Jan Hooks in 1988
April 23, 1957
Decatur, Georgia, U.S.
Hooks was born in Decatur, Georgia, near Atlanta. Hooks began her career as a member of the Los Angeles-based comedy troupe The Groundlings. In 1978–1979, she appeared in The Bill Tush Show on Ted Turner's television station WTCG, which eventually became TBS. She later achieved notice on the HBO comedy series Not Necessarily the News in the early 1980s. Jan also had guest comedienne appearances on Comedy Tonight with Mack and Jamie in the mid 1980s.
Hooks was first considered for SNL in 1985, but at that time, the show's producers chose Joan Cusack instead. After SNL's 1985-1986 season was deemed a ratings disaster and was put on the chopping block for cancellation, returning producer Lorne Michaels offered Hooks a contract in 1986. Together with new recruits Dana Carvey, Phil Hartman, and others, Hooks helped put the show back in the national spotlight. Her characters included one half of "The Sweeney Sisters" with Nora Dunn. She also performed notable impressions of Bette Davis, Ann-Margret, Betty Ford, Nancy Reagan, Sinéad O'Connor, Jodie Foster, Tammy Faye Bakker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Kitty Dukakis, Diane Sawyer, and Hillary Clinton.
Tiring of the stress of performing on a live show, Hooks left SNL in 1991 after being asked by Linda Bloodworth-Thomason to replace Jean Smart on the CBS sitcom Designing Women. Jan played the role of Carlene Dobber for the final two seasons of the show. Since then, she has made appearances in several movies, starred as Dixie Glick in the series Primetime Glick and the movie Jiminy Glick in Lalawood, and had a recurring role as the trashy Vicki Dubcek on 3rd Rock from the Sun.
She guest-starred on two Matt Groening-produced cartoons for the FOX Network: The Simpsons, as Apu's new wife, Manjula (though Hooks was later replaced by Tress MacNeille) and Futurama, in the episode "Bendless Love", as the voice of a female robot named Angleyne. She also played a memorable role in Pee-wee's Big Adventure as a know-it-all tour guide at the Alamo.
|1985||Pee-wee's Big Adventure||Tina|
|A Dangerous Woman||Makeup Girl|
|1998||Simon Birch||Miss Leavey|
|2004||Jiminy Glick in Lalawood||Dixie Glick|
|1983||Prime Times||Various characters||TV special|
|The 1/2 Hour Comedy Hour||Various characters|
|1983-1984||Not Necessarily the News||Various characters||Appeared 24 episodes|
|1984||The Joe Piscopo Special||Various characters||TV special|
|1985||Comedy Break||Various characters|
|1986-1994||Saturday Night Live||Various characters||Appeared in 102 episodes;
main cast member until 1991
|1989||Dear John||Suzanne||Episode 2.4: "John's Blind Date"|
|1991-1993||Designing Women||Carlene Frazier Dobber||Appeared in 30 episodes|
|1992||Frosty Returns||Lil||TV special|
|1994||The Martin Short Show||Meg Harper Short|
|1996||The Dana Carvey Show||Kathie Lee Gifford||Episode 1.4: "The Diet Mug Root Beer Dana Carvey"|
|1996-2000||3rd Rock from the Sun||Vicki Dubcek||Appeared in 16 episodes|
|1997||Hiller and Diller||Kate||Appeared in two episodes|
|1997-2002||The Simpsons||Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon||Appeared in seven episodes|
|2001||Providence||Doreen Dunfey||Episode 3.10: "The Gun"|
|Futurama||Anglelyne||Episode 3.6: "Bendless Love"|
|2001-2003||Primetime Glick||Dixie Glick|