On Tuesday, Leslie Jones confirmed reports that she was leaving the cast of Saturday Night Live. The comedian explained her decision in a series of five heartfelt tweets, thanking her friends and fans for the experience of a lifetime. Jones has been a staple of SNL for years, carrying the sketch comedy show with her boisterous persona and her all-out commitment to characters. Two weeks ago, Deadline reported that Jones was leaving the show, citing sources close to the production. On Tuesday, Jones confirmed this news and explained why.
1/5— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) September 3, 2019
Yes it’s true I am leaving Saturday Night Live. I cannot thank NBC, the producers, writers, and amazing crew enough for making SNL my second home these last five years. Lorne Michaels, you’ve changed my life in so many ways! Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for pic.twitter.com/OjRrOx5owj
Each of Jones' tweets included a GIF, which was a slideshow of some of her most distinctive costumes over her years on SNL. In her note, she thanked some of her closest colleagues on the show, starting with creator Lorne Michaels.
"Lorne Michaels, you’ve changed my life in so many ways! Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back," she wrote. "You not only have my loyalty but you have my heart too! You have shown me skills I never imagined I had. I leave a better performer because of you. To the incredible cast members: I will miss working, creating and laughing with you."
From there, Jones moved on to the cast, calling a couple of her closest co-workers out by name.
"I will miss holding it down with Kenan everyday, I will miss Cecily’s impression of me making me laugh at myself often, I will miss Kate’s loving hugs and talks when I needed," she tweeted. "And of course Colin, you porcelain-skinned Ken doll. I will miss all my cast mates!!"
"Especially being at the table reads with them!!" she went on. "Everyone needs to know Leslie Jones couldn’t have done any of the things I did without these people."
Last of all, Jones called out the people who really keep SNL afloat — the fans. Jones thanked the viewers who stuck with her over the years, and whom she hoped would follow her to the next project.
5/5— Leslie Jones 🦋 (@Lesdoggg) September 3, 2019
and I know you will be as excited as I am when you see some of the amazing projects and adventures that I have coming up very soon! Love you all!! #iamnotdeadjustgraduating
- Leslie pic.twitter.com/Uu0vLz3Khj
"One last thing – to the fans – you are the BEST!! Thank you for all the love and support through my SNL years and I know you will be as excited as I am when you see some of the amazing projects and adventures that I have coming up very soon! Love you all!!" she wrote.
So far, there is no word on what exactly Jones' next project might be. Saturday Night Live returns for Season 45 this fall on NBC.