She was a regular performer on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, where in one of her most memorable bits she channeled Patti Smith, singing about being an "angry woman" while doing tricks on a balance beam.

In 1986, she flew to New York to audition for SNL. Executive producer Lorne Michaels, she remembers, lamented her lack of comedic characters. So the next time she was on Carson's show, she continued the audition by doing impressions of Diana Ross and Edith Bunker and inventing a character: a glum boss interviewing Carson for a job. She joined the SNL cast that season. With a new baby in tow, she and Nisan bought a four-bedroom Colonial in Weston, Conn. They split time between the two homes.

But Michaels' trepidation had been spot-on. Victoria's castmates included Chris Farley, Phil Hartman, Adam Sandler, Mike Myers, and Dana Carvey. She couldn't keep up. "I lived on pure adrenaline," she says. "You always think you're going to get fired. You're always competing with your cast members for air time."

Coming up with characters and premises for skits was a supreme struggle. She confesses that one of her funnier sketches — "Victoria's Secrets," in which she wore lingerie and throatily fumbled at being sexy — was a product of begging castmate Jon Lovitz and writer Conan O'Brien for ideas as they walked down an office hallway.

Her nasal voice nixed nuanced impressions. Besides doing backbends and reading poetry on the "Weekend Update" news desk, impressions of Roseanne Barr and Zsa Zsa Gabor were her only recurring gags.

Critics and former castmates haven't been kind. recently ranked her dead last of 92 cast members and wrote that her "cute-ditsy-idiot act got pretty thin, [and] it turns out it wasn't an act." And in the 2002 book Live From New York, an oral history of the show, castmate Jan Hooks sniped, "I just have a particular repulsion to grown women who talk like little girls. It's like, 'You're a grown woman! Use your lower register!' " (Victoria, by the way, claims her weird voice is the result of a medical defect: a "congenital palatal insufficiency." )

Look, I'm not qualified for this, Victoria recalls thinking. Maybe this is my mission field. I'm supposed to tell my cast members about Jesus!

But Hartman didn't want to talk about the Son of God. And Lovitz asked how Jesus, "a grown man," could have fit in his mother's womb to be born again. When Victoria left audiocassette box sets of the Bible in each castmate's mail slot for Christmas, they were angrily returned.

Writer and performer Al Franken, now a Democratic U.S. senator for Minnesota, cornered her once, Victoria says. He said he was "offended" by her "ditsy" act. "Maybe I'm overcompensating," she retorted, "because everybody here is dying and going to Hell, and I'm supposed to tell them about Jesus."

Franken went white, she says. "He never talked to me again."

Victoria struggled to make the leap to film acting. Her biggest role was as a co-star in 1988's Casual Sex?, an insipid rumination on sexual relationships in a post-AIDS world. It flopped. "The movie is exactly like the real thing," the Washington Post opined. "Kinda empty, kinda unfulfilling, and you feel just awful afterward." Victoria also played Weird Al Yankovic's love interest in UHF. Again, not a Brando-esque turn.

Besides the film proceeds, Victoria was making $20,000 per weekly episode of SNL, according to divorce records. In 1991, her ill-conceived marriage to the fire-eater finally came to an end. "He hated me more and more each day," she says. "One night he was fumbling around in the gun closet and he was drunk, and I thought, Is he going to kill me?"

A Connecticut judge ordered Victoria to pay Nisan alimony of 15 percent of her income, but not less than $3,000 a month, for three years. He also received a portion of the residuals from her films and, less financially momentous, her catalogue of ditties such as "I Am Not a Bimbo" and "I Wanna Be a Slut." (Victoria sells her songs on a self-published CD called Use Me. "Even my friends haven't listened to it," she admits.)

Nisan declined to be interviewed for this story. Still in Connecticut, he's now known as "the Magic Genie." His website boasts he "offers quality magic tricks at discount prices.... He can even levitate one of the children! Fire effects are optional."

After the divorce, Victoria reconnected with her former fiancé from Miami, Paul Wessel. Also divorced, he had become a Miami-Dade Police SWAT officer. In 1984, according to Paul's personnel file, the tip of his pinkie was shot by his own partner in a firefight with a drug suspect. In 1991, with a single round he killed an Opa-locka man who pointed a revolver at officers. At an inquest, the man's widow asked, "Why did they have to shoot him in the heart?" Paul's lethal actions were ruled justified. One year later, he used a shotgun to obliterate a pit bull that was attacking his partner. To date, Paul has been honored with 71 department commendations.

But Paul had a competitor. "I kind of had a crush on Weird Al Yankovic," Victoria confesses. "We kind of went on a date, but I don't know if he loved me or not."

« Previous Page
Next Page »
My Voice Nation Help

Hey, I met a man who are 6'3" on a dating SITE-- T'a'll'HUB. c○ m --.while, I am only 5'6" and I love tall guys. He said

to me that tall girls on that site are seeking fun with tall guys...Are you tall and like tall people, if so, go and check



Her family is dysfunctional with a capital D. She is totally fruit loops. Perfect for a Fox "news" commentator or a Tea Party discussion video.

Will Malven
Will Malven

So many lies in a single piece. Victoria Jackson disputes: "I did not 'live in the shadow of' my tormented aunt, I met her once and she lived far away."

"Gus’s biggest lie was that I was fired from SNL. That is simply not true. Dolores Robinson didn’t even represent me in 1992. James Dixon from William Morris was my agent and Lorne Michaels told me I could stay at SNL as long as I wanted to. I’d been there six years, a year past my original contract, and I decided to leave since professionally, I was out of ideas, and personally, I was going through a divorce. I didn’t want my little 4 year old to be home alone with a baby sitter now that her stay- at-home- dad was gone."

Wow with an accurate account like that, I can see why liberals love Garcia-Roberts, the truth isn't in him.

Just another nasty, mean-spirited, liberal smear piece by a typical liberal hater. Gus, you have nothing in you but hatred, you are a pathetic excuse for a human being--your lies prove it beyond any doubt.


Strip mall was hilarious, that was in 2000 though.


Casual Sex? Was The Peak of her "Career" She should have married Andrew "Dice" Clay " " Theres your Boyfriend" , "yeah, so what theres yours" " the little old woman who lived in a shoe , she had so many kids, her Uterus fell out!" Mother Goose . I f ed her! Little boy blue..He needed the money!!


Some what similar d'evolution' up in Seattle..Former 'Beta Society comedy improv' member Keli Carender..Urban hipstress turns Cheney 'groupie'..Whu?! Canyou spell 'irony'?


Around The Web

©2014 SF Weekly, LP, All rights reserved.