By KIMBER KAY
I had a hard time keeping up with Victoria Jackson. While professing to not be a very good roller-blader, she kept going like the Energizer Bunny.
The former Saturday Night Live performer was in town last week to work on a Feature Films for Families production in Salt Lake City. She came to Provo to visit friends, and also to stop by The Universe.
“I don’t want to be a cartoon voice,” Jackson said. That is hard to believe. Her shaky voice seems almost unreal, and is perfect for the off-beat world of cartoons. She is the voice of “Nightmare Ned”‘s mother, but said she would really rather be doing a sitcom.
While best known as the ditsy blonde who did handstands on “Weekend Update” with Dennis Miller on “Saturday Night Live,” Jackson has been busy since her 1986-92 stint. She has been in several movies, and made many commercials including her 1-800-COLLECT ads with SNL alumnus Phil Hartman. She is also cutting some children’s CDs.
Jackson was approached to do a children’s CD when she was pregnant with her daughter Aubrey. Titled “Ukulele Lady,” it is a collection of good ol’ songs like those sung at summer camp. Thank goodness, none of them sound like Barney.
Some standouts on her CD are such old favorites as “When The Red Red Robin Comes Bob Bob Bobbin’ Along”, and “You Are My Sunshine”. Jackson, famous for her high little-girl voice, is a natural for singing to kids. She is just herself, a mother of two daughters, who accompanies herself on the ukulele.
Jackson’s parents gave her a ukulele when she was ten. She said she learned how to play it in one day, and made up her own poems and songs to go with it. One of those poems, called “Hypocrisy” and a song called “Boyfriend” are audio clips on Newsline.byu.edu.
She also competed in gymnastics for several years. That is where she picked up the handstands, which indirectly helped her break into show business.
Jackson was working in a 1930s club in Los Angeles called The Variety Arts. She was a cigarette girl, but she said it wasn’t fashionable to smoke in the early eighties, so she walked around taking Polaroids of customers for tips.
Employees would put on little humorous acts throughout the night, and Jackson volunteered to do one, too.
They gave her the green light but wanted to know what talent she had. She hadn’t thought about that yet.
“I can do a handstand and recite poetry,” she said, and she performed this act for two years, until she was discovered by a scout for The Tonight Show. She went on with Johnny Carson in February 1983.
Her favorite character that she played on SNL was Roseanne, but she said she normally doesn’t do impressions. “Mostly I played myself.”
Jackson is a Baptist, and said she enjoyed being in Utah because she could relate to Latter-day Saints because she holds the same values, but she said she felt Latter-day Saints kept them easier.
When asked about how she felt about the lack of morals in her profession, she said, “Show business doesn’t have more sinners, they are just more obvious.”
She leads a fairly normal life, attending church regularly and taking her two daughters on location as much as possible. She lives in Miami with her husband Paul, her high school sweetheart.
At 38, Jackson doesn’t exactly have a lot in common with college students except for her boundless energy. She was gracious enough to give autographs, adding Luke 1:37 after her name. “For with God nothing shall be impossible.”