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Jackson at Occupy Wall Street in 2011
|Born||Victoria Lynn Jackson
August 2, 1959
Miami, Florida, U.S.
|Occupation||Actress, comedian, singer|
Victoria Lynn Jackson-Wessel (born August 2, 1959) is an American comedian, actress, satirist, singer and internet blogger best known as a cast member of the NBC television sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live (SNL) from 1986 to 1992.
After SNL, she appeared in a number of movies and appears as a stand-up comedian. A right-wing activist, she is an active participant in the Tea Party movement and has received press attention as a vocal critic of U.S. President Barack Obama, whom she describes as a "communist" and "Islamic jihadist".
Jackson was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of Marlene Esther (née Blackstad) and James McCaslin Jackson, a gym coach. Raised by devout Christian parents in a home without a television, she was trained in gymnastics by her father from ages 5 to 18. Jackson attended the private Dade Christian School, where she was a cheerleader and the Homecoming Queen. She subsequently attended Florida Bible College in Hollywood, Florida. Fourteen years of gymnastics competitions led to a scholarship at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She left Furman due to frustrations with the school's gymnastics program, transferring to Auburn University, where her brother was studying architecture, in 1979. Despite getting few major roles and being told by theatre instructors that her voice would hamper her career, Jackson said in 1989 that of the three colleges she attended "Auburn was my last one and favorite one.” She earned a degree in theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University in 2007.
Acting and comedy
Appearing in summer stock in Alabama led to a chance meeting with Johnny Crawford (of the 1950s television series, The Rifleman), who cast her in his night club act. She moved to Los Angeles where she supported herself with various day jobs as a cigarette girl, a typist at the American Cancer Society, and a waitress, while she performed comedy at night. Her first big break was her appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson where she performed what would become her signature act: doing a handstand while reciting poetry. She ultimately appeared on the show 20 times.
In 1986, Jackson was hired to join Saturday Night Live for its 12th season, following Lorne Michaels' firing of most of the 11th season's cast and writers. Jackson became most famous for her appearances on Weekend Update with Dennis Miller, again reciting poetry while doing back-bends or handstands on the desk, with Miller cracking a sexually suggestive comment at the end.
On SNL, some of her recurring characters included Brenda Clark from Toonces the Driving Cat; Jenny Baker, a Christian girl who appears on "Church Chat"; Nancy Maloney, a nightclub singer for The Jungle Room and Susan Keister, the daughter of the Keister family (played by Phil Hartman and Jan Hooks).
Jackson's impersonations of celebrities and famous persons have included: Calamity Jane, Christina Applegate, Cyndi Lauper, Donna Rice, Eydie Gorme, Fawn Hall, La Toya Jackson, Linda Blair, Lulu, Rob Lowe, Roseanne Barr, Sally Struthers, Susan Olsen (as Cindy Brady), Tina Yothers (as Jennifer Keaton), Tipper Gore, and Zsa Zsa Gabor.
Jackson appeared in a number of films including Baby Boom with Diane Keaton, Family Business with Sean Connery, The Pick-up Artist, The Couch Trip and I Love You to Death during the time she was a cast member of Saturday Night Live. She had leading roles in Casual Sex? (with Lea Thompson) and UHF (with "Weird Al" Yankovic).
Following her departure from Saturday Night Live, Jackson starred in an X-Files episode "The Rain King" as the unrequited love of a small town man who can control the weather. She appeared in the movie No More Baths in 1998 and in the Comedy Central series Strip Mall, in 2000. She had a regular role in the Nickelodeon show Romeo!, with Lil' Romeo for its first season, from 2003 to 2004, as the nanny, Mrs. Rodgers. In 2005, Jackson starred in the second edition of the VH1 show Celebrity Fit Club. In 2006 she was cast as Lolita Dorchuck in the mockumentary 20Q directed by Benjamin Keith.
Jackson is a self-identified "devout Christian" and has appeared on programs such as The 700 Club and Politically Incorrect. She also appears at Christian-oriented venues, and performed a stand-up routine in the 2007 Christian comedy concert Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce, which was hosted by Tim Conway.
In 2010, Jackson stated that she did not vote until the 2000 presidential election when she was in her 40s. She maintains a personal website containing numerous postings highlighting her conservative political views. She criticized Democrats during the 2008 general election campaign, particularly presidential nominee Senator Barack Obama and Minnesota U.S. senatorial candidate (and fellow SNL alumnus) Al Franken. In October 2008, she appeared with other celebrities in a National Republican Senatorial Committee advertisement poking fun at Franken, then followed up with an interview on The O'Reilly Factor, where she called Obama a "communist." She has repeated the communism claim on multiple occasions. In 2015, she added that he was an "Islamic jihadist" who supported the Islamic State, claiming that this was evidenced by his support for legal abortion and same-sex marriage. For these remarks, Salon described her as a conspiracy theorist.
When Obama won the election, she wrote on her blog: "Voters in our last election did not base their decision on facts or knowledge, but on hype, emotion, peer pressure, and racial fervor. It didn't help that the liberally biased media blocked Americans' access to the truth", and she said Fox News is "the only one we should watch."
