One of the more jarring moments during a chat with Victoria Jackson had nothing to do with her far-right convictions.
Near the end of a roughly 45-minute phone interview, the former "Saturday Night Live" star abandoned her trademark Betty Boop voice to do an impression of an older Jewish woman who has smoked too many cigarettes. Even though I knew it was coming, I was half-convinced that a stranger had cut into the conversation.
I told her afterward that she had given me a jolt.
"I know!" said Jackson, who turned 63 earlier this week. "My friends say I scare them."
Those who check out Jackson's shows Friday and Saturday at Gutty's Comedy Club, a relatively new venue in Edina that doesn't permit performers to use profanity, will be treated to plenty of impersonations and ukulele songs. What they shouldn't expect is the kind of anti-gay, Muslim-bashing opinions that railroaded her once promising career.
"I don't do anything on religion or politics," she said from her home in Nashville. "But I do have a slant because of who I am."
Religion has always had a heavy influence in Jackson's life, starting with a strict Baptist upbringing in Florida. Her father believed "gee" and "golly" were swearwords.
But her conservatism didn't prevent her from making a mark in Hollywood, starting with 20 appearances on the "Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson." Jackson had her fair share of memorable moments during her 1986-92 run on "SNL," many of which involved showing off her considerable gymnastic skills on the "Weekend Update" desk.
But she clung to her values whenever she could, even giving audio-book versions of the Bible to her castmates one Christmas. Jackson was able to tinker with scripts if she was asked to say an offensive word. She has kind words for executive producer Lorne Michaels, who once allowed her at the last minute to back out of a scene that poked fun at prayer.
But there were still conflicts. She had a run-in with "SNL" writer Al Franken, who pulled her aside after a meeting. He told her he was bothered by her off-set behavior, particularly how she always seemed to be playing dumb.
"Maybe what I'm really thinking about is that everyone is going to hell and I'm supposed to tell them about Jesus," Jackson said she told the future Minnesota senator. According to Jackson, Franken turned white as a ghost and walked away.
Her 1986 film "Casual Sex?" co-starring Rochester native Lea Thompson and stand-up comic Andrew Dice Clay was a minor hit, but she quickly regretted agreeing to appear in scenes that exposed her bare butt.
"I was never the lead in a feature film again," she said. "I can't help but think God was saying, 'Vicki, you crossed the line. I'm not going to bless your movie career.'"
TV roles also became scarce. She left "SNL" to do a sitcom in which she'd play a Vegas showgirl who falls for a taxi driver. The networks passed. A few months later, her would-be co-star, George Clooney, was cast in "ER."
But Jackson kept busy, appearing numerous times on "Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher" and performing in comedy clubs across the country. Then in 2007, she joined a Hollywood conservative group, Friends of Abe, triggering an interest in political activism.
She would later accuse former President Barack Obama of being an "Islamic jihadist" and criticize "Glee" for showing a kiss between two male actors.
"It was sickening," she said about the scene. "I was thinking of a 4-year-old watching it and my stomach hurt."
It became difficult to find work.
"I was blacklisted," Jackson said. "The only people you can make fun of is blondes — dumb blonde jokes. You can't make fun of Muslims, or you die."
She's not a fan of the more recent "SNL" seasons.
"Now the agenda is so blatant. It's obvious that they want to push a far-left agenda to indoctrinate a new generation," said Jackson. "They couldn't even tell a joke about Obama. When Alec Baldwin does [former President Donald] Trump it's done with hate. When we did political figures, it was with love and humor."
If anything, it's even harder these days for comics with controversial views to get onstage. Last month, First Avenue folded under pressure from those offended by Dave Chappelle's material about transgender people, canceling the comedian's appearance hours before he was to take the stage.
But Jackson is finding more opportunities to perform than she has in some time and has about a half-dozen bookings so far this year. In July, she shot a part for a 10-minute film from her home.
"I'm sort of retired, but I want to keep my toes in comedy and keep my brain sharp," said Jackson. "I love the sounds of laughter."
When: 8:30 p.m. Fri. and Sat.
Where: Gutty's Comedy Club, 10 Southdale Center, Edina.
Tickets: $20-$40. minnesota.guttyscomedyclub.com