Leslie Jones, a fixture on Saturday Night Live who has also enjoyed big-screen roles in recent blockbusters like Ghostbusters, will serve as host of the upcoming BET Awards, according to The Wrap. This is the first time Jones has been tapped to host a major awards show.
“I am so excited to be hosting the BET Awards this year,” Jones said in a statement. “BET was the first network and place where I was on TV – I am looking to turn this whole experience into a joyful homecoming.”
In an interview with People, Jones laid out her plans as a host. “I am tired of everybody being sad and angry: I want people to just downright laugh,” she said. “You can’t do the event without touching on certain things, but I’m trying to make it all funny. It’s really just about pulling the elephants out of the room and, actually, I’ll make the elephant in the room laugh about it.”
Early in her career, Jones appeared multiple times on BET’s ComicView while also working other jobs to make rent. “I was the funniest waitress Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles ever had,” she told The New Yorker in 2016. “Customers would be, like, ‘Didn’t I just see you on BET?’ I’d be, like, ‘Yep. Breast and a wing or leg and a thigh?'”
This year’s BET Awards, which take place on June 25th, are dominated by Beyoncé (seven nominations) and Bruno Mars (five). The two are competing against each other in the Album of the Year and Video of the Year categories.