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Victoria Jackson

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Victoria Jackson
Jackson in 2011
Born (1959-08-02) August 2, 1959 (age 64)[1]
EducationFlorida College
Furman University
Auburn University
Palm Beach Atlantic University (BA)
  • Actress
  • comedian
Years active1982–present
SpousePaul Wessel

Victoria Jackson (born August 2, 1959) is an American actress and comedian. She was a cast member on the series Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1992.

Early life[edit]

Jackson was born in Miami, Florida, the daughter of Marlene Esther (née Blackstad) and James McCaslin Jackson, a gym coach.[2] From the age of 5 until she was 18, Jackson's father trained her in gymnastics.[3]

After graduating from high school, Jackson attended Florida Bible College in Hollywood, Florida, later transferring to Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina on a gymnastics scholarship. At Furman, she was cast in her first play. She transferred to Auburn University in 1979 for her senior year, changing her major to theater. Midway through her senior year, she left Auburn to pursue an acting career.[3][4]

In the 2000s, Jackson earned a degree in theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University.[5]

Acting and comedy[edit]

While doing summer stock theater in Alabama, Jackson met former child actor Johnny Crawford of the 1950s television series The Rifleman, who cast her in his nightclub act. She moved to Los Angeles in 1981,[6] working various day jobs and performing comedy at night.[7][8][9] Her first big break was an appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where she recited poetry while doing a handstand.[7][10][11] She went on to appear on the show 20 times.[7] In 1984 she appeared in the pilot for W*A*L*T*E*R, a M*A*S*H spin-off that the networks did not pick up.[12]

Following a role in the short-lived 1985 television series Half Nelson,[13] Jackson received an offer to audition for the cast of Saturday Night Live. Because she was not confident her audition had gone well, she performed several impersonations on her next Tonight Show appearance and sent the tape to SNL's Lorne Michaels. After viewing the tape, Michaels asked Jackson to join the show.[14][15] A regular cast member from 1986 to 1992,[16] Jackson often appeared on the show's weekly Weekend Update segment as a correspondent who goes off topic, reciting poetry and doing backbends or handstands on the desk.[5][14] She was also known for recurring skit roles where she impersonated Roseanne Barr, Sally Struthers and Zsa Zsa Gabor.[5][17]

During her tenure on SNL, Jackson was cast in a number of films, including Baby Boom, Family Business, I Love You to Death,[16] UHF,[7] The Pick-up Artist,[18] The Couch Trip,[19] and Casual Sex?.[14] Her film career continued after her 1992 departure from Saturday Night Live, but mostly in unknown or unnoticed films. On television, she was cast as the lead of her own sitcom, co-starring George Clooney. When there was a change in management at Fox, the show was scrapped without being broadcast.[7] In 1994, she appeared as "Beverly" in the In the Heat of the Night[20] episode "Good Cop, Bad Cop", and in 1999 she appeared as the unrequited love of a small-town man who can control the weather in The X-Files episode "The Rain King".[21]

Jackson had a regular role as Patty in the 2000–2001 Comedy Central sitcom Strip Mall and in the 2003–2004 seasons of the Nickelodeon show Romeo!.[16] In 2004 and 2005, she had roles in two romantic comedies, Shut Up and Kiss Me! and Her Minor Thing.[16] During this period, Jackson appeared on the game show Hollywood Squares and participated in the show Celebrity Fit Club.[16] She played multiple characters in the 2014 direct-to-video movie Campin' Buddies.[22][23]

Political views[edit]

Jackson at a Tea Party rally in 2009

A self-described conservative Christian, Jackson has appeared in productions such as the 2007 Christian comedy concert Thou Shalt Laugh 2: The Deuce[24] as well as a dozen times on Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher.[16] She has supported the Tea Party movement through appearances at events as well as her website, which was affiliated with the Liberty Alliance.[25]

In October 2008, she appeared with other celebrities on The O'Reilly Factor in a National Republican Senatorial Committee advertisement poking fun at Al Franken, a fellow Saturday Night Live alumnus then running for the United States Senate from Minnesota.[26]

Beginning in 2008, Jackson stated that she believed Barack Obama to be a communist.[5][27][28][29][30] In 2015, she claimed that Obama was an "Islamic jihadist" and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, with members of the organization in his cabinet, and that Obama's support for legal abortion and same-sex marriage showed he was not a Christian.[31][32][33]

