Leslie Jones brings stories not suitable for ‘SNL’ to Mirthweek headline act

by | Apr 30, 2018

The comedienne delivered a fiery performance to conclude the annual Mirthweek celebration.
Leslie Jones

Comedienne Leslie Jones shouts into her microphone during a lively, irreverent and sometimes lewd Mirthweek performance Friday at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center. (Photos by Tyler Warren/Raster Designs)

Editor’s note: This story contains profane language.

In the early minutes of her show, Leslie Jones had a preemptive warning for fans.

“This is not going to be s— like SNL,” she said. “Your whole image of me is about to change.”

Leslie Jones

Leslie Jones takes her act among the packed crowd at the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center.

But from the laughs bellowing through the Blanche M. Touhill Performing Arts Center, Friday’s crowd didn’t seem to mind that Jones was breaking from her “Saturday Night Live” persona.

With expectations set, Jones continued with her lively and sometimes lewd Mirthweek headline show presented by the University Program Board through the Office of Student Involvement.

Set at the University of Missouri–St. Louis, Jones used the evening to reflect on the trials and hilarious hijinks of her youth. Jones, 50, quickly pointed to the gray knee brace she was sporting on the outside of her black jeans and need for printed notes as signs of her age.

While these were physical reminders of her fading adolescence, Jones joked that her nights out could still rival those of the younger students in the audience.

“I’ll tell you one thing, though, when I was young, I lived,” Jones said. “You know why I say that, because the 20 years old now, y’all suck. Y’all are stressed the f— out. Y’all ain’t having no fun. When I was in my 20s, I didn’t give a f— who the president was … Y’all ain’t having no fun marching and wear T-shirts.”

This crack wasn’t necessarily a critique of student activism, but rather a setup for her starkly different fresh-out-of-college stories. These colorful tales ranged from a Thanksgiving she drunkenly confused for Halloween to a failed attempt to woo Prince at a Grammy’s after-party.

She later tried to recount the story to the pop icon, which she said also did not go as planned.

“I wanted to tell him that story when he came to ‘SNL,'” Jones said. “But I think he thought I was Chris Rock.”

Lenny Marcus, Leslie Jones

Comedian Lenny Marcus (at left) opened for Leslie Jones during Friday’s Mirthweek show.

Before Jones’ rundown of rendezvous and critique of modern dating, comedian Lenny Marcus provided the evening’s opening act. Known from Comedy Central and appearances on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” Marcus started his set by examining the differences between St. Louis and his New York home.

“We’ve been in the Midwest for two days and everybody is so friendly,” Marcus said. “Nobody in New York City ever says have a nice day. Fifteen years ago, I said to a guy in New York once, ‘Have a nice day.’ He goes (aggressively), ‘Don’t tell me what to do.'”

The remaining minutes of Marcus’ short set focused on travel frustrations and his distaste for restaurant fads, particularly farm-to-table.

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St. Louis Post Dispatch
The St. Louis American

Sara Bell

Sara Bell