Victoria Jackson turns 55 tomorrow, but most of us would like to fondly remember her as the bubbly blonde 20-something Saturday Night Live castmember with nice gams. Unfortunately, that’s not how most of us will ultimately remember her, because in the years since SNL Jackson has become a frothing, high-pitched mouthpiece for the extreme right-wing Tea Party crowd, so much so that even level-headed Tea Partiers (if that’s even a thing) make the finger-twirling motion to the side of their heads when her name comes up.
But why? How did such a (somewhat) promising young comedian end up spiraling into insanity? I decided to do some investigating and put together this comprehensive timeline in an attempt to solve the mystery.
Victoria Jackson was born in Miami, Florida — which, in retrospect, says a lot right there — in 1959 to a bible-thumping family. Her father was a gymnastics coach so she participated in gymnastics throughout her childhood — a talent which would obviously make its way into her act once she found fame. She was a cheerleader and homecoming queen as a teenager and attended the Florida Bible College, which is not exactly an auspicious way to start a comedy career. After graduating, Jackson moved to Hollywood where performed as a stand up comic, landing regular gigs on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson before getting hired to Saturday Night Live.
1986-1992: Saturday Night Live
Jackson was most well known for her Weekend Update appearances alongside fellow right-winger Dennis Miller (and eventually, Kevin Nealon). She’s actually most most known for her Weekend Update appearances wearing tiny cabaret shorts doing song and dance numbers, but since I’m held to Yahoo!’s lording over SNL clips, here’s one of her investigating terrorism in Central Park, ironically:
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I have searched the internet far and wide and cannot find any record of this, but — although Jackson was not yet into politics — I swear I’ve heard cast stories from during her tenure at SNL which claim that she would often get preachy with the other cast members, even handing out bibles. Again since I can’t confirm anything, this is just rumor mill stuff. If anyone can help me out in the comments, I’ll update.
1989: Starred in UHF
During her tenure at Saturday Night Live, Jackson appeared in cult favorite UHF starring Weird Al Yankovic. This was probably one of the bigger moments in her career, and she even apparently dated Yankovic for a brief time between her first marriage to Nisan Evantoff (which also ended in 1990) and second, current marriage to Paul Wessel in 1992. Alas, Weird Al couldn’t fix whatever was wrong with Victoria Jackson.
2000: Was a Series Regular in Strip Mall on Comedy Central
Other than doing some voicework on Garfield and Friends and random television appearances on everything from Touched by an Angel to The X-Files, this was Jackson’s last medium-profile acting gig. I can’t find a single clip on the entire internet of Strip Mall, which I think I watched once or twice on Comedy Central and don’t really remember all that clearly. But apparently Strip Mall also starred Jim O’Heir — a.k.a. “Jerry” from Parks and Recreation, so that just blew my mind a little. And since I couldn’t find any images with Victoria Jackson in them, enjoy this instead:
2007: Victoria Jackson Stumbles Into Politics
According to Fox News, 2007 was the year that Victoria Jackson found out what politics were, later claiming that she didn’t even know how to vote prior to the year 2000.
Jackson became political in 2007, when she said she stumbled into an “underground conservative group of people” in Los Angeles who told her that someone was running for president who is left of Hillary Clinton. She thought to herself, “Hillary’s a socialist, who would be left of Hillary? That would be communist.”
Here’s an appearance on the O’Reilly Factor in which Jackson recalls getting into politics. Crazy or no, I have to give her points for not letting that turd O’Reilly goad her into sh*t-talking her former SNL castmates.
2010: Becomes Involved in Breitbart’s Big Hollywood
For a short time, Victoria Jackson was involved with the ring-wing news and opinion site, Breitbart’s Big Hollywood. Here’s a column which Jackson writes from the perspective of her ukelele:
I am Victoria’s ukulele and I am in this fight for freedom too.
She takes me to all the rallies and I purposefully sit right in front of the podium so that everyone will notice me. I attended the Beverly Hills Tea Party. All the cameras saw my bumper sticker shouting, “I SUPPORT ARIZONA!!” Can you believe the President of the United States would sue a state?! Man, these are crazy times! All AZ did was ask him to protect them from illegal aliens and criminals. I guess the President doesn’t want to protect them and he is really mad about it. Mad enough to sue.
Now with insane video footage!
For whatever reason, her partnership with Breitbart ended shortly after. I can’t find any information as to the reason, but her author archives have been mostly wiped. I presume it has something to do with the fact that she penned a political column from the perspective of a musical instrument.
2010: Releases Video “There’s A Communist Living in the White House!!”
At a “Tax Day Tea Party” rally today in Washington D.C., Jackson performed this charming ditty:
2011: Co-Hosted Web Series Called Politichicks
Patriot Update started up a web series called The Politichicks, which were said to be “The Voice of the Conservative Woman.” Judging by the reactions in this clip, the other Politichicks did not feel as though Victoria Jackson represented the voice of the conservative woman, and she and the other Politichicks soon parted ways.
2011: Claims That She’s Being “Spied On”
In a column she wrote for WND, Jackson claims that the government is spying on her:
I think I’m being spied on. It all started over a year ago. But this was the latest strangeness. Last week, I was walking to my car, leaving my grandchild’s home. The neighbors were watering their lawn. They shouted from across the street, “Someone’s been driving by your house taking pictures.”
N: Someone’s been taking pictures of your house. They came by four times.
V: Four times? Since I got here, or before that?
N: Since you’ve been there. Is your house for sale?
N: They weren’t taking pictures of any other houses on the block, just yours.
Uhhh, well Victoria Jackson, maybe no other houses on your block are homes of late ’80s/early ’90s SNL cast members — did you ever think of that? Maybe they were headed to Joe Piscopo’s house next.
2012: Twitter Meltdown Over Obama’s Re-election
In a bunch of now-deleted tweets, Jackson LOST HER SH*T when President Obama was elected for a second term of office:
2014: Jackson Runs for Public Office
I already wrote a bit about this last February, but Victoria Jackson decided to run for a county commissioner seat in a small town outside of Nashville, Tennessee. Here she is explaining why she’s running in the best way she knows how, via ukelele performance:
Here’s Jackson explaining her campaign in non-ukelele form, which is somehow not less confusing:
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So there you have it. From Florida homecoming queen to comedian to ukelele-playing conspiracy theorist and local government hopeful — I can only imagine what the next twenty-five or so years of Victoria Jackson insanity is going to bring us, but I’m pretty sure it won’t be boring.