Saturday Night LiveLeslie Jones is moving on up! The staff writer for "Saturday Night Live" has been promoted to featured player this season, on the strength of several appearances, including one about relationships from the season premiere.

Jones becomes the second black female cast member, after Sasheer Zamata. "SNL" faced a great deal of criticism last year over the lack of diversity among its comedy troupe - particularly after hiring six new cast members for the 2013-14 season, all of whom were white. That led Michaels to embark on a very public nationwide search for black female comedians. That led to the show hiring Sasheer Zamata as a featured player and Jones and LaKendra Tookes as writers.

"SNL" has a long history of promoting from within; current "Weekend Update" hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che both started as writers. Jones begins her new job on this weekend's edition, which will be hosted by Jim Carrey.

Watch Jones' standout performance on "Weekend Update" from last month:

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