Victoria Jackson (born August 2, 1959, in Miami, Florida) is an American comedian, actress and singer best known as a cast member of the NBC television sketch comedy series Saturday Night Live from 1986 to 1992.
Raised by devout Christians in a home without a TV, she was trained in gymnastics by her gym-coach father from ages 5 to 18. Victoria attended a private Christian high school, Dade Christian School, where she was a cheerleader and the Homecoming Queen. Three years of gymnastics competitions led to a scholarship at Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. She also spent one year at Auburn University, before earning a degree in theatre from Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Appearing in summer stock in Alabama led to a chance meeting with Johnny Crawford (The Rifleman) who cast her in his night club act and gave her the ticket that brought her to Los Angeles. There Victoria Jackson supported herself with various day jobs as a cigarette girl, a typist at the American Cancer Society and a waitress at a retirement hotel while she performed stand-up comedy. This resulted in her first big break, appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson doing what would become her signature bit: doing a handstand while reciting poetry. She would eventually appear on the show 20 times.
In 1986, Victoria was hired to join Saturday Night Live for its 12th season, following Lorne Michaels' firing of most of the 11th season's cast and writers in his second season back as executive producer. The only cast members who survived from the 11th were Nora Dunn, Jon Lovitz and Dennis Miller. Other rookies that year included Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Jan Hooks and Kevin Nealon.
Victoria became most famous for her appearances on Weekend Update with Miller, again reciting poetry while doing backbends or handstands on the desk (with Miller cracking a suggestive comment about her at the end) or, in the cases of the episode hosted by Steve Martin and another hosted by Demi Moore, singing and dancing on the Weekend Update desk.
After many such appearances had established her character, Jackson began to read a poem, but stopped and said in a low, throaty voice, "I can't do it anymore. I can't do this Victoria 'airhead' thing anymore." Victoria Jackson then removed her blonde wig to reveal a butch brunette wig underneath, announcing that she could not believe people thought that her goofy routine was for real, and that she would be doing serious political commentary on the show from that point onward.
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