Molly Helen Shannon, born September 16, 1964, is an American comic actress. She is known for her roles on Saturday Night Live, Superstar, Year of the Dog, and she guested starred on Glee as Brenda Castle in 2010.
Shannon was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio to Margaret (Peg) Keating and James F. Shannon. She has two sisters, Mary Beatty and Katie (deceased). Sadly, when Shannon was four she was involved in a car accident that killed her mother, her sister and a cousin. She attended St. Dominic School in Shaker Heights for grade school, and Hawken School in Gates Mills, Ohio. Shannon attended New York University, where she studied drama and graduated from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts in 1987.
Televison and movie roles
Before Saturday Night Live, Shannon had a struggling career in movies, her most notable being a supporting role as Meg in the 1989 horror film remake of The Phantom of the Opera with Robert Englung. In 1991, she had a brief appearance in the second season of Twin Peaks, and in 1993, she appeared with minor roles in two episodes of In Living Color, the first in a fake TV commercials with Chris Rock (played by Shawn Wayans), and the second in a sketch with Jim Carrey, playing LAPD Sergeant Stacey Koon.
Shannon's major break came in February 1995, when she was hired as a featured player on Saturday Night Live to replace Janeane Garofalo, after Garofalo left mid-season. Shannon was one of the few cast members to be (along with David Spade, Norm Macdonald, Mark McKinney and Tim Meadows when Lorne Michaels engaged in a major cast overhaul between seasons 20 and 21.
She appeared in a 1997 episode of Seinfeld entitled "The Summer of George," where she played Sam, the co-worker who drove Elaine Benes crazy because she did not swing her arms while walking. She also appeared in Sheryl Crow's video for the song "A Change (Will Do You Good)" and played the recurring role of loony neighbor Val Bassett, Grace Adler's nemesis, on Will & Grace, appearing in five episodes over the sitcom's eight-season run. In 1998, she played the role of Emily Sanderson in the film A Night at Roxbury, featuring Will Ferell and Chris Kattan who were also cast members of SNL at the time.
In 1999, Shannon starred in Superstar, a feature film based on her most famous SNL character, Mary Katherine Gallagher, the awkward Catholic school student who aspires to be a musical superstar.
Shannon left SNL in 2001, surpassing Victoria Jackson as the show's longest-serving female cast member (she has since been surpassed by Rachel Dracth, Maya Rudolph, and Amy Poehler). In 2003, she appeared in the romantic comedy My Boss's Daughter and the television remake of The Music Man.
In 2004, she starred in a short-lived Fox network television series Cracking Up with actor Jason Schwartzman. That same year, she guest starred in an episode of Scrubs and starred as Mrs. Baker in the film Good Boy!. In 2006, Shannon was featured in the Sofia Coppola directed movie Marie Antoinette as Aunt Victoire. The next year, Shannon guest starred on ABC's Pushing Daisies and the film Evan Almighty. Shannon also made a rare move to drama, appearing in the critically acclaimed film Year of the Dog in 2007.
Shannon hosted Saturday Night Live on May 12, 2007, making her the second former female cast member to host (after J ulia Louis-Dreyfux) and the first one to have been a cast member for Lorne Michaels (Louis-Dreyfus was a cast member under Dick Ebersol).
In 2008, Shannon starred as Kath in the US version of the hit Australian sitcom Kath & Kim. Also in 2008, she starred in an episode of the comedy series Pushing Daisies and the TV movie More of Me.
After her project on Glee, she returned to Saturday Night Live for a special Mother's Day episode on May 8, 2010, and also the October 2010 reunion special "Women of SNL."
As of Spring, 2012, she has replaced Pauley Perette as the spokesperson for Expedia.com.
She will reprise her role as Gail in the Netflix original eight-episode series Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp and it will air in July 2015. Jayma Mays, Glee recurring star, will also star in it.
Shannon will star in the William H. Macy directed The Layover.
Castle is the badminton coach and astronomy teacher of William McKinley High School. She is also an alcoholic and a drug addict. Castle has stood up against the main antagonist on Glee, Sue Sylvester multiple times, and has shown interest in Will Schuester.
She was only seen in Season One.
Shannon's first children's book,Tilly the Trickster, was released September 1, 2011.
Shannon replaced Katie Finneran in the role of Marge McDougall in the Broadway revival of Promises, Promises on 12 October 2010, and will remain through its closure on 2 January 2011 along with co-stars Sean Hayes and Kristin Chenoweth.
