Courtney Love Wanted to Brawl Over Molly Shannon’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Impression

Courtney Love Wanted to Brawl Over Molly Shannon’s ‘Saturday Night Live’ Impression

Molly Shannon is back hosting Saturday Night Live this weekend, but if Courtney Love had had her way, Shannon might have never survived the show the first time. That’s because Love confronted Shannon over her stumbling, incoherent impression — while Shannon was dressed as Courtney Love.

Shannon reminisced with Jimmy Fallon this week about impersonating Love on SNL, a character she repeated several times. 

In her book, Hello Molly, Shannon describes the impression: “As Courtney, I smoked all the time, made out with guests, made out with the camera guys, surprised the stage manager by grabbing and kissing him—and couldn’t hold on to any thought or question for more than a few seconds.”

In other words, art imitated life. 

It was all chain-smoking fun and games until “the real Courtney Love showed up,” Shannon told Fallon. “And she was mad! She was like, ‘Where's Molly?’ She was going around the studio hunting me down, ready to maybe punch me.”

Shannon was terrified, especially because she was actually dressed in her stained Courtney Love negligee to rehearse a sketch. When Shannon was confronted by Love backstage, “she smelled like witchy oils. And she was tall. She was tough,” she told Fallon. 

“Are you making fun of me?” Love demanded. But before Love’s anger could escalate further, Shannon surprised her with a request: “Can you gimme a cigarette?”

“And she gave me a cigarette and we smoked together,” Shannon says, tap-dancing as fast as Mary Katherine Gallagher while telling Love how much of a fan she was. Impressions are a huge compliment, Courtney! “You know, when somebody does you, that's cool!” 

A hard-puffing Love bought it hook, line, and sinker. “Yeah, yeah, yeah.” 

Shannon actually was a fan, telling stories in her book about how she and her friend Mike Rad saw her rock out in concert at the Hollywood Palace. “I loved her,” Shannon told Fallon. “And she was fun to play. She's the total opposite of me in real life. She doesn't care about breaking the rules and being a bad girl and I’m more like a good girl.”

So the brawl was averted. “But,” admits Shannon, “I was scared.” 

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