Salon has started a series of interviews with SNL alums and its first one is with Nora Dunn. Today and always, Dunn gives zero fucks and is naming names.
Dunn famously boycotted an episode of the show hosted by Andrew Dice Clay because that guy was a real fucker. She explained why she had such a problem with him.
And then there’s Andrew Dice Clay, the character, who was an abuser of women and he was a homophobe. And his material was terrible. He just wasn’t smart enough to handle that material… Lorne said, “Andrew Dice Clay was a phenomenon worth examining.” And yeah, he was a phenomenon, but if you’re going to examine him, he shouldn’t be the host, you should write an article. We didn’t examine the hosts of SNL. We supported them, we wrote for them, and we made them look good.
Jon Lovitz later discussed this with Kevin Smith on a podcast, saying she only boycotted the show to get press, that she was being let go anyway.
“It’s the last show of the season. Nora…she caused a lot of trouble. [She] was very hard to get along with, and they weren’t going to ask her back, anyway…And this is how the press works. And I’m telling you I’m on the inside of this. They don’t know the story. It’s like she’s just doing it to get press. It’s her last hurrah. They’re not asking her back onto the show.”
Dunn discussed this and her relationship with Lovtiz today.
I will never know what his problem was. He actually did an impression of Andrew Dice Clay. He used to play that shit on a big boom box. Don’t tell me something isn’t garbage when it’s garbage, because I know what garbage is. Actually, I don’t know because Jon Lovitz had said something to me in front of k.d. lang, on the stage. I was talking to her. She was our host and Jon comes over and says, “Be careful, she’s a lesbian.” She was our musical guest. I was like, “What is that? Is that a joke?” I don’t think that they understood where I was coming from there—I’m not going to perform with [Clay]. It was offensive to me to read [in the press] that I didn’t like him because he was foul-mouthed. My friends know me. I’m from Chicago. I’m a Bears fan, I’m a Hawks fan for my whole life. My brothers played football, my grandfather and my oldest brother were football coaches, and believe me when I watch a game, the language I use is not for the Disney family hour. I don’t have a problem with swearing. I enjoy it…My objection to Andrew Dice Clay was that his character was only about one thing: abusing women and laughing about abusing women. There was nothing else behind it. There was nothing else about it except to make him look harmless.
Dunn says she and Lovitz never made up. Also, Victoria Jackson is goddamn bonkers.
We never made amends because we were never the kind of friends that had to make amends. I am not interested in what he has to say. I am not interested in what Victoria Jackson has to say. She has said Obama is a Muslim who has imposed Sharia Law on us—crazy stuff like that. Jon’s not like that. Jon is a good guy, he’s a funny guy, and he’s a strange guy. I was never angry about anything he said about me, so I don’t know where it came from. But it was his problem, not mine. I felt for Victoria because I don’t think she fit in on SNL. And I couldn’t work with her because we weren’t on the same page—ever. We weren’t even in the same book. We happened to be on the same show.
She also discussed her friend Jan Hooks. Dunn was bothered by the lack of a tribute to the late Hooks, who died just a few months before the 40th anniversary special. Additionally, Dunn refers to SNL as “something you have to survive.” The whole interview is fascinating and awesome, a really interesting look at someone who’s never really gotten her due in comedy because she had the “difficult” audacity to stand up to misogyny in 1990.