Jan Hooks

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Jan Hooks
Jan Hooks.jpg
Jan Hooks in 1988
Born Janice Hooks[citation needed]
(1957-04-23) April 23, 1957 (age 57)
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Occupation Actress/Comedienne
Years active 1978–present

Jan Hooks (born April 23, 1957)[1] is an American actress and comedian best known for her work on NBC's Saturday Night Live (SNL), where she was a repertory player from 1986 to 1991 and continued making cameo appearances until 1994. Her subsequent work has included a regular role on the final two seasons of Designing Women, and a number of roles in film and television.

Life and career[edit]

Hooks was born in Decatur, Georgia, east of Atlanta. She began her career as a member of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings[2] and in an Atlanta nightclub act called The Wits End Players. In 1978–1979, Hooks appeared in Tush on Ted Turner's television station WTCG, which eventually became TBS. She gained notice in the early 1980s on the HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News. Hooks also had guest comedienne appearances on Comedy Break with Mack and Jamie in the mid-'80s.

Hooks was considered for SNL in 1985 but was passed over by the show's producers in favor of Joan Cusack. After SNL's 1985-1986 season was deemed a ratings disaster and put on the chopping block for cancellation, returning producer Lorne Michaels offered Hooks a contract in 1986. Together with new recruits Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and others, Hooks helped put the show back in the national spotlight. Her characters included Candy Sweeney of "The Sweeney Sisters." She also performed notable impressions of Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O'Connor, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer, and Hillary Clinton.

Tiring of the stress of performing on a live show, Hooks left SNL in 1991 after being asked by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. Hooks played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons of the show. Since then, she has made appearances in several movies, starred as Dixie Glick in the series Primetime Glick and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, and had a recurring role as the trashy Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun, which earned Hooks an Emmy Award nomination. Hooks guest-starred on two Matt Groening-produced cartoons for the FOX Network: The Simpsons, as Apu's new wife, Manjula (though Hooks was later replaced by Tress MacNeille); and Futurama, in the episode "Bendless Love," as the voice of a female robot named Angleyne. She also had a memorable role in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo.

Hooks made a cameo appearance in the 1992 movie Batman Returns as Jen, the Penguin's image consultant during his campaign to become Mayor of Gotham City. In 2010 she was a guest star on 30 Rock, playing Jenna's mom, Verna.



Year Film Role
1985 Pee-wee's Big Adventure Tina
1986 Wildcats Stephanie Needham
1987 Funland Shelly Willingham
1992 Batman Returns Jen
1993 Coneheads Gladys Johnson
A Dangerous Woman Makeup Girl
1998 Simon Birch Miss Leavey
2004 Jiminy Glick in Lalawood Dixie Glick


Year Series Role Notes
1980 Tush Various characters
1983 Prime Times Various characters TV special
The 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour Various characters
1983–1984 Not Necessarily the News Various characters Appeared 24 episodes
1984 The Joe Piscopo Special Various characters TV special
1985 Comedy Break Various characters
1986–1994 Saturday Night Live Various characters Appeared in 102 episodes;
main cast member until 1991
1989 Dear John Suzanne Episode 2.4: "John's Blind Date"
1991–1993 Designing Women Carlene Frazier Dobber Appeared in 45 episodes
1992 Frosty Returns Lil TV special
1994 The Martin Short Show Meg Harper Short
1996 The Dana Carvey Show Kathie Lee Gifford Episode 1.4: "The Diet Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey"
1996–2000 3rd Rock from the Sun Vicki Dubcek Appeared in 16 episodes
1997 Hiller and Diller Kate Appeared in two episodes
1997–2002 The Simpsons Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon Appeared in six episodes
2001 Providence Doreen Dunfey Episode 3.10: "The Gun"
Futurama Anglelyne Episode 3.6: "Bendless Love"
2001–2003 Primetime Glick Dixie Glick
2004 Game Over Nadine
2010 30 Rock Verna Maroney Episode 4.12: "Verna" and Episode 4.20: "The Moms"


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