If you’re a comedian and your famous friend helps you get an audition in one of the most popular sketch comedy shows in the world, you don’t turn them down. Leslie Jones is a beloved cast member of the long-running series Saturday Night Live, but prior to being a show staple, she was a touring stand-up comedian on the rise. Chris Rock was on the hit show from 1990 to 1993 and after seeing Leslie perform live, he thought she’d be a perfect addition. Leslie, on the other hand, did not.
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“I didn’t come to get the job—Howard, I literally went to tell them how dope I was and was gon’ tell ’em no,” Leslie said. “I really came out so people can see me and maybe that was gon’ give me some opportunities, but I had all plans of saying no.” She also explained, “[Chris] saw me at The Comedy Store one late night doing a spot and he was like, ‘Yep, she’s next level. She’s ready.'” Chris then wrote down her name in his “funny book.” Leslie added, “I think he called me and was like, ‘Hey, I just talked to Lorne [Michaels], I just had dinner with Lorne. Somebody from SNL is gon’ contact you for an audition.”
She couldn’t believe it and initially, she was upset. “Why the f*ck would you do that?” Leslie said she asked him. “I am not a sketch [comedian]. What the f*ck, Chris?! I don’t do that sh*t. The f*ck am I gon’ do? I’m a f*ckin’ stand-up. I’m not gon’ be able to do that sh*t.” In true Chris Rock fashion, he told her to “shut the f*ck up” and go impress SNL. “And he hung up.”
Watch Leslie share the funny story and explain what happened when she went on stage during her audition below.