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SNL’s Victoria Jackson Loses Tea Party Bid

Victoria Jackson has thus far been less successful in politics than her fellow SNL alum Al Franken.

The Nashville Tennessean (“‘SNL’s Victoria Jackson falls to incumbents”):

Victoria Jackson, the former “Saturday Night Live” cast member who has made a name for herself as an active tea party participant, conservative activist and outspoken opponent of President Barack Obama, has lost her bid to win a spot on the Williamson County Commission.

Jackson received 632 votes, losing out to Judy Lynch Herbert, with 1,422 votes, and Betsy Hester, with 1,380 votes.

I somehow missed that Jackson was a Tea Party activist, much less running for minor elective office.  A distant third is a rather poor finish for a minor national celebrity in such a low-level race.

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.


  1. I somehow missed that Jackson was a Tea Party activist, much less running for minor elective office. A distant third is a rather poor finish for a minor national celebrity in such a low-level race.

    She’s batcrap crazy and has been a minor conservative figure for a couple years, I remember she was a CPAC a couple years ago.

    She finished third because she was too crazy for even Tennessee.

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  2. Yes she was at CPAC in 2011 at least and she’s had a column at World Nut Daily for some time now.

    I suppose becoming a crazy right winger is a natural transition for the least funny, least talented person to ever be an SNL case member.

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  3. PAUL HOOSON says:

    Yet another embarrassing performance from a former SNL member. – Her politics seem as wacky as her SNL comedy skits. She is the former girlfriend of Weird Al. – In normally Democratic Minnesota, former SNL writer and actor Al Franken just barely convinced voters that he was a serious candidate to win office there. Many voters just don’t take these former SNL members too seriously, where they have an uphill job convincing the voters.

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  4. Neil Hudelson says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Oh come now. She may not have been all that funny, but in the pantheon of SNL alumni there are certainly worst performers.

    Like…umm…hold on…

    Well there was that bald chick who tore up the picture of the po–oh she was just a guest.


    Ok, nope, you are right. My apologies.

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  5. CSK says:

    It never seems to occur to the Tea Party that running kooks, flakes, hysterical demagogues, and career showboaters probably isn’t the best electoral strategy. Their candidates get thrashed–but that’s NEVER because the candidates themselves are lousy. Nope. It’s because of the machinations of The Evil Karl Rove, or the liberal RINO Establishment personified by that notorious left-winger Mitch McConnell, or the editors of that Commie rag The National Review.

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  6. @Neil Hudelson:

    Jackson herself was probably one of the worst SNL performers, but she had the luck to be hired in season 12, the same year geniuses like Phil Hartman and Dana Carvey. So despite her personal lack of talent, the incredibly strong cast around her means she was still in a lot of great episodes of the show.

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  7. wr says:

    @Neil Hudelson: “Well there was that bald chick who tore up the picture of the po–oh she was just a guest.”

    When Sinead O’Connor tore up the picture of the pope, it was not on SNL, it was on a tribute concert for Bob Dylan. And she did it to call attention to a bizarre, ludicrous conspiracy theory that no one at the time could believe — that the Catholic church was actively protecting priests who molested children.

    Oh, that wacky bald chick. Who could have come up with such a nutty idea?

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  8. James Joyner says:


    When Sinead O’Connor tore up the picture of the pope, it was not on SNL, it was on a tribute concert for Bob Dylan.

    No, it was on SNL. I recall the incident because I actually saw it live. The Wikipedia entry:

    On 3 October 1992, O’Connor appeared on Saturday Night Live as a musical guest. She sang an a cappella version of Bob Marley’s “War”, intended as a protest against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church—O’Connor referred to child abuse rather than racism.[31] She then presented a photo of Pope John Paul II to the camera while singing the word “evil”, after which she tore the photo into pieces, said “Fight the real enemy”, and threw the pieces towards the camera.[32]

    Saturday Night Live had no foreknowledge of O’Connor’s plan; during the dress rehearsal she held up a photo of a refugee child. NBC Vice President of Late Night Rick Ludwin recalled that when he saw O’Connor’s action he “literally jumped out of [his] chair.” SNL writer Paula Pell recalled personnel in the control booth discussing the cameras cutting away from the singer.[33] The audience was completely silent, with no booing or applause;[34] executive producer Lorne Michaels recalled that “the air went out the studio”. Michaels, who ordered that the applause sign not be used, described the incident as “on a certain level, a betrayal”, but also “a serious expression of belief.”[33]

    A nationwide audience saw O’Connor’s live performance, which the New York Daily News’s cover called a “Holy Terror”.[33] NBC received more than 500 calls on Sunday[35] and 400 more on Monday, with all but seven criticising O’Connor;[34] the network received 4,400 calls in total.[36] Contrary to rumour, NBC was not fined by the Federal Communications Commission for O’Connor’s act; the FCC has no regulatory power over such behaviour.[36] NBC did not edit the performance out of the West coast tape-delayed broadcast that night,[37] but reruns of the episode use footage from the dress rehearsal.[36] On 24 April 2010, MSNBC aired the live version during an interview with O’Connor on The Rachel Maddow Show. In a 1993 issue of The Irish Times O’Connor wrote a public letter where she asked people to “stop hurting” her.[38]

    As part of SNL’s apology to the audience, during his opening monologue the following week, host Joe Pesci held up the photo, explaining that he had taped it back together —to huge applause. Pesci also said that if it had been his show, “I would have gave her such a smack.”[39]

    In a 2002 interview with Salon, when asked if she would change anything about the SNL appearance, O’Connor replied, “Hell, no!”

    I was unaware of anything related to a Dylan tribute but, sure enough:

    Two weeks after the Saturday Night Live appearance, she was set to perform “I Believe in You” at the Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary tribute concert in Madison Square Garden.[45] She was greeted by a thundering mixture of cheers and jeers. During the booing, Kris Kristofferson told her not to “let the bastards get you down”, to which she replied, “I’m not down.”[46][47] The noise eventually became so loud that O’Connor saw no point in starting the scheduled song. She called for the keyboard player to stop and the microphone to be turned up, and then screamed over the audience with an improvised, shouted rendition of “War”.[48] This time, she sang the song, stopping just after the part in which the lyrics talk about child abuse, emphasising the point of her previous action. She then looked straight to the audience for a second and left the stage. Kristofferson then comforted her, as she cried.

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  9. wr says:

    @James Joyner: I guess I’d confused the two over the years. Sorry about that!

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  10. Siegfried Heydrich says:

    Well, I guess it’s official . . . the fat lady has sung.

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  11. Sejanus says:

    @Doug Mataconis: SNL is godawful, the only SNL skit that I ever found to be funny was the Seinfeld/Oz crossover, and that was only because no SNL regular was involved. I haven’t seen any SNL skits featuring Jackson but she can’t be worse than than Jimmy Fallon. Any way I suspect that Victoria Jackson is a parodist and not a genuine teabagger.

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  12. M. Bouffant says:

    @Sejanus: Sadly real. Jackson’s father is a Bab-tiss preacher; she comes to her lunacy via religion.

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  13. Kari Q says:

    I’ve seen Victoria Jackson speak unscripted a couple of times, and she struck me as being about as smart as a box of rocks. Maybe that’s unfair to the box. I think, even if I agreed with her politics, I would vote against her just because I wanted there to be a chance that the county commissioner could read the notes to the meetings and understand them.

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  14. Neil Hudelson says:


    Um. Ok. It was on SNL. And it seems you are angry at me for calling her crazy, which I didn’t. I called Victoria Jackson crazy. Did I miss something here?

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