Monday, December 8, 2014

A tribute to Jan Hooks and how she made the Holiday Season more enjoyable

Jan Hooks passed away in October of this year.  I was sad when I heard about this, she was part of one of the strongest eras of Saturday Night Live.  Hooks was rarely the star of the sketches, but she always made an impression.

When I heard about her death, the first thing I thought of was Hooks' role as Candy Sweeney, one half of the Sweeney Sisters lounge singing duo.  The equally funny Nora Dunn played Candy's sister Liz.
L-R:Nora Dunn and Hooks as the Sweeney Sisters.
The Sweeneys were featured in 10 sketches over the years.  But for me, their best performance aired on December 20, 1986.  

A still from the Sweeney Sisters Christmas sketch.
Candy is hosting a Christmas party, when Liz walks in with a man named Roger (played by host William Shatner).  They announce their engagement.  Everyone offers congratulatory applause, then one of the party guests yells out "how 'bout a medley?"  Liz and Candy indulge them with a medley of Christmas songs.  The highpoint comes when they segue from their signature number "The Trolley Song" into "The Carol Of The Bells."   Here's the Christmas party sketch, sorry it's a bit grainy:

video

I taped this episode back when it first aired 28 Christmases ago.  I played it every Holiday season for years after that (I think my family had their fill after a few years!).  Sadly, probably due to song copyright issues, this sketch has never been released on home video.  But I stumbled on that old tape a few Christmases back and it's still makes me laugh.

And as a "bonus" clip, here's Hooks and other cast members singing in another holiday-themed sketch (from December 15, 1990), a commercial for the 'Dysfunctional Family Christmas' album:

Saturday Night Live: "Dysfunctional Family... by felipekusnitzki

For me, it's not really the Christmas season until I hear the Sweeney's Christmas Medley!  R.I.P. Jan Hooks, thanks for making Christmas a little more fun every year since '86.

1 comment:

bga said...

How had I never seen any of this before? Thanks for sharing.