Molly Shannon is no Sean Penn: She isn't about to deck a photographer for snapping pictures of her. But photograph her infant daughter, Stella, and holy cow! Shutterbugs may see a whole different side of the Saturday Night Live alumna. "The other day, Entertainment Tonight happened to catch a shot of her," she recalls, "and they asked me afterwards, 'Would it be OK if we let that footage air?'

"I reeled for like two hours!" she continues. "'Should I? Should I? What should I do?' I finally had to sit myself down and ask myself what was going on."

Although the funny lady's endearing neuroses may drive her bonkers, they also make her perfect to star in Fox's mid-season sitcom Cracking Up (premiering March 15). The show's executive producer is Mike White, aka Jack Black's nebbishy buddy in School of Rock. "I relate to [my character] Lesley's anxiousness," she admits, almost needlessly. "Maybe [her] addictive side, too."

Maybe?! Try "definitely." As proof, we offer up this anecdote, straight from Shannon herself. "Sometimes there will be a certain makeup that I need to get, like MAC Plum No. 3 eyeliner," she confesses. "And I'll get possessed, like, 'God, I've got to get to Barney's to get that eyeliner!' I'll put it before everything, and it's nuts, y'know?" (Yep. And how.)

At least the sometime Will & Grace neighbor-from-hell isn't fixating on her past glories, stalking Jimmy Fallon and the current SNL roster. "I had a really hard time leaving [the Not-Ready-for-Primetime Players]," she says, but "I didn't want to stay too long [and get] burned out. I watched it for a year straight [after my exit. Now, however] I've gotten it out of my system. I don't miss it."