Leslie Jones's 5 personal bests in honor of her 50th birthday

Carly Milne
Writer, Yahoo Entertainment & Lifestyle
Leslie Jones’s 50th birthday dance is all that and then some. (Image: Leslie Jones via Instagram)

Drop what you’re doing — it’s Leslie Jones’s birthday! Today the actress and comedian turns 50, and is doing so in the most Jones way possible: by posting a gleeful dance on Instagram.

In celebration of the Saturday Night Live star’s awesomeness, we wanted to remind you of some of her best moments since she’s been in the public eye. It’s part of our quest to turn Sept. 7 into Leslie Jones Day! (It has a nice ring to it, don’t you think?) Here’s what we love about her:

Her ‘Game of Thrones’ fandom

It’s pretty safe to say that nobody loves anything as much as Leslie Jones loves Game of Thrones. Luckily for us, her enthusiasm extends to her live-tweeting every episode, where fans can read every thought she has during the show as it’s airing. Here’s a sampling of some of her tweets from Season 7 to give you an example of her mania:

(Image: Twitter)
(Image: Twitter)
(Image: Twitter)

Basically, Jones reacts to Game of Thrones the way football fans react when watching their team at the Super Bowl. It’s enhanced viewing at its finest, and if you don’t believe us, check out this episode of Game of Jones from Late Night With Seth Meyers, which includes a very special guest star.

(Image: YouTube)

We may have to wait a reported two years (!) before we see her live-tweet Game of Thrones again. Hopefully she gets obsessed with a new show in the meantime.

Her Summer Olympics awesomeness

The only thing that dwarfs Jones’s passion for Game of Thrones is her passion for the Olympics. During last year’s summer games in Rio, Jones dressed up in American flag gear and proudly chanted, “USA! USA! USA!” in honor of the American athletes in the Games, and proceeded to tweet about every event she watched.

She also dared to ask the hard-hitting questions no one else would:

Her tweeting was so undeniably passionate that it caught the attention of NBC, which officially invited her down to the Games. Of course, her posts didn’t stop there. She even tweeted support of volleyball players Kerri Walsh Jennings and April Ross when she was waiting for her flight to Rio.

And when she met them in person? Gold.

The rest of her time in Rio was just as amazing. She got her own water polo robe and wore it while eating nachos. She met Simone Biles and Shaun White. She took video of Michael Phelps and stood up for Gabby Douglas when the internet crapped on her for not smiling during a medal ceremony. In short, Jones was a champion.

Her handling of the ‘Ghostbusters’ dress drama

You’d think that designers would line up around the block to dress an actress for a major movie premiere, but that wasn’t the case when Jones was preparing to debut Ghostbusters last summer. Frustrated by the lack of support from the fashion industry, Jones took to Twitter to call them out, saying, “It’s so funny how there are no designers wanting to help me with a premiere dress for movie. Hmmm that will change and I remember everything.”

Enter designer Christian Siriano, who responded with a simple hand-waving emoji, prompting Jones to respond, “YAAAAAASSSSSS.”

The result was stunning. Jones walked the carpet in a sexy, off-the-shoulder, long red dress with a slit up the front, and a statement diamond necklace that pretty much screamed, “I’m here, I’m hot, and I’m fashionable.” According to an Instagram post by Siriano, the look was very intentional, harking back to that iconic moment from Pretty Woman when Julia Roberts was denied service at a fashionable boutique.

So basically, you’re on blast, designers. Jones and Siriano got your number.

For her part, Jones loved the dress, saying, “I knew I wanted to be ‘sexy,’ and show off my body a little bit.” That she did. And she looked amazing.

Her handling of social media trolls

It’s sad to think there was a time when Jones was going to give up social media, but that was a very real possibility last year when a cadre of trolls banded together to take her down. It all started with the Ghostbusters casting backlash and escalated when a former Breitbart editor posted a review of the film, saying Jones exhibited “flat-as-a-pancake black stylings.”

Cue the “alt-right” hounding Jones with sexist and racist comments, and awful memes, which only got worse when the Breitbart editor added fuel to the fire with his own tweets and attacks. It got so bad that Jones gave up on blocking people, and allowed everyone to see the tirade she’d been bombarded with … then went as far as retweeting some of the madness, while calling out Twitter for its lax harassment policies.

Trolls even hacked her personal website, posting personal information and nude photos of the comedian. Exhausted from the drama, Jones vanished from Twitter for a while, prompting a hashtag campaign, #LoveForLeslieJ, with tweets from director Paul Feig, Katy Perry, Chrissy Teigen, and even Hillary Clinton encouraging her to come back. Finally, Twitter founder and CEO Jack Dorsey reached out to Jones and banned the Breitbart editor from Twitter. Jones came back after a couple of weeks, saying, “Welp…a b**** thought she could stay away. But who else is gonna live tweet Game of Thrones!!”

Who indeed!

Her bomb-**s workout regimen

In case you haven’t been following Jones on Instagram — and if you haven’t, what’s wrong with you? — the star has been stepping up her fitness game and documenting it all, making her our new #fitspo.
Witness her leg day, on Labor Day, when most of us were lazing by the pool eating hot dogs:

(Image: Instagram)

And then there’s arm day:

(Photo: Leslie Jones via Instagram)

Some enthusiastic and charming cardio:

And her pre-workout shots, hinting at the warriorness to come:

She shows us her passion, her literal sweat, her heart and soul, and how she’s unapologetically herself. In short, Leslie Jones is awesome, and we’re lucky to have her on all of our screens. Happy birthday, Leslie!

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