Comedian and actress Jan Hooks passed away Thursday at the age of 57, after struggling a serious illness for some time. (The length of time, as well as the illness, are at this point unknown to the public.) Hooks was well-known for her roles on Designing Women, 3rd Rock From the Sun, The Simpsons and Pee-wee’s Big Adventure. She was best known, however, for her years on Saturday Night Live.
Hooks joined SNL for the 1986-87 season, along with Dana Carvey and Phil Hartman and stayed until 1991. That was a transformative time for the show, and she was an essential player during it. Here are some of her very best sketches, though there are many, many more.
Tammy Faye Bakker
Hooks played one of the greatest ever guests on one of the greatest ever sketches. Her Bakker eyeshadow-plastered perma-pinched face is the stuff dreams are made of.
One of her most famous impressions, and a natural foil to Frank Sinatra. Yap, yap, yap.
I Didn’t Evolve From You
The woman sure did have a knack for playing an uptight Christian with a killer smile. Preferably one who also sang. Here she plays Kathie Lee Gifford serenading a monkey.
Overalls. Hooks. Dennis Hopper. Phil Hartman. Wonderful.
Here she is pitching a product that probably wouldn’t make it out of a boys-only writer’s room today, and nailing it anyway.
No one did uptight blonde WASP like Jan Hooks. So her Nancy was a natural.
Hooks also played Ivana Trump, back when Donald was still fun to laugh at.
Hal Jerome Tribute
Jan Hooks sang a LOT on the show, and she was also part of many of the straight-up weirdest deadpan sketches of the 80s. In this musical tribute, she combines those two trademarks. Skip to the 5 minute mark to see Hooks belt and scat some nonsense. Start from the beginning to watch Andie MacDowell flub pretty much every single of her lines.
The Sweeney Sisters
But without a doubt, Hooks’ most famous recurring sketch was the forever drinking and singing musical sister act, The Sweeney Sisters, alongside Nora Dunn.