Leslie Jones Hopes Comedians and ‘SNL’ Can Move Past Constant Trump Jokes

“You need The Three Stooges just as much as you need John Oliver,” Jones tells TheWrap 

Leslie Jones Saturday Night Live
Photo by: Will Heath/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank

Leslie Jones said she hopes that during the next season of “Saturday Night Live,” the show can avoid some of the constant political humor and Trump jokes.

“I hope next year we can do more funnier stuff instead of a lot of political stuff this year, which we had to,” Jones told TheWrap in a phone interview. “There was so much stuff that was happening, there was no way that our show, with the responsibility that we have, would not to cover that stuff. It was just too important. But I do hope that next year will be a lot more funny-funny based stuff, more comedy based stuff instead of a lot of political stuff.”

Jones clarified that there is an important place for political comedians on “SNL,” and the greater comedy world, but stressed that there’s such a thing as too much.

“There should be a stream of comics that come and do that type of comedy, because we do need that. And I love looking at that type of comedy that explains what’s going on and make it funny so you can really realize this is ridiculous,” Jones said. “But there should be more than that as far as funny comics that come and really make you laugh. Like so gut laugh. Comedy is a release just like art and music. All of that is the same thing. You need that release. It can’t always be serious. You need The Three Stooges just as much as you need John Oliver.”

Leslie Jones Saturday Night Live
Photo by: Will Heath/NBC

Of course, Trump hasn’t only had an impact on “SNL,” but on comedy at large. Jones, now 50 years old, got her start as a stand-up comedian in 1987. She said young comedians today need to rethink their path to success.

“One thing that I always made a goal was never to talk about what everybody else is talking about, because most of the time, maybe 10 comics are doing literally the same Trump joke,” Jones said. “When I started, it wasn’t important about being famous or being heard of. The most important thing was if we were funny. The comics today are — it’s stressful to go to a comedy show, because that’s all they’re going to do is just talk about that. No one just gets up and does a simple joke that makes you laugh.”

Jones has stretched herself this year on “SNL” in everything from singing during sketches to playing everyone from Oprah to Omarosa in an attempt to prove she’s a comedic actress as much as a comedian. And she pointed to Kenan Thompson as a prime example of someone who doesn’t get the respect he deserves for holding the show together.

“I don’t understand how Kenan doesn’t rack up the funniest male comedian… I don’t understand how he doesn’t have 10 of those already,” Jones said. “People are not really realizing how much of a foundation he is to the cast. Most of the stuff that you see him in that works, it works because of him. He’s the glue to all of it. It’s very infuriating to see people not notice that.”

Jones was nominated for an Emmy in 2017 for Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series in a year when “SNL” tied for the most nominations for any show along with HBO’s “Westworld.” This year, her “SNL” co-stars Colin Jost and Michael Che will serve as hosts for the ceremony, and she had some advice for them as well.

“Don’t f— it up,” Jones said.