‘The Daily Show’ Taps Leslie Jones’ Great Gift for Righteous Indignation
While we greatly enjoyed Leslie Jones’ stint on Saturday Night Live, it was pretty clear sketch comedy wasn’t her strong suit. OK, some of her characters were fine, but the real reason she got drafted out of the writers’ room and into the cast in the first place was her electric appearances behind the news desk on Weekend Update.
There’s no funnier Jones than bent-out-of-shape Jones, and she brought plenty of her trademark indignation to The Daily Show desk last night. She’s just one of several famous comics who will be guest-hosting the Comedy Central stalwart over the next several weeks. If these stints are really an audition for the full-time gig, Jones just threw down the gauntlet. She’s never better than when registering complete and utter comic disgust.
The gloves are off early. Jones throws some bipartisan haymakers at Biden, indirectly calling him a “dumbass” and “an irresponsible piece of shit” for storing classified government documents in his garage. Even worse, a man as old as Biden has a Corvette in his garage? That he actually drives? Who, when they first heard that news, didn’t react exactly like Jones?
At least she knows the documents would be pretty hard to find, stored in an old man’s garage and all. How would anyone find them among all the leaf blowers?
When it comes to the ugly new MLK statue in Boston? Once again, Jones’ facial reaction alone has the audience in hysterics before she even opens her mouth. The oral sex jokes that follow, punchlines that are hard to imagine Jon Stewart or Trevor Noah ever delivering, get multiple rounds of applause. “I know Dr. King went down in history, but this is not how you show it.”
Don’t discount the “it’s hard to imagine Stewart or Noah doing this” factor. Those shows are over. While both of those anchors were cool customers, Jones brings the aggrieved heat. In a man-on-the-street bit, she even makes a clueless white guy who doesn’t know it’s Martin Luther King Day do a couple of push-ups as reparations.
The best part of Jones’ debut? It felt like she’d done it a thousand times, so all those reps with Colin Jost have paid off. Heads up, Comedy Central -- it might be time for a steady dose of “I can’t even” comedy fire.