If you don’t know who Gilda Radner was, you’re probably still in your third decade. Hear of Roseanne Roseannadanna or Baba Wawa?
Gilda – as everyone knew her – was the heart of the initial cast of “Saturday Night Live,” the first performer hired. In this tribute and memorial, we see and hear from several from the former cast: John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Bill Murray, Jane Curtin and Laraine Newman. We hear from comedian Martin Short, who noted: “When she walked in a room, all the energy would go to her.”
This documentary allows former and current SNLers to read from her personal journals, allowing us to see behind the wacky comedienne. She describes herself as a “circus performer,” but her journals disclose her eating disorders, insecurities, need for love and hesitation to grow up.
This documentary lets the audience relive her hysterical antics while learning of her personal downs and ups, including meeting Gene Wilder while filming “Hanky Panky.” They married a few years later. “My life went from black and white to technicolor,” she says.
Radner was diagnosed with stage IV ovarian cancer, for which there is no diagnostic test. The sense of loss of this talented woman is magnified by this brilliant movie.
Jan Jaben-Eilon is a long-time journalist who has dual citizenship in the United States and Israel.