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Victory for Victoria?

Blacklisted for nearly a decade, Victoria Jackson is getting booked again - including a gig on Friday at The Paddock club within the Palm Beach Kennel Club.

by Chuck king
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WEST PALM BEACH – If her current rise in bookings is any indication, the comedy community may be coming around to Victoria Jackson’s way of thinking.

At the very least, the community as a whole is no longer treating her like leper.

“In the last year, I’ve started getting all these stand-up gigs in liberal places,” Jackson said. “I have a funny feeling that I’ve been un-blacklisted because everyone’s going ‘She was right!’”

Jackson isn’t shy about sharing her conservative Christian views. She believes one of those views, writing in a 2011 blog post that a kiss between two male actors on the TV show “Glee” was “sickening,” halted her stand-up comedy career.

“Oh man, the world went crrraaaazzzy,” Jackson said. “Children are watching that and it’s not appropriate to have a 5-year-old innocent mind watching two teenage boys kissing.”

The fallout from that blog post caused her agent to drop her, Jackson said. Over the course of the next decade, she struggled to get booked as a stand-up comic.

“When I came out as a conservative I was a mom and my husband had a job so it wasn’t like I was going to starve if I said my opinions publicly,” Jackson said.

With a career that includes a six-season stint on “Saturday Night Live” beginning in 1986 and 20 appearances on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” Jackson’s had already accomplished more than most comics will in a lifetime.

Yet, for the better part of the last decade Jackson had been content being a mother, grandmother and wife.

And while there are aspects of stand-up that no longer appeal to Jackson – most notably the travel – she still relishes performing.

“I love being on stage,” Jackson said. “I love the sound of the laughter. It’s the best feeling in the world when a room full of people is laughing with you. But I’ll take laughing at you, too. That’s OK.”

South Florida comedy fans will have the opportunity to laugh with – or at – Jackson on Friday night when she performs at The Paddock club within the Palm Beach Kennel Club. Ticket prices for the 8 p.m. show begin at $25.

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Friday will be somewhat of a homecoming for Jackson, 62, who grew up in Miami as the daughter of a gymnastics teacher. As a child she entertained vacationers by doing extended handstands along the beach in Miami.

For years Jackson’s athleticism played a role in her performances, but her last extended handstand occurred as a 60-year-old. And while Jackson eagerly discusses her political and religious values in private conversations, she doesn’t do so on stage.

Her humor is a bit darker than her bubbly personality suggests. Some of Jackson’s latest jokes include a positive take regarding the LGBTQ community and a dive into breast cancer – of which she is a survivor.

“You can actually be funny and believe in the Bible,” Jackson said. “Go figure.”

Stand-up isn’t Jackson’s only entertainment focus.

She recently shot several scenes of “Jane Blond Saves The World (one mistake at a time)” in Paris. It’s Jackson’s first screenplay.

The comedy follows the antics of a 60-year-old woman who accidentally saves the world from a terrorist bombing. She’s recently also appeared in multiple low-budget Christian films and received her master’s degree in film from Lipscomb University.

“I thought I was retired,” Jackson said. “I thought I was a grandma, but I’ve actually been super busy.”

Jackson now lives in Nashville – and loves it there – but Palm Beach County does hold a special place in her history and heart.

At age 50 she went back to school and earned her bachelor’s degree from Palm Beach Atlantic University. On the graduation stage, Jackson received her diploma and performed her trademark handstand (photo, above).

And on Friday she’s hoping to see one of Palm Beach County’s most famous residents – someone she only met once, back in the early 1990s.

“I wish [Donald] Trump would come to the show,” Jackson said.

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