. 19, 2017
You might recognize Leslie Jones’s name from Ghostbusters (2016), where she starred as Patty Tolan. You might know her from Saturday Night Live, which she joined in 2013. Or you might know her from the online attacks against her, led by alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos.
On Sunday night, Leslie Jones performed for a packed house in Kresge. Right off the bat, she expressed astonishment at the audience: “Wow, I was not expecting so many white people!”
The crowd tittered.
Along the same vein, she told a story of being recognized by a couple with a toddler — while she was smoking marijuana. Other stories included trying to seduce the singer Prince, only to have her ponytail fly off while dancing; casually mentioning to an old friend that she was talking to Tom Hanks and receiving an annoyed response; and awkward booty calls mistaken for relationships.
My favorite segment, though, was her reply to the online attacks last year. A brief recap: after Ghostbusters was released, Jones received racist vitriol on Twitter, leading her to delete her account. Later, her personal website was hacked, and photos of her passport and driver’s license were posted. In addition, her nude photographs and a reference to Harambe were published.
While her exact words are too profanity-laced to insert, the gist was: at age 49, she’s trying to lure in as many potential partners as possible, so this only helped her. Of course, there was some awkwardness with her aunts, who wanted to know why their niece’s photos had somehow ended up on their screen — after all, old people are bad at using computers.
Essentially, by joking about the online attacks, she reclaimed her power. She refused to become a victim.
In the last portion of her show, Jones wandered into the audience, teasing us students for not enjoying our youth enough. “How old are you?” she asked one girl. Twenty-three, was the reply. “I don’t even remember what I did at age 23,” Jones said. “You know what? Because I lived.”
She proceeded to speculate on students’ sex lives and friendships. “Are you three witches?” she asked a trio. “Don’t you need a fourth member?” She rubbed a man’s balding head and licked his scalp—gingerly, he used her towel to wipe off her saliva.
Leslie Jones summed up the show best: “Don’t expect this to be like Saturday Night Live!” While her weekly show abides by (mostly) family-friendly standards, Jones’s one-woman show was raunchier and rawer. It was clear that she was unafraid to be unabashedly honest, loud, and sexual. She might as well have said: this is me; take it or leave it.