Mother Jones recently posted a roundup of National Rifle Association ads through history, depicting the lobby group's descent into madness, but our eyes caught one particular pit stop on the road to crazy—this pro-gun 1993 TV commercial titled "Laughing Criminal," featuring a speaking role by future SNL star Molly Shannon.
In the ad, Shannon plays the frazzled staffer of a cynical anti-gun congressmen. She shakes her head in disgust and tells the boss flatly, "You're in the re-election business." As for another gun-control measure, she declares in exasperation, "We've already got 20,000 of them."
Shannon, who recently penned a children's book, is not known as much of a Hollywood political influencer, though she did publicly support President Obama's reelection, praising his work for LGBT rights. The year the NRA ad was produced, 1993, Shannon was still two years away from weekly TV stardom, settling for small one-time roles on shows like In Living Color.
We've reached out to Shannon's publicists for a comment, though they haven't responded yet. Hopefully she's not nervous in a corner, sticking her fingers under her arms, and then just...smelling 'em.
Update: Molly Shannon has issued Gawker this statement (emphasis hers):
"I made this commercial 20 years ago AS A STRUGGLING ACTRESS…not as a personal advocate for the NRA. I'm glad this now gives me the opportunity to advocate publicly for gun control legislation. As a mother, I see the necessity more than ever for sane, safe laws regulating guns in this country and I am deeply ashamed that the resurfacing of this dumb, ugly commercial might suggest otherwise."