Victoria Jackson, Tea Party Princess

Victoria Jackson went from the big leagues of comedy to the rabid right of modern politics.

Victoria Jackson, Tea Party Princess
Giulio Scioro

Victoria Jackson hurtles through intersections and down side streets while using her left hand to hold a Flip cam to her face. The inside of her car — a weathered Honda Civic with "Nobama," Marco Rubio and Tea Party bumper stickers — smells like it's been fumigated with sweet incense. Steering with elbows and the occasional pinkie, she opens a Bible inscribed with her name and quotes scripture in her inimitable high-pitched voice. Then she turns the camera on a reporter riding shotgun. She suspects he's a socialist. "Don't you think that some people are on welfare from cradle to grave," she demands, "because the government is encouraging them never to work?"

"Leaving on a Jet Plane," her ringtone, blares from some unknown recess of her purse, and she's suddenly burrowing through loads of makeup cases to find it. "What if we crashed and died on video?" she says, laughing wildly. "That would be the most viral video of the world! You'd be dead, but you'd have a really viral video!"

At age 52, Victoria Jackson bears little resemblance to that lithe and sweetly dopey girl with the grating voice on Saturday Night Live. And you wouldn't recognize her from those eight mostly forgettable '80s and '90s feature films such as I Love You to Death and No More Baths. She's more plump. Or as Howard Stern recently put it, she "looks like she ate Victoria Jackson." 

Half Nelson, Victoria Jackson's sitcom with Joe Pesci, lasted all of six episodes.
Courtesy of Victoria Jackson
Half Nelson, Victoria Jackson's sitcom with Joe Pesci, lasted all of six episodes.
Jackson with pizza magnate and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.
Courtesy of Victoria Jackson
Jackson with pizza magnate and former Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain.

Her comedy career, which took her from Johnny Carson's stage in Los Angeles to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, long ago squeaked its last breath. These days she's a Miami-area suburban grandmother and wife of a buff local cop with a Bad Boys-esque career full of shootouts and commendations. And to some Christian conservatives, she is a seer of truth. The Washington Post once described her thusly: "If you opened her head, it would be filled with cotton candy." Now the former daffy actress is a bizarrely riveting semiregular political pundit on Fox News.

She's no Keyboard Cat. But videos uploaded of her — on cable news programs, on her online talk show, or filmed by her own erratic hand — have in just the past few months amassed more than a million page views. She has strummed a ukulele while harmonizing that Muslims "like beheadings and pedophile weddings." Even Bill O'Reilly laughed at her when she compared Barack Obama to "Castro in Cuba, or the guy in China, or Saddam Hussein." She has declared, in protest of a gay kiss on Glee, that homosexual children need to "pray the gay away" and that there's a "spiritual war in America."

But calling her the lunatic fringe is at most half right. She has been invited to the office of Republican Florida congressman Bill Posey, who commiserated when she said Obama has "the fakest birth certificate I've ever seen in my life." She has gained a sympathetic audience with nearly every GOP candidate of the 2012 presidential campaign (excluding the guy she calls a "fake conservative," Mitt Romney). She rode the Tea Party Express bus with Herman Cain and joined Michele Bachmann at a D.C. rally where the crowd chanted, "There's a communist living in the White House!" If not the captain of the S.S. Tea Party, she's at least the screeching mermaid strapped to its bow.


Victoria's 76-year-old mom, Marlene, giggly and moon-faced, pulls out a throne-like seat when her daughter arrives at the family's Miami Shores home with a male visitor. "That's the master's chair," she says cheerily, gesturing for the visitor to sit, before delivering cookies and Coca-Cola in old-timey glass bottles. "The man is the master."

Then Jim Jackson appears. He is a strapping, boyish 83-year-old former gymnast in thick spectacles. A squiggly triangle of pale flesh, left over from a melanoma graft, mars his left cheek. Victoria stands by, barefoot with cherry-red toenail polish and, as always, filming with her Flip cam. The little family gathers around a high-top table.

Soon, Jim begins with booming recollections of his youth as a champion gymnast. "I'm homophobic," he announces while describing why he doesn't like to strip in male locker rooms. "I also don't like fat people. Every time I see a 300- to 400-pound lady or a man sit down to stuff her face, I want to say, 'No, you fool! You're killing yourself!' "

Then he adds for good measure: "Our son is 300 pounds."

Marlene and Jim met around 1950 in Chicago, where he was raised and she was studying to be a nurse. Victoria's mom was from a family of Baptist zealots near Windom, Minnesota, a plains town about three hours southwest of the Twin Cities. During the Great Depression, the whole family went door-to-door preaching the evils of alcohol, caffeine, movies, music, dancing, dice and cards.

Marlene's much-adored sister, Angeline Rose, had developed schizophrenia as a teenager and died in a state hospital. Marlene blamed God, and in revenge she married the happy-go-lucky gymnastics-obsessed Jim, whose only religion was Fred Astaire and Burt Lancaster movies. They moved to Miami in the early '50s, partly because Jim was inspired by Clark Gable's Mutiny on the Bounty.

