Tea Party Princess

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

Victoria Jackson hurtles through intersections and down side streets while using her left hand to hold a Flip cam to her face. The inside of her car—a weathered Honda Civic with "Nobama," Marco Rubio, and Tea Party bumper stickers—smells like it has been fumigated with sweet incense. Steering with elbows and the occasional pinkie, she opens a Bible inscribed with her name and quotes Scripture in her inimitable high-pitched voice. Then she turns the camera on a reporter riding shotgun. She suspects he's a socialist. "Don't you think that some people are on welfare from cradle to grave," she demands, "because the government is encouraging them never to work?"

"Leaving on a Jet Plane," her ringtone, blares from some unknown recess of her purse, and she's suddenly burrowing through loads of makeup cases to find it. "What if we crashed and died on video?" she says, laughing wildly. "That would be the most viral video of the world! You'd be dead, but you'd have a really viral video!"

At age 52, Victoria Jackson bears little resemblance to that lithe and sweetly dopey girl with the grating voice on Saturday Night Live. And you wouldn't recognize her from those eight mostly forgettable '80s and '90s feature films, such as I Love You to Death and No More Baths. She's more plump. Or as Howard Stern recently put it, she "looks like she ate Victoria Jackson." 

Jackson’s handstand, which she learned at age four, earned her attention on SNL.
Giulio Sciorio
Jackson’s handstand, which she learned at age four, earned her attention on SNL.
Jackson rode the Tea Party Express bus with Herman Cain.
Courtesy of Victoria Jackson
Jackson rode the Tea Party Express bus with Herman Cain.

Her comedy career, which took her from Johnny Carson's stage in Los Angeles to 30 Rockefeller Plaza in New York City, long ago squeaked its last breath. These days, she's a Miami-area suburban grandmother and wife of a buff local cop with a Bad Boys–esque career full of shoot-outs and commendations. And to some Christian conservatives, she is a seer of truth. The Washington Post once described her thusly: "If you opened her head, it would be filled with cotton candy." Now the former daffy actress is a bizarrely riveting semi-regular political pundit on Fox News.

She's no Keyboard Cat. But videos uploaded of her—on cable news programs, on her online talk show, or filmed by her own erratic hand—have in just the past few months amassed more than a million page views. She has strummed a ukulele while harmonizing that Muslims "like beheadings and pedophile weddings." Even Bill O'Reilly laughed at her when she compared Barack Obama to "Castro in Cuba, or the guy in China, or Saddam Hussein." She has declared, in protest of a gay kiss on Glee, that homosexual children need to "pray the gay away" and that there's a "spiritual war in America."

But calling her the lunatic fringe is at most half-right. She has been invited to the office of Republican Florida congressman Bill Posey, who commiserated when she said Obama has "the fakest birth certificate I've ever seen in my life." She has gained a sympathetic audience with nearly every GOP candidate of the 2012 presidential campaign (excluding the guy she calls a "fake conservative," Mitt Romney). She rode the Tea Party Express bus with Herman Cain and joined Michele Bachmann at a D.C. rally where the crowd chanted, "There's a communist living in the White House!" If not the captain of the S.S. Tea Party, she's at least the screeching mermaid strapped to its bow.

Victoria's 76-year-old mom, Marlene, giggly and moon-faced, pulls out a throne-like seat when her daughter arrives at the family's Miami Shores home with a male visitor. "That's the master's chair," she says cheerily, gesturing for the visitor to sit before delivering cookies and Coca-Cola in old-timey glass bottles. "The man is the master."

Then Jim Jackson appears. He is a strapping, boyish 83-year-old former gymnast in thick spectacles. A squiggly triangle of pale flesh, left over from a melanoma graft, mars his left cheek. Victoria stands by, barefoot with cherry-red toenail polish and, as always, filming with her Flip cam. The little family gathers around a high-top table.

Soon, Jim begins with booming recollections of his youth as a champion gymnast. "I'm homophobic," he announces while describing why he doesn't like to strip in male locker rooms. "I also don't like fat people. Every time I see a 300-to-400-pound lady or a man sit down to stuff her face, I want to say: 'No, you fool! You're killing yourself!'"

