So, I guess this is the summer of comedy on this blog, this dame, wow. I actually wanted to put in some small text about Gilda on the SNL entry but then I stumbled over her „Gilda Radner Live“ Special and decided that I have to post all her videos here because she is a darling and she is hilarious and her hair is bigger than Mount Rushmore.
Gilda was one of the original cast members of the Not Ready for Prime Time Players at SNL and was the one amongst the women that was really the standout. She brought a sweetness to some sketches that felt just right. There was a ridiculously fantastic sketch that makes fun of builders hauling obscenities at women (in reversed roles in a sort of school for female builders bit with a very fly Dan Aykroyd as the „victim“ in teenie tiny weenie pants) and by the end the girls leave Dan to cry and only Gilda stays, putting her arms around him, saying „Don’t worry, it’s only school“. It wasn’t a punchline but it was touching and it seems that Gilda is just able to pull that off without anyone rolling their eyes.
She also has this energy, a little like the Bully Boys, when she is on stage you just focus on her because she is brimming with it. Seriously, there is a big difference with certain comedians that you enjoy watching them just for their energy even if the material is slow and not funny (I’d say the same goes for Kristen Wiig or Bill Hader). Obviously, it doesn’t always work and sometimes can get annoying but 9 out of 10 times, it beats the other actors in the room that don’t have it for one reason or the other.
Radner was dating Bill Murray for a while and later married Gene Wilder whom she met on the set of „Hanky Panky“, they first developed a friendship and then married. They were married till Gilda died of cancer in 1989 and another brilliant comic was lost to the world.
I always find it weird to be sad about someone who died such a long time ago and whom I never met but I guess it sometimes happens when you realize how much greatness they still could have offered. But spilled milk and all, I love what she did and her song „I like to be unhappy“(currently hoarded up by bronies because it was sung by some pony) is a masterpiece of musical comedy.
It’s a wondrous moment when you watch a comedian being hilarious and they actually manage to touch you. There is something about doing a character that I don’t like with a lot of comedians because they just create empty one-dimensional clichés. The ones that work are usually the ones that the comedian cares for. If they don’t understand and like their own characters, they won’t make it a good one. We have tons of those in Germany and they are ridiculously famous because people are stupid but they don’t get it and I secretly think that they hate humor and comedy because there is nothing genuinely creative or different about their acts
And it’s a shame. I mean, why would you do this if not to try something different?