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How Molly Shannon and Whitney Houston’s SNL sketch came about

Molly Shannon reflects on an unforgettable moment she had with late pop icon Whitney Houston.

The comedian, 57, is doing the rounds to promote her new book. “Hello Molly!: A Memoir”, and passed Howard Stern’s radio show of the same name Tuesday.

Shannon worked with Houston — who died in 2012 at the age of 48 – on one Saturday Night Live sketch in the ’90s with the infamous Catholic schoolgirl character of the former, Mary Katherine Gallagher.

The ‘Wet Hot American Summer’ actress described to the 68-year-old shock jock how the sketch with Houston came about.

“Whitney was so nice. They say she won’t be in the sketch. She won’t do it,” Shannon said. “I thought, ‘She’s going to do it. Let me talk to her.’”

SNL St. Monica Christmas Choir Whitney Houston
Shannon’s sketch character attempted to steal the spotlight during a Houston choral competition.
ABC

The “I Will Always Love You” singer was the musical guest on the December 14, 1996 episode of “Saturday Night Live.” Rosie O’Donnell was the host of that night’s show and Penny Marshall performed.

The sketch showed two nuns (O’Donnell and Marshall) preparing their students for a choral competition. Houston played “the perfect Jennifer,” a snooty popular girl who tries to “sing over” Mary Katherine the Christmas carols “Little Drummer Boy” and “Sleigh Ride.”

Shannon added that while the Grammy-winner would love to do the skit, the “White Lotus” actress was worried the singer wouldn’t appear.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - APRIL 12: Molly Shannon attends SiriusXM's The Howard Stern Show at SiriusXM Studios on April 12, 2022 in New York City.  (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM)
Shannon convinced the “Bodyguard” star to do a skit with her Catholic schoolgirl character, Mary Katherine Gallagher.
Getty Images for SiriusXM

“Sometimes I would see where they were approaching the musical guest and they had too many lines or it was too confusing,” Shannon added. “And I thought, ‘You don’t want all that pressure to memorize those lines.’ So I just said to Whitney, ‘Look, I’m going to play the Catholic schoolgirl. You’ll be like a snotty girl. All you have to do is just do what you want. You just have to be snotty, push me, sing me over. You can say what you want.”

Shannon continued, “She said, ‘Okay, I’ll do it, I’ll do it!’ That’s how I got her to do it. And I meant that. I thought don’t even look at those papers, just have fun!”

When the show was scheduled to air, “SNL” graduate Ana Gasteyer was fully dressed and ready to take the “Bodyguard’s” actress’ place, just in case.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE - Episode 14 - Pictured: Musical guest Whitney Houston performs on February 23, 1991 - Photo by: Raymond Bonar/NBCU Photo Bank
Houston was the musical guest on “Saturday Night Live” on the show on December 14, 1996.
NBCUniversal via Getty Images

“Then she wasn’t there the night the sketch ran. And I thought, ‘Oh no.’ So they had Ana Gasteyer put on the Catholic school outfit so she was ready to go on stage,” the Ohio native said.

But unfortunately, Houston kept her promise.

“It was honestly like five seconds, they’re counting down, [Gasteyer]It’ll be right on,’ Shannon said. “And then they say, ‘Whitney is here, Whitney is here!’ They lead her and she was fantastic. She showed up”

Regarding O’Donnell, Shannon explained how Houston and the former talk show host interacted. “Rose was great. She was so good and Whitney was so nice afterwards,” Shannon said. “She loved being in it, and she said, ‘Girl, you’re crazy.’ She was having so much fun. She had such a good sense of humor.”

https://nypost.com/2022/04/13/how-molly-shannon-and-whitney-houstons-snl-sketch-came-to-be/ How Molly Shannon and Whitney Houston’s SNL sketch came about

Dais Johnston

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