Then he adds for good measure: "Our son is 300 pounds."

Marlene and Jim met around 1950 in Chicago, where he was raised and she was studying to be a nurse. Victoria's mom was from a family of Baptist zealots near Windom, Minnesota, a plains town about three hours southwest of the Twin Cities. During the Great Depression, the whole family went door-to-door preaching the evils of alcohol, caffeine, movies, music, dancing, dice, and cards.

Marlene's much-adored sister, Angeline Rose, developed schizophrenia as a teenager and died in a state hospital. Marlene blamed God, and in revenge, she married the happy-go-lucky, gymnastics-obsessed Jim, whose only religion was Fred Astaire and Burt Lancaster movies. They moved to Miami in the early '50s, partly because Jim was inspired by Clark Gable's Mutiny on the Bounty.

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62 comments
heavyshift
heavyshift

Come on. Cut her some slack; she dated 'Weird Al' Yankovic.

Veritas
Veritas

OMG, you liberals are so sick. You would eat your own young if you allowed them to be born in the first place!

Kilgoretrout
Kilgoretrout

She may have fallen on her head too many times while doing her handstand shtick!OR She needs a job and what better a place than So.Florida.

ttt207
ttt207

she been t-bagged one too many times

max
max

Right wing media is the retirement plan for un-funny SNL alums like her and dennis what'shisname. It must be an act no one is this dumb

Boyhell Flower
Boyhell Flower

She is the total american. She reminds me of the true underpinnings of the droves of shabby prep J-Crew, 'There will be blood' retro fashion conformists. the new openly 'white' self obsessed, zombie 'hipsters' in Williamsburg and their parents. The ultimate segregationist tribes person. New York City, L.A., popular culture, and this magazine in a nutshell.

jmkw77
jmkw77

A woman of questionable talent who was quasi-famous about twenty years ago speaking out on matters that are fringe and irrelevant, in my opinion. And yet, and yet, I read every single word of this article. That's some nice story-telling Gus Garcia-Roberts.

Bpfoley333
Bpfoley333

Just to get my biases out front, I tend to find myself on the more conservative side of the political spectrum (conservative meaning a conservative roll for government, not "conservative" small government unless we're regulating your private life ) and for the life of me I don't quite get the point of the article. None of my friends who are on the right have given Victoria Jackson a second thought in years, nor do have they, or I for that matter, ever taken her seriously. It just seems like picking the low-hanging fruit.

ttt207
ttt207

No wonder the 'Pubs are in trouble.

merl1
merl1

I feel sorry for her kids, she will abuse them just like her father abused her. what a bunch of sick fucks.

merl1
merl1

I think the whole thing must be a joke. Her dad doesn't like fat people? is he blind? his own daughter is a porker.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Yawn. Your "precious" and "revered" documents were written by wealthy white slaveowners to help themselves and no one else. Using them as some kind of moral standard to justify white conservative bigotry and capitalist exploitation is passé, bro. It's the 21st century, there is a new world coming where the many will benefit, not the few. And what this has to do with the crazy rantings of a washed up never was comidienne is beyond me.

yrwehere
yrwehere

Come on, people, this story is hilarious! As someone else wrote, she is out-Colberting Stephen Colbert! There is no way that she can be serious. She might turn out to be one of the greatest conceptual comics of all time.

anonymouse
anonymouse

Victoria Jackson is just one more example of an individual with deep psychological challenges and a dysfunctional family case history (plus more than her share of stupidity) who has entered the political ring, whether as politician or pundit. These disturbed people continually attempt to influence legislation or public opinion based on their own mental health issues (see closeted gay republican officials, etc.). The 24-hour media, desperate for content, gives them a a public voice they would have been denied in the past (okay, okay, marginal people such as Christian televangelists would sometimes make it through the barriers of sanity imposed by media gatekeepers), but that all came crashing down with the takeover of the news divisions by the entertainment division and the arrival of the internet. What can we do about them, other than ignore them?

