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Jan Hooks' best 'Saturday Night Live' moments

Jan Hooks' best 'Saturday Night Live' moments
Jan Hooks plays Kathie Lee Gifford on "Saturday Night Live."
Jan Hooks, who died Thursday at age 57, was most famous for her five seasons on "Saturday Night Live" and for her scene-stealing role as an Alamo tour guide in the film "Pee-wee's Big Adventure."
Though Hooks never had a breakout character that she could take to the big screen, such as Julia Sweeney did with "It's Pat" or Mike Myers did with "Wayne's World," Hooks carved out a special niche on the show playing a variety of female celebrities, including Kathie Lee Gifford, Sinead O'Connor and Hillary Clinton.

In this sketch, she paired up with Dana Carvey to parody "Live With Regis and Kathie Lee." Though Carvey's dead-on Regis impersonation grabbed most people's attention, Hooks confidently created a version of Kathie Lee that was incredibly specific.

One of her most popular characters was Candy Sweeney, one half of the singing duo, the Sweeney Sisters. Her on-screen sister, Liz, was played by Nora Dunn. In this sketch from 1986, one of the sisters' first appearances, they riffed their way through a series of Christmas carols that cemented the template of what a Sweeney Sisters sketch could be.

But perhaps Hooks' most affecting performance was as the widow looking back over her life in the "SNL" short film, "Love is a Dream," directed by Tom Schiller. Totally unlike the usual "SNL" content, this film featured Hooks and then-costar Phil Hartman singing the Bing Crosby song, "Love is a Dream" while re-creating the love affair between a woman (Hooks) and the soldier she meets (Hartman).

Follow me on Twitter: @patrickkevinday

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