Goodbye, Jan Hooks

Dear Jan Hooks,
Yesterday at 4:30 in the afternoon, I mindlessly scrolled through Twitter and saw your name trending. I had that millisecond of excitement, hoping another movie or TV role was in store for you. The joy turned to devastation in a heartbeat. TMZ and Huffington Post reported you dead at only 57.
Growing up, you were my favorite comedienne. I was too young for the Gilda Radner crowd, but as soon as I was old enough to stay up late enough for Saturday Night Live, you made me laugh and imitate you every chance I got.
Maybe it’s for sentimental reasons, but the SNL cast from the mid-late 80s was by far the best. In fact, just this week I wrote a blog post where I included a lot of the quotable quotes from you, Nora Dunn, Dana Carvey, Jon Lovitz, Kevin Nealon and ohmygoshsofunnywithyou – Phil Hartman. Maybe God needed a good laugh and decided it was time for a little Jim and Tammy Faye Baker action up in heaven. 
(Please, please, PLEASE tell me you and Phil are together right now. It’s the only justification this fan girl can find in losing you so young.)
Your depiction of Sinead O’Connor was spot on. I still remember the first time I saw The Sinatra Group:
Frank Sinatra (Hartman): This bald chick – what’s with her head? Let’s start with the chick. What gives, cue ball? I’m looking at you, I’m thinking: fourteen in the side pocket!

Sinead O’Connor (Hooks): I can’t believe you’re talking about my hair with all the bloody starvation and suffering in the world right now.

Frank Sinatra: Come on! Swing, baby, you’re platinum!
I even loved your work outside of SNL. Designing Women was always a show on my schedule and you were the perfect replacement when Charlene left. Later, as Jenna’s mom on 30 Rock, you rocked. 
But nothing, NOTHING, cracked me up as much as Liz and Candy Sweeney. My friend, Laura, and I knew your routines by heart and even dressed up like you two one Halloween. How I wish I could find those photos now. You would have been proud.
Oh, Jan Hooks, I will miss your presence on this earth. Jesus promises there will be many, many rooms once we all move in with him. Make sure one of those rooms is a comedy lounge with you headlining, okay?
To take a line from It’s a Wonderful Life, “Every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings.”  Did you hear that?

Clang, clang, clang went the trolley
Ding, ding, ding went the bell
Zing, zing, zing went my heartstrings
From the moment I saw him I fell.
Goodbye Candy, Sinead, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Tammy Faye Baker, Kathy Lee Gifford, Ivana Trump, Tammy Wynette…Jan Hooks. 
I will miss you.


  1. David Ozab says

    "Sinbad O'Connor!"
    "Shinehead O'Connor!"
    "Uncle Fester!"

    She played Sinead "straight" and was hilarious. One of my all time favorite sketches from one of the best SNL episodes ever. Such talent!

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