Youtube.com/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert | Getty Images
Source: Youtube.com/The Late Show with Stephen Colbert | Getty Images

Molly Shannon’s Tragedy losing Mom, Sister, and Cousin but Still ‘Comes up Later in Life’

Esther NJeri
Aug 25, 2021
08:40 A.M.
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Comedy legend Molly Shannon suffered a tragic loss when she was only a baby, but that incident shaped the kind of person she would grow up to be. She shares her story in her upcoming memoir.


When she was only 4, her mother, little sister, and cousin were involved in a car crash, together with her father. When the fateful accident happened, only her father survived, albeit with horrible injuries.

The aftermath of this accident would shape the life of the Saturday Night Live actress, who until recently has not spoken of the tragedy.

Molly Shannon attends the 25th Annual Critics' Choice Awards at Barker Hangar on January 12, 2020 in Santa Monica, California.| Source: Getty Images


While she kept viewers glued to their screen for seven straight seasons of SNL, no one really knew her pain, and better still, no one understood why she always gravitated towards characters that seemed dark and complicated.

And now, we get to understand how her deep-rooted anxiety and sadness from the ordeal paved the way for her characters. Recalling the incident that changed her life, she says:

"I felt like I had been through a war."


In her memoir "Hello, Molly," to be published in 2022, Shannon, 56, opens up about her deep yet complicated connection with her father, who, after the fateful accident, had to relearn how to use his limbs.

He also had to raise Shannon's sisters all by himself. She also writes about her best SNL memories, in what she calls "hilarious and heartbreaking" events.

She says she has been jotting down little notes since she was in her 20's that have helped her write her long-awaited memoir.


Shannon is married to Fritz Chesnut and they share a son, Nolan, and a daughter Stella.

She especially wishes the book would reflect the relationship with her father, which she says despite the complexity their relationship was presented with, they healed together.


Shannon featured on SNL between 1995 and 2001 and was known for her different and hilarious characters such as Helen Madden, Sally O'Malley, and Mary Katherine Gallagher.

In 2000, she was awarded an Emmy Nomination and then went on to guest star in numerous movies and shows, including "Super Fun Night" in 2013, "Getting On," and "Life In Pieces."


Shannon is married to Fritz Chesnut, and they share a son, Nolan, and a daughter Stella. She opens up about her motherhood journey, the chaos of parenting, and how much humor has helped them through their day-to-day life. She says:

“I definitely have a silly sense of humor. I feel like so much creativity comes from silliness and being free, so I definitely encourage that through play.”


The former SNL star goes on to give parenting advice saying how important it is to empathize, listen and ensure her kids know it is safe to express themselves.

One of her greatest life lessons is to be grateful for every little thing. She is happy when her kids get along well with other kids at their school. She adds: "It’s amazing how the simple things make me feel so grateful and peaceful.”


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