|1989||The Phantom of the Opera||Meg (New York)|
|1991||Twin Peaks||Judy Swain||("Episode #2.12")|
|1992||In Living Color||Officer Trainee/Various||1992 - 1993 (5 episodes)|
|1993||General Hospital||Surrogate Mother #2||("Episode dated 1 April 1993")|
|1994||Sister, Sister||Cashier / Checker||("Out Alone" and "Wedding Bells & Box Boys")|
|The John Larroquette Show||("Another Average Night")|
|1995||Saturday Night Live||Various||1995 - 2010 (118 episodes)|
|Return to Two Moon Junction||Traci|
|1996||Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace||Homeless Lady|
|1997||Seinfeld||Sam||("The Summer of George")|
|The Single Guy||Melody Pugh||("Macho Men")|
|Dinner and Driving||Arguing Woman in Cafe|
|1998||Daydream Believer||Susan Bradley||short|
|The Thin Pink Line||Aanl|
|A Night at the Roxbury||Emily Sanderson|
|1999||Will & Grace||Val Bassett||1999 - 2020 (8 episodes)|
|Superstar||Mary Katherine Gallagher|
|My Neighbors the Yamadas||Matsuko Yamada||voice: English version|
|Never Been Kissed||Anita|
|2000||How the Grinch Stole Christmas||Betty Lou Who|
|My 5 Wives||Barbara Van Dyke|
|SNL Fanatic||Anna Nicole Smith||TV short|
|2001||Shallow Hal||Mrs. Mary Larson||uncredited|
|Osmosis Jones||Mrs. Boyd|
|Saturday Night Live Primetime Extra 1||Elizabeth Taylor||TV short|
|Wet Hot American Summer||Gail von Kleinenstein|
|2002||The Santa Clause 2||Tracy|
|Sex and the City||Lily Martin||("Unoriginal Sin," "Cover Girl," and "The Big Journey")|
|2003||Good Boy!'m||Mrs. Baker|
|My Boss's Daughter||Audrey Bennett|
|The Music Man||Mrs. Eulalie Mackechnie Shinn||TV movie|
|American Splendor||Stage Actor Joyce|
|2004||The Twelve Days of Christmas Eve||Angie||TV movie|
|Scrubs||Denise Lemmon||("My Last Chance")|
|Cracking Up||Lesley Shackleton||2004 - 2006 (8 episodes)|
|2005||Here Comes Peter Cottontail: The Movie||Jackie Frost||voice and video|
|American Dad!||Kristy||2005 - 2007 ("Deacon Stan, Jesus Man," "Not Particularly Desperate Housewife," "Meter Made")|
|2006||Air Buddies||Molly||voice and video|
|The Amazing Screw-On Head||Patience the Vampire||voice and TV movie|
|My Gym Partner's a Monkey||Pretties||("I Fear Pretties/The Magic Fish")|
|Talladega Nights: The Ballad of Ricky Bobby||Mrs. Dennit|
|Marie Antoinette||Aunt Victoire|
|2008||Pushing Daisies||Dilly Balsam||("Bitter Sweets")|
|More of Me||Alice||TV movie|
|Evan Almighty||Eve Adams|
|30 Rock||Katherine Catherine||("The Fighting Irish")|
|Year of the Dog||Peggy|
|The Mastersons of Manhattan'm||Amanda Masterson||TV movie|
|2008||Kath & Kim||Kath Day||2008 - 2009 (17 episodes)|
|Snow Buddies||Molly||voice and video|
|2009||The New Adventures of Old Christine||Jeannie||("It's Beginning to Stink a Lot Like Christmas")|
|What Goes Up||Penelope Little|
|2010||Neighbors from Hell||Tina Hellman||(10 episodes)|
|Glee||Brenda Castle||("Bad Reputation" and "Dream On")|
|Web Therapy||Kirsten Noble||("Mistress of the Web," "Meet the Press," "Dream Girl")|
|2011||Up All Night||Nancy||2011 - 2012 ("Hiring and Firing" and "First Birthday")|
|Bad Teacher||Melody (Garrett's Mom)|
|The Middle||Janet||2011 - 2013 ("Thanksgiving III" and "The Name")|
|Web Therapy||Kirsten Noble||("National Exposure" and "Adaptation")|
|The Five-Year Engagement||Onion Chef|
|Casa de mi Padre||Sheila|
|Scary MoVie||Heather Darcy|
|Happily Divorced||Peggy||("I Object")|
|Jessie||Col. Beverly Shannon||("G.I. Jessie")|
|Raising Hope||Maxine||2013 - 14 ("Extreme Howdy's Makeover" and "Thrilla in Natesvilla")|
|Bob's Burgers||Millie||voice, 2013 - 17 (3 episodes)|
|2014||Life After Beth||Geenie Slocum|
|The Spoils of Babylon||Meredith Sennheiser||("The Foundling" and "The Rise of the Empire")|
|Bambi Cottages||Cathleen Burke||TV Movie|
|Benched||Judge Conner||("Solitary Refinement")|
|The Millers||Miss Pam||2014 - 15 ("Con-Troversy" and "Diggin' Up Bones")|
|2015||The Greens Are Gone||Deborah|
|Me & Earl & the Dying Girl||Denise Kushner|
|Wet Hot American Summer: First Day of Camp||Gail von Kleinenstein||(7 episodes)|
|Larry Gaye: Renegade Male Flight Attendant||Emily McCoy|
|Hotel Transylvania 2||Wanda||voice|
|Childrens Hospital||Paula Reilly||("Through the Eyes of a Falcon")|
|Divorce||Diane||2016 - 2019, main role (24 episodes)|
|2017||Wet Hot American Summer: Ten Years Later||Gail||(3 episodes)|
|We Don't Belong Here||Deborah|
|Life in Pieces||Allie||("Chef Rescue Negotiator Necklace")|
|Fun Mom Dinner||Jamie|
|The Little Hours||Sister Maria|
|2018||Spy Kids: Mission Critical||Murna||voice (7 episodes)|
|Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation||Wanda||voice|
|Wild Nights with Emily||Adult Emily|
|Half Magic||Mistress Valesca|
|Private Life||Cynthia Grimes|
|2019||The Other Two||Pat Dubek||(6 episodes)|
|Jay and Silent Bob Reboot||SouthBest Airlines Lady|
|Promising Young Woman||Mrs. Fisher|