Remembering Jan Hooks: Her 5 Best 'SNL' Characters

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SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 15 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jan Hooks as Candy Sweeney, Nora Dunn as Liz Sweeney during Brookfield Zoo Banquet skit on March 28, 1987 -- (Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)
SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE -- Episode 15 -- Pictured: (l-r) Jan Hooks as Candy Sweeney, Nora Dunn as Liz Sweeney during Brookfield Zoo Banquet skit on March 28, 1987 -- (Photo by: Alan Singer/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank)

We loved Jan Hooks, who unexpectedly passed away this week at age 57, for her work on Designing Women and as Jenna's con-artist mom on 30 Rock. But we'll remember her best for her glorious (and underrated) five-year run as a Saturday Night Live cast member.

[Related: 'SNL' Stalwart Jan Hooks Dead at 57]

We dug through the SNL archives and found five highlights from Hooks's 1986-91 tenure, including some killer impressions... and one amazing sister act.

1. The Sweeney Sisters

Hooks teamed with Nora Dunn to play Candy and Liz Sweeney, a pair of singing sisters who cheerfully performed old standards in seedy hotel lounges. Here, the gals join host William Shatner at a swinging Christmas party and croon a peppy medley of yuletide carols that'll get you into the holiday spirit faster than a punchbowl full of eggnog. "Clang, clang, clang went the trolley..."

2. Tammy Faye Bakker

Disgraced televangelists Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker were the talk of all the tabloids in the late '80s, as their PTL church empire came crashing down amid scandal. (Does the name Jessica Hahn ring a bell?) Jim and Tammy — in the form of Phil Hartman and Hooks — paid a visit to SNL's Church Lady to atone for their sins. And yes, Tammy Faye cried.

[Video: RIP, Robin Williams: 6 of His 'SNL' Highlights]

3. Ivana Trump

If you were a prominent woman in the late '80s, chances are SNL would use Jan Hooks to take a shot at you. In this 1988 sketch, she gets glammed up to play Ivana Trump next to Hartman's Donald Trump, as the million-dollar couple prepare to celebrate Christmas. But no matter how many diamonds and pearls they add to their massive tree, they just can't shake the holiday blues. (Dammit... these sketches are making us miss Phil Hartman, too.)

4. Hillary Clinton

Hooks blazed a trail for SNL impressions, imitating First Lady Hillary Clinton before Amy Poehler took over. In fact, Hooks's Hillary was so good that she came back to SNL to play her even after leaving the show. In this 1993 sketch, "co-president" Hillary and Bill Clinton (Hartman) meet with Bob Dole (Dan Aykroyd) to discuss the health-care bill — and Aykroyd gets major applause when he says, "Hillary, why don't you give it a damn rest?"

[Related: Don Pardo, the Booming Voice of 'SNL,' Dies at 96]

5. Sinead O'Connor

Irish songstress Sinead O'Connor wasn't yet an SNL pariah when Hooks played her in 1991's classic sketch "The Sinatra Group," a faux talk show where a belligerent Frank Sinatra (Hartman, in rare form) bullied his guests through a discussion of censorship in music. But maybe Ol' Blue Eyes calling her "the bald chick" and "Uncle Fester" helped inspire O'Connor to tear up a picture of the Pope on the show a year later. And even if it didn't, Jan Hooks's legacy is still etched for all time in the SNL history books.   

Watch more SNL sketches featuring Jan Hooks on Yahoo Screen.