Ugh, this is a big pile of sad: Saturday Night Live great Jan Hooks passed away Thursday at the age of 57. The cause of death has not been reported, but a source tells TMZ that the comedic actress had been fighting a serious illness for some time.
Hooks was on Saturday Night Live from 1986-1991, arguably some of the show’s strongest, most beloved years. She shared the 30 Rock soundstage with other greats like Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, Kevin Nealon, Chris Farley, and Mike Myers. She, like show alumni Gilda Radner and Jane Curtin before her, paved the way for women on SNL and in the world of comedy.
Whether she was doing an impression of Tammy Faye Bakker, throwing napkins at Alec Baldwin, or singing in one half of a musical duo, she was a dynamic, versatile, and wonderfully embodied performer. No matter how bonkers the character was, every original character Hooks played felt like someone you might actually run into. Oh, and don't even get me started on her seemingly endless list of brilliant impressions. We lost a good one.
In honor of the late Hooks and the legacy she left behind, here are just a few of the hilarious impressions and characters she brought to Saturday Night Live:
“And NOBODY could make a waffle like Bert Lahr!”
Kathie Lee Gifford
This gets weird real fast. G'bless this sketch.
“Look at him sittin’ on that stool like he’s doing it a favor.”
Her body language WRECKS me.
Not only is this Christmas song medley funny, but it’s downright impressive.
Tammy Faye Bakker
The mascara tears!!! The laugh!!! All of it!!!