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19 comments
Len
Len

Why should I be surprised that someone who gained fame by acting like an airhead is now demonstrating that it wasn't an act?

Charles443
Charles443

I don't agree with Victoria Jackson's politics, but if you're going to do a hatchet job on someone, could you at least not make it so obvious? For instance:

Why would you quote that useless ranking of the funniest people ever on SNL? As a 20-year professional comedy writer for morning radio, and someone old enough to have watched every season of SNL since the premiere episode, I can assure you there's no justification for ranking her last, other than politics. I saw that list the day it appeared and immediately dismissed it as twaddle from an uninformed source, for that and many other reasons (he had her ranked below people who were on for only a few weeks and didn't appear in a single memorable sketch). It was clearly worthless, yet you quoted it as if it were some sort of authoritative source, just to get one more dig in at her.

Likewise, you quote Jan Hooks slamming her without bothering to mention Hooks' possible personal motivations for wanting to put her down. There's a well-known anecdote, recounted in Tom Shales' book about SNL, about how Hooks and Nora Dunn were so domineering and obnoxious, they'd demoralized the entire cast and crew to the point that the producers held a meeting to ask what was poisoning the atmosphere. Everyone else was afraid to speak up until Victoria Jackson finally pointed at them and said, "Oh for god's sake, everybody knows it's because of them!" Awkward moment. Think it might have made Jan Hooks a less than objective source on assessing Victoria's talent? This story might have taken all of five minutes' research on Google to unearth.

I get it that you wanted to do a hit piece on her because of her politics, but try to have the decency to be objective in assessing the person's talent in unrelated fields. Otherwise, you're no better than a right-winger railing about the communists in Hollywood whose movies he boycotts.

Everette Morgan
Everette Morgan

Politics have definitely gone to lunacy on the right you have your Victoria Jackson's and on the left you have your..mm...never mind. No one is like her!

catbird
catbird

Loved her "Lucy-esque" character on SNL and was pleased do discover she is a conservative Christian with the courage to take a public patriotic stand.

Call me crazy (and I know you will) but she is spot on about Obama and what he intends for the country.

jhon8541
jhon8541

It is a person'als place where you can meet success'ful rich men, classy mature women, rich

women looking for marriage, or just meet beautiful friends and singles. Good luck! :)------

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jhon8541
jhon8541

My best friend ,she just has announced her wedding with a millinaire manRonald who is the

CEO of a MNC !they met S`u`c`c`e`s`s`f`u`l`m`i`n`g`l`e..C0M it is the largest and best club

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,but you can meet one , It's worthy a try. You do not have to be rich or famous !-------but

you can mee one, the most important is you can find yourtrue l-o-v-e! right?

Dl
Dl

Insane uneducated bimbos: The darlings of the tea party. What a sad joke this woman has become. She and Orly Taitz can hit the road together.

Chris Danger
Chris Danger

I know folks are blasting her, but I feel for her, she, like mel gibson, has had issues throughout her life with what appears to be some form of mental illness. Sane people don't act like this, no matter the political affiliation. I hope she can upright herself and get away from all the poisonous thought and nonsense, then get her career back on track..

Baywolfe
Baywolfe

We do remember this lady is a dipshit, right?

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

OMG!

"...and I could do airhead better than anyone. That's my specialty! It would be effortless."

'Nuff said.

mojorisin73
mojorisin73

I would have to say she is a typical Fox News Neo-Con having supported Bachman, whom is no longer in the race. If she was for real Constitutional Conservative principles, then she would be supporting Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul for the GOP nomination instead of a bunch of Patriot Act and NDAA loving Neo-Cons. She might want to add "Liberty Defined" by Dr. Ron Paul, in her collection of books, read and memorize the 10 principles to a free society.

Darrylrs
Darrylrs

This bitch was never funny and now she's just freaking insame.

Montemalone
Montemalone

She's just one of however many other freakazoids. Blaming Democrats for her failed marriage? I still remember her scene in Baby Boom as a nanny gettin naked with a guy and getting caught with her hands on her boobs. How conservative is that?

cupoftea
cupoftea

Victoria Jackson is an idiot. She needs to shut up and go away and hang her stupid head in shame. She is a complete embarassment. World Net Daily is like a crazy version of some freakish Christian tabloid. Their so called news is usually quite nutty. It fitures she'd write for them.

Inked_Alice
Inked_Alice

She is *literally* the problem in this country. Spouting insane theories that she picks up from here and there, with zero understanding of what she's saying. Illegals will vote because of cheating... REALLY? Wow.

She's apparently even too stupid to realize how much she shouldn't have done this interview.

Steve
Steve

So why is that dumb, fat pig pretending to be hot?

UnFair Pork
UnFair Pork

I kinda like the fact that they're proud of their opinions and not afraid to toss them right out there. At least then we know what we're dealing with.

And the "I'm homophobic and don't like to undress around other men" thingy from her dad is just... priceless.

 
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