In 2011, Jackson criticized the TV show Glee for showing a kiss between two male actors, citing the Bible to justify her criticism. When accused of homophobia, Jackson countered that the label was merely a "cute liberal buzzword" and suggested that Glee be replaced with a show promoting celibacy.[34]

In 2011, Jackson joined the staff of Patriot Update as a writer and video blogger and host of the talk show Politichicks. Co-hosts included Ann-Marie Murrell, Jannique Stewart, and Jennie Jones.[35][36] Jackson wrote a satirical song for "Politichicks" titled "Shariah Law", with the song's lyrics claiming, "They [Muslims] like beheadings and pedophile weddings".[35] Among her work for Patriot Update was a piece on Occupy Wall Street that was critical of the protesters.[37][38]

In 2012, White Hall publishers, part of the Liberty Alliance, released Jackson's autobiography Is My Bow Too Big? How I Went from Saturday Night Live to the Tea Party.[25][39][40]

In 2012, after Todd Akin's remarks regarding pregnancies resulting from rape, Jackson said "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."[41]

In 2014, Jackson filed a petition as an independent candidate for one of two District 2 seats in Williamson County, Tennessee. She received 632 votes, not enough to secure either seat against the incumbent candidates.[42][43]

In 2023, Jackson objected to Franklin, Tennessee holding a gay pride parade.[44]

Personal life[edit]

Jackson married a fellow performer, fire-eating magician Nisan Mark Eventoff, in 1984,[6] and had a daughter. They divorced in 1991.[5] Shortly thereafter, she reconnected with her high school sweetheart, Paul Wessel, then a Miami-Dade SWAT team police officer, and they married and had a daughter.[3] When her husband retired in 2013, the couple moved to Nashville, Tennessee.[3][24]



  • Is My Bow Too Big? How I Went from Saturday Night Live to the Tea Party, 2012, ISBN 978-1-4675-0256-6
  • Lavender Hair: 21 Devotions for Women with Breast Cancer, 2017, ISBN 978-1-4245-5562-8

