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Hello, Molly!: A Memoir

Hello, Molly!: A Memoir

by Molly Shannon, Sean Wilsey
Hello, Molly!: A Memoir

Hello, Molly!: A Memoir

by Molly Shannon, Sean Wilsey


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A New York Times bestseller

A candid, compulsively readable, hilarious, and heartbreaking memoir of resilience and redemption by comedic genius Molly Shannon

At age four, Molly Shannon’s world was shattered when she lost her mother, baby sister, and cousin in a car accident with her father at the wheel. Held together by her tender and complicated relationship with her grieving father, Molly was raised in a permissive household where her gift for improvising and role-playing blossomed alongside the fearlessness that would lead her to become a celebrated actress.

From there, Molly ventured into the wider world of New York and Los Angeles show business, where she created her own opportunities and developed her daring and empathetic comedy. Filled with behind-the-scenes stories involving everyone from Whitney Houston to Adam Sandler to Monica Lewinsky, many told for the first time here, Hello, Molly! spans Molly’s time on Saturday Night Live—where she starred alongside Will Ferrell, Adam Sandler, Cheri Oteri, Tracy Morgan, and Jimmy Fallon, among many others. At the same time, it explores with humor and candor her struggle to come to terms with the legacy of her father, a man who both fostered her gifts and drive and was left with the impossible task of raising his kids alone after the loss of her mother.

Witty, winning, and told with tremendous energy and heart, Hello, Molly!, written with Sean Wilsey, sheds new and revelatory light on the life and work of one of our most talented and free-spirited performers.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063056237
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/12/2022
Pages: 304
Sales rank: 26,662
Product dimensions: 6.20(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

MOLLY SHANNON is an actress and comedian. She spent six seasons as a member of the repertory company on Saturday Night Live, primarily known for the eclectic characters she created, such as Mary Katherine Gallagher and Sally O’Malley. In 2000, she received an Emmy nomination for Outstanding Individual Performance in a Variety or Music Program. In 2013, Molly received her second Emmy nomi­nation for Outstanding Guest Actress in a Comedy Series for her work in Enlightened and again in 2018 for her portrayal of Val in NBC’s award-winning comedy Will & Grace. In 2017, she was awarded the Independent Spirit Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance in the highly acclaimed drama Other People, written and directed by SNL head writer Chris Kelly. She was most recently seen in the Academy Award–nominated crime drama Promising Young Woman and will soon reprise her lauded performance on the critically acclaimed comedy The Other Two. Molly was born in Shaker Heights, Ohio. She earned a BFA in drama from New York University’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts. She currently lives in California with her husband and two children.

SEAN WILSEY, the author of a memoir, Oh the Glory of It All, and an essay collection, More Curious, is at work on a translation of Luigi Pirandello’s Uno, Nessuno e Centomila for Archipelago Books and a documentary film about 9/11, IX XI, featuring Roz Chast, Griffin Dunne, and many others (

Table of Contents

Author Note vii

Prologue The Accident 1

Part 1 Ohio

Chapter 1 Bad Girl 11

Chapter 2 My Sister Mary and My Best Friend (and Replacement for Katie) Ann 19

Chapter 3 My Dad: Mama Rose to My Gypsy Rose 27

Chapter 4 Hopping the Plane 39

Chapter 5 Love and Drunks 45

Chapter 6 Swimming to Juvie 55

Chapter 7 The Lullaby of Broadway 61

Chapter 8 Leaving 77

Part 2 Freedom

Chapter 9 Drama School 87

Chapter 10 The Birth of Mary Katherine Gallagher 101

Chapter 11 The Mamet Scam 113

Chapter 12 Comedy Is King 131

Chapter 13 SNL 145

Part 3 Baby, This Is It

Chapter 14 Showing Them 165

Chapter 15 Team Shannon 181

Chapter 16 Studio 8H 195

Chapter 17 Superstar and Fritz 215

Part 4 Good Endings

Chapter 18 Leaving SNL 229

Chapter 19 My Mom 239

Chapter 20 Coming Out 253

Chapter 21 Small Parts 269

Chapter 22 Motherhood 279

Acknowledgments 285

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