In 2011, Jackson wrote that she thought she was being spied on because of her conservative views.
In 2011, Jackson criticized the TV show Glee for showing a kiss between two male actors, calling it "sickening", and cited the Bible as one of her reasons for making such a statement. When accused of being homophobic, Jackson countered that that was merely a "cute liberal buzzword", and suggested that Glee should be replaced with a show promoting celibacy instead.
In 2011, Jackson joined the staff of Patriot Update as a writer and video blogger. Her video on Occupy Wall Street gained national attention when she returned to her former home during her Saturday Night Live years, to interview 'Occupiers' in Zuccotti Park. Soon after, Patriot Update launched a brand new show called Politichicks, featuring Jackson, Ann-Marie Murrrell, Jannique Stewart, and Jennie Jones. One song she wrote for "Politichicks", titled "Shariah Law," includes the lyrics "They [Muslims] like beheadings and pedophile weddings/ And then they pray five times a day./ They like to kill anyone who will/ Not say the things they want you to say." She also hosts her own web show called "The Victoria Jackson Show".
In 2012, Jackson published her autobiography, Is My Bow Too Big? How I went from Saturday Night Live to the Tea Party.
After Rep. Todd Akin's remarks regarding pregnancies from rape, Jackson was quoted as saying, "If I got raped, I would have the baby. And if I didn't want to keep it because I had these horrible nightmares, I would adopt it out. But I think that God can turn a bad thing into a good thing. And that, if I got raped and a beautiful baby who was innocent was born out of it, that would be a blessing."
In 2014, Jackson filed a petition as an independent candidate for the County Commission, running for one of two District 2 seats in Williamson County, Tennessee. Jackson garnered 632 votes, failing to secure either seat.
She was reunited in 1991 with her high school sweetheart, Paul Wessel, a police helicopter pilot for Dade County, Florida. They were married and have a daughter. The family lived in Florida until 2012, when they moved to Thompson’s Station, Tennessee in order to be closer to their children. In 2010, she became a grandmother.
- Is My Bow Too Big? How I went from Saturday Night Live to the Tea Party, 2012 ISBN 978-1-4675-0256-6
- "The Tennessean"
- "Former SNL star Victoria Jackson files to run for Tennessee county commission seat". Daily Mail (London).
- "Victoria Jackson biography (1959 -)". Theatre, Film, and Television Biographies. FilmReference.com. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Jackson, Victoria. "Victoria Jackson biography". VictoriaJackson.com. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- SNL alum Victoria Jackson’s year at Auburn: The War Eagle Reader
- SNL alum Victoria Jackson’s year at Auburn: The War Eagle Reader
- "The Victoria Jackson Show – Comedy. Politics. Religion. You will never be the same". Victoriajackson.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "Victoria Jackson Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Garcia, Gus (January 25, 2012). "Tea Party Princess Victoria Jackson went from the big leagues of comedy to the rabid right of modern politics Village Voice January 25, 2012". Villagevoice.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "No More Baths (1998)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- "Victoria Jackson: Comedy's Christian Missionary" (Video). CBN on line. October 21, 2008.
- Nolte, John. "Breitbart News: Big Hollywood". Bighollywood.breitbart.com. Retrieved July 31, 2012.
- "Former SNL Member Victoria Jackson: Obama A "Communist," Like "Castro In Cuba, The Guy In China"". Huffington Post. November 1, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2010.[dead link]
- Huffington Post: Victoria Jackson On Fox News: Obama Is A Communist, Rush Limbaugh Should Run The Country. April 12, 2009.
- thedailyshow.com. Moment of Zen: Glenn Beck Teaches Victoria Jackson. 2010-03-29.
- Brian Tashman (20 February 2015). "Victoria Jackson: Obama's Gay Marriage Support Proves He's 'An Islamic Jihadist'". Right Wing Watch. People for the American Way.
- Luke Brinkner (February 20, 2015). "Former “SNL” cast member Victoria Jackson: Obama is “an Islamic jihadist”". Salon.
- Jackson, Victoria. "Victoria Jackson's Home Page". Retrieved March 27, 2010.
- Jackson, Victoria (March 11, 2011). "Spies: National security or silencing the opposition?". WorldNetDaily. Retrieved March 12, 2011.
- Jackson, Victoria (March 22, 2011). "Victoria Jackson: Homophobic a 'Cute Little Buzzword'". Newser. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
- Jackson, Victoria. "Victoria Jackson Takes on Occupy Wall Street Protestors". Patriot Update. Retrieved December 15, 2011.
- "CIA in bed with Muslin Brotherhood - Victoria Jackson". Victoriajacksonshow.com. 2012-10-25. Retrieved June 6, 2014.
- Signorile, Michelangelo (August 31, 2012). "Former 'SNL' Star Makes Shocking Comments About Rape And Gay Friends". Huffington Post.
- [dead link]
- "‘SNL’s Victoria Jackson falls to incumbents". The Tennesseean. August 7, 2014.
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