Just how in demand is Molly Shannon? In the past month, the comic actress played an astronomy teacher on Glee and appeared on the much-buzzed-about, Betty White-hosted edition of Saturday Night Live. But for her latest TV gig, she didn't even have to brush her hair or put on makeup. "It's easy and fast, so I love it," she says of voicing the matriarch in the new animated series Neighbors From Hell (TBS, Mondays, 10 PM). The married mother of two, 45, talks to UsMagazine.com.
Judging from the title, is it fair to say this show is not suitable for the Nickelodeon crowd?
Yeah, it's definitely more adult. Our executive producer used to work on South Park. My character is literally from hell and assigned by Satan to live in Texas. And she loves reading celebrity magazines!
You're not on the Glee finale [airing Tuesday on Fox], but will you return next season?
I don't know yet. I felt so honored and lucky just being asked to do it because everybody wants to be on that show! It was, like, a very big deal for me.
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It has to be the most entertaining set in television, no?
It's funny because my friends came to work with me and we all thought it would be like, 'Ok, five, six, seven, eight!' and everybody would break out into a dance. But I didn't see much of that because my scenes were with the teachers. I do know that those kids work their butts off. When they're not shooting, they're rehearsing or recording.
What was it like to return to your old Saturday Night Live stomping grounds?
Phenomenal. Wonderful. It was like a reunion with all my female coworkers. I still see Amy Poehler, and Maya Rudolph in L.A., but Tina Fey, Rachel Dratch and Ana Gasteyer live in New York, so I don't get to see them anymore. We all have children now, and we all brought our kids to work and it was so fantastic! A very loving atmosphere.
Why didn't you reprise your Mary Katherine Gallagher character? Betty White could have played a nun!
I did think, 'Oh, maybe doing that character would be fun,' but nobody asked me to do it. It was really Betty's show. I knew there was going to be so much good material in the show that it would be competitive getting stuff on the air. So sweet of you to ask.
Do you still watch SNL?
I do not watch it every week because I have little kids! [Stella, 6, and Nolan, 5]. I TiVo it.
Are you doing a big family vacation this summer?
I think we're going to Montauk in New York. My husband, Fritz, is a surfer and he's going to teach my son how to surf. He's really athletic and agile, so I think he's ready. Other than that, we're in Los Angeles having barbecues and play dates in the backyard. We just moved from New York, so it's a whole new world for us!
By Mara Reinstein for UsMagazine.com