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Leslie Jones bids farewell to ‘SNL’ with a promise: #iamnotdeadjustgraduating

Leslie Jones
After a five-year run on “Saturday Night Live,” Leslie Jones is saying goodbye to the late-night comedy show.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Leslie Jones isn’t leaving her five-year stint and “second home” on “Saturday Night Live” without saying goodbye.

On Tuesday the Emmy nominee tweeted her gratitude and thanks to the show’s fans, writers, cast and its creator, Lorne Michaels, who she said “changed my life in so many ways!”

“Thank you for being my mentor and confidant and for always having my back,” she continued in the five-part post that included a photo montage of several characters she played throughout her “SNL” years. “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.”

Last week, news broke that Jones, 51, was walking away from the NBC comedy-sketch show. The stand-up comic turned actress started her gig on “SNL” as a writer. In late 2013, she auditioned at a casting session meant to address the show’s lack of diversity by adding a black woman to the cast.

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Leslie Jones, a five-year veteran of “Saturday Night Live,” won’t be back for the season that starts in September. Kate McKinnon will return, however.

In October 2014, Jones became a leading player on the show and returned the next four seasons.

To her cast members, she expressed how much she “will miss working, creating and laughing with you,” adding, “Everyone needs to know Leslie Jones couldn’t have done any of the things I did without these people.”

She thanked her fans for their love and support and wrote, “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!” before ending the tweet with the hashtag #iamnotdeadjustgraduating.

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