Lately I’ve been really into watching some of my childhood’s greatest hits. (Is this a sign of depression?) This is one of them. Gilda in those overalls singing “Let’s Talk Dirty to the Animals” is like smelling my grandmother’s mac and cheese.
My adult analysis? Damn. She was really good. It’s a thing that’s so obvious it’s easy to forget sometimes.
Mike Nichols directed this concert film and from the lovely set that is a stage within a stage to the moments he captures, whether it’s her changing between sets or a close up of her feet banging on the door, this special is truly … special. (Sorry.)
It made me appreciate the enduring influence of Gilda Radner on the Chicago improv/sketch community. It’s staggering and we’re better for it. She’s charming, sweet, adorable, dark and versatile. She’s a woman with a point of view and a funny way of expressing it without ever announcing her womanhood to the world or defending her ability to be funny. Also, she had an incredible amount of control over her body.
She sings an awful lot and promising sketches come to a halt with her belting out a lame song, Mick Jagger and Goodbye Sacchrine in particular, but her physicality in both make them mesmerizing. A lot of her SNL characters show up.
Also featured are Paul Schaffer and Father Guido Sarducci, known to young people as that weird priest at the Rally to Restore Sanity.