molly shannon

What Molly Shannon Can’t Live Without

Photo-Illustration: The Strategist; Photo: Getty

If you’re like us, you’ve probably wondered what famous people add to their carts. Not the JAR brooch and Louis XV chair but the hair spray and the electric toothbrush. We asked Molly Shannon — who not only has a best-selling memoir out but also stars in Showtime’s new home-shopping comedy I Love That For You — to tell us all about the potato chips she uses to clear her throat, the massive water bottle she and Vanessa Bayer are obsessed with, and the Mary Janes she calls her “magic shoes.”

Vanessa Bayer and I are both into this thing called the Venture Pal water bottle. It has little encouraging things on it, like “Good morning!,” “You got it,” and “Keep chugging,” and there are these lines on it, so I think it makes me drink the water. Both Vanessa and I had this on [the I Love This for You] set, and so everybody else got them too. We’re always drinking water.
I would much prefer to drink coffee, but this makes me drink water. I try to drink one full bottle a day.

A friend of mine, Chris Diamantopoulos, does the voice of Mickey Mouse, and he’s also a Broadway star. He said, “Molly, if you’re ever in the weeds with your vocal abilities, just eat salt-and-vinegar chips because the vinegar clears the mucus off the throat.” I guess when he’s doing Mickey, he always has salt-and-vinegar potato chips in the sound booth to keep his voice going. Isn’t that interesting? So now I’ve been doing it, and I probably have them a couple of times a week.

I remember my acupuncturist telling me that this oil is really good for your uterus and fallopian tubes. I took it when I was trying to get pregnant, like, for a year. It’s also good for your skin and joints, which I worry about because I’m very physical and I run. I put it in my smoothie every day with almond milk and bananas. I’ve done it for years. I also have a lot of pineapple smoothies because pineapple has bromelain and that helps clear the throat so you can speak well.

This is a little more expensive, but I love Sarah Jessica Parker’s shoe line. I did the show Divorce with her. She makes this cute Mary Jane that I call my magic shoe. They come in pink and this diamond-y color. Sarah taught me that you can wear them with corduroys or jeans — I always use them to spruce up an outfit. I’m all about a comfortable shoe. I don’t like high-high heels. The little Mary Jane has a very small heel that’s beautiful but gives you just enough. I get so many compliments on her shoes.

There is nothing softer, oh my God — I even got them for my kids. You can wear them under your clothes or as pajamas. I used to wear nightgowns, but now I’m just into pretty, comfortable, silky pajamas. I will say that when I worked with Sarah Jessica Parker, I loved her because she’s a tube-sock girl, and so sometimes I wear tube socks with sweatpants and a T-shirt. I just love very casual pajamas.


I love a cute wig for my dog. The one I’m using right now I call my dog’s “I hate Mondays” wig. There are always dog wigs all around the house. We have a Deer Head Chihuahua, and she’s definitely the top dog. She’s the boss of the house, and she goes along with the wigs a little better. And then I have a corgi-shepherd mix who doesn’t like to wear the wigs very much. They’re both rescues. Also, my husband just had a birthday and because my husband loves our dogs, I bought them both birthday hats, and they were the cutest.

Photo: Publisher

I love it. I’m proud of it. And soon, it’s going to be saying, right at the top of the book in print, “New York Times best seller.” How about that? I had always written out funny things my dad would say to me, his “showbiz advice.” “Listen, Molly, you march into the offices of those Hollywood agents and managers and say to them, ‘Hey, hold the phone, I got talent!’” He was like my Mama Gypsy Rose. In the back of my head, I knew someday I would write about him and about my life. I wanted to share my story of resilience and overcoming tough times when I was a kid. I wanted to make people laugh, too, because I have some wild stories. It was cathartic for me to write, and I hope it will be cathartic for my readers. Working on the book, I learned that it was good to push through my fear and doubts and just do it. It has paid off. I’m so glad I wrote the book.

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What Molly Shannon Can’t Live Without