Molly Shannon: From Her Dad’s Lucky Star to SNL Superstar
Molly Shannon and Erin Hosier live in Cleveland. Photo by Paige Orvis.
"He was like, 'Here's what you gotta do: You march into the offices of those Hollywood agents and you say, 'Hey,hold the phone - I got talent.'"
Molly Shannon, beloved performer, Saturday Night Live alumna, and now New York Times bestselling author of the memoir Hello Molly! recently stopped by her hometown of Cleveland, Ohio to speak with our Erin Hosier as part of her book tour. This special episode of Tell Me About Your Father is a live recording of their conversation in front of a sold-out auditorium on April 15th at the Cuyahoga County Public Library, and it's the first time Molly has returned to Cleveland since her dad, Jim Shannon, died in 2001.
(L) Jim Shannon, with daughters Katie, left, and Molly, right. Photo courtesy of the author. (R) Jim and Molly Shannon via Getty.
Jim takes center stage in her book and this conversation, where Molly details the aftermath of the unimaginable car accident that made him a single father responsible for raising two little girls. Molly credits her dad for helping her find moxie and perseverance in the face of a family tragedy and for always encouraging "shenanigans," including the time he successfully dared her and a friend to sneak onto a flight to New York City as tweens. (The same friend was in the audience and joins Molly on stage to re-enact the story.)
This boldness is also what inspired her iconic SNL characters Mary Katherine Gallagher and Sally O’Malley, strivers who never quit. In this episode, she shares the impact her dad had on her career, his struggles with alcoholism and coming out to Molly late in life, and their final goodbye.