Emmy episode analysis: Leslie Jones (‘Saturday Night Live’) plays Omarosa and roasts her ex Colin Jost

For the past four years Leslie Jones has been a key member of the “Saturday Night Live” ensemble, and this summer she received her second consecutive Emmy nomination for Best Comedy Supporting Actress. She first joined the show as a member of the writing staff, and then got her first chance on-screen in May 2014 during “Weekend Update.” She was elevated to featured player that fall, and the rest is history.

Jones’s Emmy episode submission this year was hosted by Donald Glover, who was also the musical guest under his stage name Childish Gambino. Jones played a minor role in two sketches: a one-line joke as Omarosa Manigault Newman in the cold open and as a surly juror in a “Jurassic World” trial sketch. Jones has a bigger role in a sketch where she is the events director of a convention that gathers every black character in a superhero film. Attendance: four.

But Jones’s best moment in this episode is, not surprisingly, her “Weekend Update” commentary about her long history of choosing lousy boyfriends, including the absolute worst, “Update” co-anchor Colin Jost, who has to glower in silence at her accusations. It continued their great teamwork in these recurring segments about her romantic travails. But will it help her win her first Emmy? Let’s consider the pros and cons.

PROS

The Leslie Jones/Colin Jost romantic sparring has always been among the highlights of Jones’s appearances on the show, and this one was far and away the best of the season, which makes it easy to see why she submitted this episode for consideration.

There hasn’t been a black winner in this category since Jackee Harry for “227” back in 1987 — that was 31 years ago. Voters may think it’s time to be more inclusive.

CONS

Apart from the Update sketch, Jones doesn’t have much time to shine in this episode. In two of her three sketches she has a single one-liner, and the convention sketch has a funny idea, but Jones is given few actual laugh lines to work with.

Fellow “SNL” star Kate McKinnon has won this award for the last two years in a row. “SNL” fans in the TV academy might just check off her name again if they want to reward the show here.

Be sure to make your Emmy predictions today so that Hollywood insiders can see how their TV shows and performers are faring in our odds. You can keep changing your predictions as often as you like until just before winners are announced on September 17. Be sure to also predict winners for the Creative Arts ceremonies slated for September 8 and 9. And join in the fun debate over the 2018 Emmy taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our television forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.

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