SNL Alum Charles Rocket Commits Suicide

Comedian Chris “Rocket” Claverie, a member of the Saturday Night Live cast from 1980-81, comitted suicide on October 7.

Ex-‘SNL’ Comedian’s Death Ruled a Suicide

Photo: Actor and comedian Charles Rocket is seen in this 1980 publicity photo provided by NBC. Rocket, who had roles in a variety of movies and TV series and briefly gained notoriety for uttering an obscenity on 'Saturday Night Live,' committed suicide, the state medical examiner ruled. Rocket, 56, whose real name was Charles Claverie, was found dead in a field near his home in Canterbury on Oct 7, 2005. His throat had been cut, the medical examiner said. (AP Photo/NBC) Actor and comedian Charles Rocket, who had roles in a variety of movies and TV series and briefly gained notoriety for uttering an obscenity on “Saturday Night Live,” committed suicide, the state medical examiner ruled. Rocket, 56, whose real name was Charles Claverie, was found dead in a field near his home in Canterbury on Oct 7. His throat had been cut, the medical examiner said. “An investigation determined there was no criminal aspect to this case,” State Police Sgt. J. Paul Vance said Monday.

Rocket was a cast member on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live” during the 1980-81 season. The profanity incident happened during a spoof of the “Who Shot J.R.?” plot line on “Dallas,” which created a nationwide sensation at the time. The incident sparked complaints from viewers and prompted NBC to apologize. Rocket was later dismissed along with other cast members and writers on the show amid weak ratings at the time.

He went on to appear in numerous TV shows, including “Moonlighting” and “Max Headroom,” and provided voices for cartoon series. His movie credits included “Earth Girls are Easy,” “Dumb and Dumber” and “Dances With Wolves,” according to the Internet Movie Database.

This is the first I’ve heard of Rocket’s death. I was at my groom’s dinner the night he was found and have been rather busy since.

A shame.

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James Joyner
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Comments

  1. Don says:

    Very sad…oddly enough, I’d thought about him the other day when I was reading something about the history of Saturday Night Live. I remember that lackluster 1980-81 season – the first without the original “Not Ready for Prime Time” players and the only season without Lorne Michaels, if I recall.

    Rocket would pop up on the odd TV program from time to time, but I always felt sort of bad that he never really achieved anything more.

  2. Kent says:

    I was at my groom’s dinner the night he was found and have been rather busy since.

    A shame.

    Personally, I don’t consider that kind of busy a shame.

    😉

  3. ken says:

    Rocket was on SNL during it nadir. Lorne Michaels wasn’t with the show from 80 to 85. Apparently Rocket killed himself like the famous opera clown who killed his dog by slashing its throat then slashing his own. Could have been Paliacci.