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Yawn. Your "precious" and "revered" documents were written by wealthy white slaveowners to help themselves and no one else. Using them as some kind of moral standard to justify white conservative bigotry and capitalist exploitation is passé, bro. It's the 21st century, there is a new world coming where the many will benefit, not the few. And what this has to do with the crazy rantings of a washed up never was comidienne is beyond me.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Yawn. Your "precious" and "revered" documents were written by wealthy white slaveowners to help themselves and no one else. Using them as some kind of moral standard to justify white conservative bigotry and capitalist exploitation is passé, bro. It's the 21st century, there is a new world coming where the many will benefit, not the few. And what this has to do with the crazy rantings of a washed up never was comidienne is beyond me.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Yawn. Your "precious" and "revered" documents were written by wealthy white slaveowners to help themselves and no one else. Using them as some kind of moral standard to justify white conservative bigotry and capitalist exploitation is passé, bro. It's the 21st century, there is a new world coming where the many will benefit, not the few. And what this has to do with the crazy rantings of a washed up never was comidienne is beyond me.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Yawn. Your "precious" and "revered" documents were written by wealthy white slaveowners to help themselves and no one else. Using them as some kind of moral standard to justify white conservative bigotry and capitalist exploitation is passé, bro. It's the 21st century, there is a new world coming where the many will benefit, not the few. And what this has to do with the crazy rantings of a washed up never was comidienne is beyond me.

Yayagal250
Yayagal250

Excuse me, but this ninny was NOT in "I Love You to Death". I've seen that movie many times, and I'd remember, believe me.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

^and when the first real fact actually spills out of her insane mouth, we will indeed respect it. But not till then.

Siskokid888
Siskokid888

Six pages to profile this certifiably crazy ditz zero? There are plenty of sane hardworking progressive activists the Voice could be covering. Come on, folks.

bravetruth
bravetruth

Thank you for your comment on this site deep in enemy territory. I wish she said something about Lorne Michael's agenda above and beyond comedy like when he had boss Zucker in backstage to experience the taking down of Sarah Palin, his donations to Dodd, his Obama stroking head writer and fellow tribe member. Chevy Chase has said the liberal agenda superseded the comedy.

TlalocW
TlalocW

Before she went crazy and a few years after her SNL gig, she came to Tulsa on her stand-up tour and did a good job, I thought. She took a picture of her doing a handstand in front of the giant praying hands outside Oral Roberts University, which unfortunately blights the city. I thought she was making fun of it/him, but if she's been pulled in by the Tea Party and dopes like Hannity, I'm sure she's an admirer of his snake-oil salesmanship.

Her reaction to how illegals are going to vote for Obama, "Because... because of cheating!" is the normal flabbergasted type of response you get when you challenge any inane belief from the insane wing of the GOP these days. "What proof do you have he's a Muslim? Because... Because he just is! How do you know he wasn't born in America? Because... because, etc."

observer2
observer2

The scary thing is, there are people out there who believe the crazy things she says.

Matildalee
Matildalee

That's not thinking differently, that's some racist, insane ranting right there.

Fatty
Fatty

It's a shame to have to live in a super-rich country in the awesomest boro of the biggest metropolis, whole world at your fingertips and all that, dressing well eating well fucking well thinking well, but always beneath it all the nagging realization that there are people out there who think differently than you. Like WTF?

Budbear
Budbear

Get over your pompous self, Gary. She loves the attention this article gives her. Anything she says can be translated as,"LOOK AT ME,PLEASE".

Movielover
Movielover

Poor Victoria Jackson. She's desperate for work and recognition, but she's basically just a zero and always was. Now she's older, fat and opening her mouth to say anything is always a mistake for her. Opening her legs wouldn't even get her anywhere now that she's an old sow.

Sally Barry
Sally Barry

That's their poster girl? HAHAHAHAHA! That's as good as it gets for them?? HAHAHAHAHA!!! Well, one has-been celebrity is better than no celebrities at all...HAHAHA!

