Well, this is just plain cool. Following the recent controversy over the extreme lack of a black women at Saturday Night Live, the show has not only added comedic actress Sasheer Zamata as a featured player — they've also hired comedians LaKendra Tookes and Leslie Jones as staff writers.
Better late than never, I suppose.
Both women auditioned during the showcases held in LA and New York over the past month and impressed enough to make it into the SNL writers room — a dizzying accomplishment for any aspiring comedy writer.
From the The Hollywood Reporter:
Sources tell THR that producers were impressed with both Tookes and Jones and thought they were talented, smart and funny. Currently there are no plans to have either of them appear onscreen, though a number of SNL writers in the past have transitioned to larger roles. Most recently, Mike O'Brien was promoted to featured player for the current 39th season after joining SNL as a writer in 2009. Others, including breakout Jason Sudeikis, have followed similar career trajectories.
Tookes (whose reel you can watch above) is an actress-comedian based in LA. Jones (whose comedy you can watch below) is an accomplished actress and standup who has performed on Def Comedy Jam and Showtime, as well as at Just for Laughs in Montreal and the Aspen Comedy Festival.
Jones' response to the news was sweet and simple:
Me and Lakendra got hired to SNL as writers!!! #awesomesauce
— Leslie Jones (@Lesdoggg) January 8, 2014
Get it, ladies. Can't wait to see where you take the show.