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Victoria Jackson". Encyclopedia.com. Cengage. Retrieved January 28, 2022.
  2. ^ Garcia-Roberts, Gus (February 2, 2012). "Tea Party Princess: Victoria Jackson went from the big leagues of comedy to the rabid right of modern politics". Riverfront Times. St. Louis, MO. Retrieved May 1, 2024.
  3. ^ a b c d Page, Jamie (March 18, 2014). "Victoria Jackson's values no laughing matter". The Tennessean. Nashville – via USA Today.
  4. ^ Henderson, Jeremy (October 16, 2014). "SNL alum Victoria Jackson's year at Auburn". The War Eagle Reader.
  5. ^ a b c d e Garcia-Roberts, Gus (January 26, 2012). "Victoria Jackson's excellent Tea Party adventure". Miami New Times.
  6. ^ a b Barber, Mary (August 16, 1984). "Bottom Lines: Gymnast-Actress and Fire-Eating Musician Make Their Dreams Come True". Los Angeles Times.
  7. ^ a b c d e Walters, Robert S. (November 11, 1999). "'SNL' alum brings stand-up routine to Tulsa club". Tulsa World.
  8. ^ Montville, Leigh (July 29, 1984). "Adventures in the L.A. skim trade". Boston Globe.
  9. ^ Damsker, Matt (November 1, 1983). "'Rainbow Of Comedy' Coming To San Diego: Stand-Up Comics Set For Old Globe Stand-Up Comics". Los Angeles Times. Opening for each of these headliners is an assortment of lesser-known stand-ups. ranging from ... comic poet-acrobat Victoria Jackson,...
  10. ^ Berger, Phil (July 29, 1984). "The New Comediennes". The New York Times.
  11. ^ Daltry, Laura (August 19, 1984). "'Tonight Show' Special: Women, 19 Cents A Pound". Los Angeles Times.
  12. ^ Arielle Miranda Seaboard (November 20, 2015), W*A*L*T*E*R clip featuring Victoria Jackson, retrieved August 28, 2018[dead YouTube link]
  13. ^ "Half Nelson - Television Obscurities". Television Obscurities. February 2016. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Beale, Lewis (April 28, 1988). "A Christian Fundamentalist Disrobes For Casual Sex?". Los Angeles Daily News – via Chicago Tribune.
  15. ^ Miller, James Andrew; Shales, Tom (2014). Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests. Little, Brown. pp. 301ff. ISBN 9780316295079.
  16. ^ a b c d e f Gehrke-White, Donna (October 28, 2005). "Ex-'SNL' star Victoria Jackson balances career, motherhood". Daily Herald. Archived from the original on July 19, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  17. ^ Ridley, JD (January 19, 2015). "Former 'SNL' actress defends prof accused of 'hate speech' against Muslims". The College Fix. Retrieved June 26, 2020.
  18. ^ Thomas, Kevin (September 19, 1987). "Movie Reviews: 'Pick-up Artist' Meets His Match". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ "The Couch Trip". 1988 In Film. July 9, 2015.
  20. ^ "In the Heat of the Night, Season 7, Episode 13 Good Cop, Bad Cop". TVGuide. Retrieved January 7, 2018.
  21. ^ Meisler, Andy (2000). The End and the Beginning: The Official Guide to the X-Files Season 6. HarperCollins. pp. 80–89. ISBN 0-06-107595-7.
  22. ^ Stokes, Justin (October 7, 2015). "Victoria Jackson talks Tea Party, Zanies show". The Tennessean.
  23. ^ McLevy, Alex (January 30, 2017). "Nothing says "garbage movie" like Victoria Jackson in 7 different roles". Film.
  24. ^ a b "Victoria Jackson: Funny Begins with Faith". The Christian Broadcasting Network. October 2017.
  25. ^ a b Ingersoll, Julie J. (2015). Building God's Kingdom: Inside the World of Christian Reconstruction. Oxford University Press. pp. 187–188. ISBN 9780199913787.
  26. ^ Johnson, Ted (October 29, 2008). "Hollywood Republicans Against Franken". Variety.
  27. ^ Parlett, Martin A. (2014). Demonizing a President: The "Foreignization" of Barack Obama: The "Foreignization" of Barack Obama. Santa Barbara, California: ABC-CLIO. p. 164. ISBN 978-1440830563.
  28. ^ Sabloff, Nicholas (December 2, 2008). "Former SNL Member Victoria Jackson: Obama A "Communist," Like "Castro In Cuba, The Guy In China"". Huffington Post. New York City.
  29. ^ Leo, Alex (April 12, 2009). "Victoria Jackson On Fox News: Obama Is A Communist, Rush Limbaugh Should Run The Country". Huffington Post. New York City.
  30. ^ Garcia-Roberts, Gus (January 26, 2012). "Victoria Jackson Says New Times Profile of Her Was Lies Penned by a Socialist (Updated)". Miami New Times.
  31. ^ Tashman, Brian (February 20, 2015). "Victoria Jackson: Obama's Gay Marriage Support Proves He's 'An Islamic Jihadist'". Right Wing Watch. Washington DC: People for the American Way. Archived from the original on February 21, 2015.
  32. ^ Brinkner, Luke (February 20, 2015). "Former "SNL" cast member Victoria Jackson: Obama is "an Islamic jihadist"". Salon. Los Angeles, California.
  33. ^ Molloy, Tim (December 28, 2011). "Victoria Jackson: Obama Part of Muslim Brotherhood". Reuters. Retrieved February 23, 2020.
  34. ^ Jackson, Victoria (March 22, 2011). "Victoria Jackson: Homophobic a 'Cute Little Buzzword'". Newser. Retrieved March 22, 2011.
  35. ^ a b Lambiet, Jose (November 21, 2011). "Victoria Jackson goes online". Miami.com.
  36. ^ Tanabe, Karin (December 13, 2011). "Victoria Jackson's conservative view". Politico.
  37. ^ Chaney, Jen (October 13, 2011). "Victoria Jackson brings opinions about Obama and Jesus to Occupy Wall Street (Video)". Washington Post.
  38. ^ "Occupy Wall Street: Former 'SNL' Actress Victoria Jackson Grills Protesters (Video)". The Hollywood Reporter. October 12, 2011.
  39. ^ "Bookmarks: Recent publications from Furman writers". Furman News. June 3, 2013.
  40. ^ Guarino, Mark (March 10, 2013). "Can Victoria Jackson return from the fringe?". Salon.
  41. ^ Signorile, Michelangelo (August 31, 2012). "Former 'SNL' Star Makes Shocking Comments About Rape and Gay Friends". Huffington Post.
  42. ^ Page, Jamie (February 19, 2014). "Former SNL star Victoria Jackson officially files for county commission". The Tennessean via USAToday.
  43. ^ "'SNL's Victoria Jackson falls to incumbents". The Tennessean. August 7, 2014.
  44. ^ Niemietz, Brian (April 12, 2023). "Former 'SNL' star Victoria Jackson tells city council 'God hates sodomy'". New York Daily News.

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