PFL 1982
PFL 1982

Victoria who? And she was never funny, even 'back in the day'

Ken Smith
Ken Smith

And to think that I once thought this lunatic was funny. Now she is just pathetic. She is exactly the type of fringe nutcase that gives Christians a bad name. I am a Christian and I don't think anything like these people. I am about a liberal as they come politically. Most Christians of this variety forget the second of Jesus' commandments "You shall love your neighbor as yourself." This ONE sentence makes all of the hate that people like this spew so abhorrent to me and convinces me that they really AREN'T Christians at all.

Jacqueline Carlsen
Jacqueline Carlsen

Her father is a homophobe who loves Fred Astaire and Burt Lancaster movies? That's funny.

J Rod
J Rod

I kept waiting for the punch line - like she was trying to Out-Colbert Colbert.

Elvis
Elvis

It's a miracle! She's transmogrifying into Tammy Faye Bakker!

mr_charlie
mr_charlie

these comments just prove that liberalism really is a mental illness

Gunga Dean
Gunga Dean

OK with that family, it explains things, not a lot, but things. I think a few drops on the balance beam explains the rest.

Silkroad
Silkroad

Note to Victoria Jackson:

There is no mainstream market for right-wing, fundamentalist humor in the comedy circuit. That's why you aren't getting any plum gigs.

Note to Village Voice:

Don't ever feature people like Victoria Jackson again. You have a liberal, secular readership, and you should tailor your articles to them.

Lee4
Lee4

@Veritas We are not the ones raising the wife-beaters, bigots, racists, and losers who are bitter they can't get dates, boy.

flyersfan
flyersfan

Unfunny? Dennis Miller was second only to Dan Aykroyd as a WU anchor...On the other hand, I suppose that Jan Hooks was a comic genius? And at least Victoria Jackson was cute.

Glennrferro
Glennrferro

That is an incredibly over-the-top diagnosis of someone because they disgree with you. I continue to notice that when liberals realize that they have nothing substantial to say, they resort to name calling, and attacks on the person, instead of challenges to the ideas. There are so many statements in your post that express staples of liberal ideation, that I'm almost surprised to see them there. Denial, projection, envy? May I make a diagnosis on the basis of some written words, as you did? I'm pretty sure you'd say yours is valid, while there's no chance mine could be, right?

Gary McAleer
Gary McAleer

Bro, your summations do not coincide with the sacrifices made. Go back and study the history man. Read about the lives of EVERY MAN who put his signature on The Declaration of Independence in 1776. They were all raked over the coals, losing lives as well as every possession! Despite these hardships, there was a nobility and dignity that was applied to Constitutional Law that has never been seen before or since. And what's replacing the Constitution in our generation is going to one day make you sick with disdain (you mark my words on this). To know your future you must first know your history: the two go hand in hand. You know, "what goes around comes around!"

In addition, the early Americans didn't have modern climate control, dentistry, or medicine. Washington had to eat with wooden teeth (probably took him months to develop a sufficient callous on his gums before the sharp pains went away. Then the wood wore out; then he had to get new ones). And by the way, when George Washington led our armies to victory he would've been welcomed by every American to become king. He could have started a monarchy! (If he was power hungry like so many today). Instead, he said, "I just want to go home." King George of England said of George Washington: "He's a great man." Why? because King George would never step down from his throne. And neither would the halfwits running our government today if given half a chance; but our Founders established a system preventing the tyranny we see rising today. And that tyranny can only come by the removal of our liberty.

Kaelle
Kaelle

Check IMDB. She is credited, unfortunately.

Guest
Guest

She had the small role of Lacey.

bloodgimp
bloodgimp

Yeah, I have to agree here. I don't see anything remotely interesting about this boring story or this braindead irrelevant woman. Why VV chose to run this as a feature is beyond me.

Budbear
Budbear

Hey! They also have Chuck Norris and Gary Busey. How's that for celebrity firepower, Sally?

Jeff Harris
Jeff Harris

That seems impossible. Tammy Faye was actually quite tolerant towards gays and all people. Ms. Jackson seems to be the anti-Tammy Faye with so much hate in her heart and ignorance in her head. I hope she finds some semblance of peace one day.

bravetruth
bravetruth

Mocking Christians IS tailored to the liberal, secular (jewish) readership

Silkroad
Silkroad

Wow. Nice anti-Semitism there.

 
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