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Charles Rocket

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Resting place  Cremation
Name  Charles Rocket
Years active  1980–2004

Occupation  Actor
Nationality  American
Role  Film actor
Charles Rocket 10 Other SNL FBombs Mental Floss

Full Name  Charles Adams Claverie
Born  August 24, 1949 (1949-08-24) Bangor, Maine, U.S.
Other names  Charlie HamburgerCharlie Kennedy
Alma mater  Rhode Island School of Design
Died  October 7, 2005, Canterbury, Connecticut, United States
Spouse  Beth Claverie (m. 1970–2005)
Education  Rhode Island School of Design
TV shows  Tequila and Bonetti, Normal, Ohio, Wild Palms, The Home Court
Movies  Dumb and Dumber, Dances with Wolves, Hocus Pocus, Earth Girls Are Easy, It's Pat
Similar People  Robert Pastorelli, Maury Chaykin, Jimmy Herman, Danitra Vance, Peter Farrelly

Charles rocket getting himself fired

Charles Adams Claverie (August 28, 1949 – October 7, 2005), known by such stage names as Charlie Hamburger, Charlie Kennedy, and, most famously, Charles Rocket, was an American actor. He was best known for his tenure as a cast member on Saturday Night Live, for his role as the villain Nicholas Andre in the film Dumb and Dumber, and for his appearance as Dave Dennison, Max and Dani Dennison's father in Disney's Hocus Pocus.


Charles Rocket Charles Rocket SNL ChicagoNow Photos


Early life

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Rocket was born in Bangor, Maine, the son of Mary Aurelia (Fogler) and Sumner Abbott "Ham" Claverie. He attended the Rhode Island School of Design in the late 1960s and was part of the Rhode Island underground culture scene in the 1970s that also included Talking Heads frontman David Byrne and film director Gus Van Sant.


Charles Rocket Charles Rocket biography birthday trivia American Actor Who2

Rocket appeared from time to time with his friend Dan Gosch as superheroes "Captain Packard" and his faithful sidekick "Lobo". In an RISD yearbook, the dynamic duo appeared in a photo at the Rhode Island State House with then-Governor Frank Licht. Rocket made several short films and fronted his band, the Fabulous Motels, on accordion (which he used in an SNL sketch about a crazed criminal who uses an accordion to kill his dates and is killed himself by a bagpipe band). He later anchored the local news at Channel 12 WPRI and at KOAA-TV in Pueblo, Colorado under his own name, and WTVF Nashville under the name Charles Kennedy. He made his network debut on Saturday Night Live in 1980, using the name Charles Rocket.

Saturday Night Live

Charles Rocket Charles Rocket as Dave The Dad Where Are They Now Hocus Pocus

Rocket was cast for the 1980–81 season, which followed the departure of the remaining members of the show's original cast and executive producer Lorne Michaels. Singled out by new executive producer Jean Doumanian, he was promoted as a cross between Bill Murray and Chevy Chase. Rocket was tapped to anchor Weekend Update, and was featured in more sketches than any other male cast member that season with the exception of Joe Piscopo.

Rocket portrayed recurring character Phil Lively, a game show host who took his larger-than-life persona home and treated life as if it were a game show. His celebrity impersonations on SNL included Ronald Reagan, David Rockefeller, Prince Charles, and Marlin Perkins. He also hosted "The Rocket Report," a series of filmed segments where he posed as a roving reporter around New York, which reviewers in later years mentioned as one of the few consistently strong parts of Doumanian's shows.


The Saturday Night Live episode of February 21, 1981, hosted by Dallas star Charlene Tilton, featured a parody of the famed "Who Shot J.R.?" story arc from the then-popular nighttime soap. During the show a plot line had Rocket and Tilton flirting while other cast members expressed jealousy, leading to Rocket being shot in the chest by a sniper in the middle of a sketch. In the show's closing moments, as cast members gathered with the host to say good night, Tilton asked Rocket how he felt about being shot. In character, Rocket improvised, "Oh, man, it's the first time I've ever been shot in my life. I'd like to know who the fuck did it."

Due partially to the violation of broadcast standards, along with negative press regarding the new cast and declining ratings for both the series and the network in general, NBC replaced Doumanian with Dick Ebersol after one further episode. Ebersol, who placed the show on hiatus for a month to retool, dismissed Rocket, along with several of the writers and fellow cast members Gilbert Gottfried and Ann Risley, before the next episode. A writers's strike led to the suspension of the rest of the season, and when the show returned in October of 1981, Joe Piscopo and Eddie Murphy were the only cast members who were held over from Doumanian's era. Saturday Night: A Backstage History of Saturday Night Live revealed that Rocket was particularly hostile toward Murphy and Piscopo, as Doumanian had set him, Denny Dillon, and Gail Matthius to be the show's biggest stars, only to have all three receive mixed to negative reviews about their performances and to have Murphy and Piscopo upstage them all.

Post-SNL career

Rocket recovered from this early-career setback and worked steadily in film, with roles in such movies as Hocus Pocus, Earth Girls Are Easy, It's Pat, Steal Big Steal Little, How I Got into College, Dances with Wolves, and Dumb and Dumber, often playing comedic foils.

On television, in addition to guest spots on several 1980s sitcoms, Rocket played network president Ned Grossberg on the cyberpunk series Max Headroom, Richard Addison (brother to Bruce Willis's David Addison) on the comedy-drama Moonlighting, and Adam on Touched by an Angel.

While Rocket saw disappointment with a string of short-lived series, including Tequila and Bonetti in 1992, The Home Court in 1995, and Normal, Ohio in 2000, he continued to make guest appearances on a variety of shows such as Quantum Leap, Wings, and The King of Queens.

A guest role in 2004 as a con man/murderer on Law & Order: Criminal Intent marked his final appearance on network television - ironically his character was suicidal, which preceded his (declared) self-inflicted throat slashing by 20 months. He also lent his voice to the popular video games Star Wars: Starfighter, Star Wars: Jedi Starfighter (as the character Nym in both games), Descent 3, and Age of Mythology. His final film role came in the 2003 movie Shade.

In addition to his acting work, Rocket played accordion on the David Byrne-produced B-52's album Mesopotamia and the album Amarcord Nino Rota, produced by Saturday Night Live music coordinator Hal Willner.

Personal life

Rocket married his college girlfriend, Beth Crellin, on board the battleship USS Massachusetts anchored in Fall River, Massachusetts, in 1972. The couple had a son, Zane, born in 1976. They were married at the time of Rocket's death.


Rocket was found dead in a field on the property surrounding his Connecticut home on October 7, 2005, with his throat slit. Ten days later, the state medical examiner ruled the death a suicide. The police investigation determined that there was no criminal aspect to the case. Charles was 56 years old. His remains were cremated.

Music videos

  • "Yer So Bad" by Tom Petty (1989)
  • "King of the Hill" by Roger McGuinn with Tom Petty (1991)
  • "Good Year" by The Refreshments (1997)
  • References

    Charles Rocket Wikipedia