SNL's Leslie Jones to Host BET Awards: 'I'll Make the Elephant in the Room Laugh'
Leslie Jones is going back to where it all started.
The Saturday Night Live and Ghostbusters star will host the 2017 BET Awards, PEOPLE can reveal exclusively.
“BET was the first place I ever did comedy on TV, so it’s a full-circle moment of coming home where I started,” Jones, 49, tells PEOPLE. “I went out in the world and did what I needed to do and now I can come home to my people and say, ‘Yo! Look what I did!'”
Jones has experience mixing politics with comedy thanks to her three seasons on SNL, but don’t look for her to get too serious during the show.
“I am tired of everybody being sad and angry. I want people to just downright laugh. 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,” says Jones. “So my goal for this show is to have a big ‘ol nice barbecue, family reunion feel. I just want everyone cracking up. I want everyone leaving that event going, ‘Wait, did they even give awards out? I was too busy laughing.'”
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Jones is incredibly excited to host the TV network’s 17th annual awards show — and meet the members of New Edition — but don’t expect her to follow in the steps of past awards show hosts who change outfits every commercial break.
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“I’m not trying to be Giselle,” says Jones. “I’ll get dressed up for the red carpet or the party but on stage I’m going to wear something like what I wear when I do stand-up. It’s all about being comfortable.”
The 2017 BET Awards will air live Sunday, June 25 from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles at 8 p.m. ET.