Review of Leslie Jones’s “Time Machine” special (Book & Film Globe, January 2020)


Leslie Jones never fit in on Saturday Night Live. Both her personality and her look–six-feet tall with another six inches of spiked up, punk rock hair–were both so big, she never seemed meant to blend in and play characters from real life. And so, like the far less skilled and less interesting Pete Davidson, SNL relegated Jones to monologues on Weekend Update, where her boisterous delivery even then could feel sort of out-of-place. She lasted five seasons before leaving.

With her new standup special, Time MachineJones proves that she was just too funny for SNL.

I was surprised to learn Leslie Jones began doing standup in the late 80s, encouraged by personal guidance from masters like Dave Chappelle, Jamie Foxx, and Chris Rock (who reportedly had a hand in getting her hired at Saturday Night Live). All of that shows in Time Machine.

Jones’s histrionic physical comedy on Time Machine is pretty masterful. She struts around the stage in constant motion, un-cynically working her ass off, moving around so much that she wears a knee brace while executing several extended dance segments. At one point she turns into a beautiful angel fluttering out of a young woman’s vagina.

Most of Jones’s set loudly dissects the differences between her experiences of being in her 20s, and her current life in her 50s. Every new bit she begins seem to eventually twist back around to comparing youth and middle age. She dances on imaginary fresh snow to illustrate the freshness of a 20-year-old vagina, then bends over a stool and does an excruciatingly long impersonation of how her aged vagina sounds now during intercourse. CLICK HERE to read the rest of this review at BOOK & FILM GLOBE…

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