Victoria Jackson, Tea Party Princess

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

Born in 1959, Victoria lived in the shadow of her tormented aunt. Marlene was convinced her daughter could avoid schizophrenia only if she became an extreme extrovert. So Victoria was banished from doing any "woman's work," her mom says — no household chores or cooking.

She became attached to her dad, a physical education teacher at North Glades Elementary, near Carol City, where they lived. Jim Jackson believed his family had a gene that inclined them toward obesity. "He said I was 'genetically inferior,'" Victoria says. "I think it made me nuts. That's probably where my eating disorders came from."

Her childhood was spent on balance beams and parallel bars. From age 4, she could do a handstand, a move that would make her famous on SNL.

Nearly every hour that wasn't spent in school or church, she practiced in their yard or at a nearby gym. She would tumble on gravel until her hands were bloody. "I did not like gymnastics at all," Victoria says. "My hands were ripped. My hip bones had bruises on them. My knees are permanently injured. My neck got cracked once. I mean, doing 200 situps is not fun."

Her brother, Jim Jr., one year younger, was too introspective and ruminative for his dad. "We thought he was stupid," Jim Sr. says.

The son is now a Los Angeles architect. "I was a disappointment at birth," Jim Jr. says.

The kids were trapped in Dad's cinema-inspired fantasy world. Jim Sr. had Victoria flip through rings of fire. Or her brother would hang upside down over a burning log while she threw torches at it. "The flames started licking at my hair," Jim Jr. recalls. "I was frozen stiff, frightened out of my mind."

In 1974, Jim Sr. paid $52,000 for a more upscale, three-bedroom place in Miami Shores. Victoria became a cheerleader at the private Dade Christian high school. She dated a perfectly postured Baptist boy named William Paul Wessel, who was so straight-laced he carried a briefcase to class.

By the time Victoria graduated in 1977, Saturday Night Live had premiered its rookie cast, including Dan Aykroyd, Chevy Chase and John Belushi. But she had never watched the show. The family had no TV set. The only movies she knew were The Sound of Music and The Love Bug. When her dad asked what she wanted to do with her life, she remembers earnestly replying, "I'd like to be Julie Andrews on the top of a mountain singing with my children in matching outfits with a ukulele."

But then, says her brother: "Vicky went a little crazy." She got engaged to her beau, Paul, before he dumped her, she says, "for the girl who used to wink at him in church."

She bounced from Broward's Florida Bible College to South Carolina's Furman University before finally ending up at Auburn University in Alabama. It was in Birmingham in 1980, just before her senior year, when she first tried out for a professional theater production. She won three minor roles. Her pay: $600.

During a rehearsal of Meet Me in St. Louis, a celebrity fellow actor took notice of her helium voice and penchant for flip-flopping across the stage. Johnny Crawford had played Chuck Connors' son on the TV Western The Rifleman 20 years earlier and then became a second-tier theater nomad. He took Victoria to lunch. Along the way, she did a handstand on a fire hydrant and then a tractor tire. "I felt like I had discovered something really special," Crawford says. So he offered her a one-way plane ticket to Los Angeles, where she could make it big.

She quickly decided to quit school and accept. (She finally earned a bachelor's degree in 2010 from Palm Beach Atlantic University.) She lived in Crawford's guesthouse in the Hollywood Hills and tooled around town on a moped. Together they spoofed Hamlet at the Variety Arts Center in downtown L.A. He introduced her to Hugh Hefner at the Playboy mansion. She stood on her head and recited poetry while half-naked Bunnies looked at her quizzically.

That strange shtick became Victoria Jackson's comedy act. She was upside down, warbling a song about a mugger, when screen agent Dolores Robinson first saw her in a tiny upscale Beverly Hills wine bar called Englander's. "I'd never seen anything like her before," Robinson says.

"Some people thought I was a genius," Victoria recalls. "Some people thought I was retarded."


At age 22, Victoria met Nelson "Nisan" Eventoff. He was a fire-eater and sword-swallower who played the piano in blackface. She was smitten. Victoria claims Nisan rolled the first joint she ever smoked. "It made me very creative, horny and paranoid," she says. Then he brought her to the Silver Lake home he shared with several other hippies, dogs, finches and a ferret. There she lost her virginity to the fire-eater.

"I had a nervous breakdown," she says. She flew back to Miami and confessed to her mother, who took Victoria on her first visit to a gynecologist. Assured she was not pregnant, she then pondered her premarital predicament. If I married him, it wouldn't be such a bad sin, she thought. If I don't marry him, God will say, "She's a slut."

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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

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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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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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