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Name: Gilda's Laughfest
Occupation: charitable event
Last Seen: Grand Rapids, MI
Bee-otched For: getting a scumbag disguised as a comedian
During her five years on Saturday Night Live, Gilda Radner made us laugh and entertained.
She was one of the female members on what many called "The Beatles of Comedy", or in other words, The Not Ready For Primetime Players which also included Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Chevy Chase, Jane Curtin, Garrett Morris, Bill Murray, Laraine Newman and Harry Shearer. To many, Gilda was the star attraction. While Jane was the mature blonde whose serious tone gave us some serious chuckles through Weekend Update and Laraine was the big-haired brunette sexpot, Gilda proved that she had the ability to transform herself from the geeky (Lisa Lupner) to the senile (Emily Litella) to the wacky (Baba Wawa).
When she - and the rest of the show's cast - left SNL in 1980, Gilda had her successes, like a Broadway musical that became a movie (Gilda Live) but most of the success died, even when she married Gene Wilder. Her ovarian cancer diagnosis shocked many, and when the disease silenced her for good on May 20, 1989 at the age of 42, it was nothing more than heart-wrenching.
Since Gilda's passing, her family and friends helped to create Gilda's Club, an support group for those with cancer, along with their families and friends. However, in recent years, they've merged with The Wellness Community to become the Cancer Support Community. One other reason for the dropping of the name "Gilda's Club" is because many younger people don't know who Gilda Radner was. 1970's-era SNL reruns have rarely been shown on TV over the years, hampering her legacy.
Thankfully, the Grand Rapids chapter of Gilda's Club is maintaining her existence and have no plans to change their name. After all, Gilda was born and raised in Detroit. For the past four years, the Club has presented Gilda's Laughfest, a several-day comedy festival that's for people of all ages. All of the acts at the Laughfest range from family-friendly to X-rated and from the obscure to the world-famous.
I blasted the first Laughfest because their headliner was Bill Cosby, a man who is, well, not funny. After all, this is a schmuck who used Fat Albert to teach kids to stay away from drugs and gambling, yet he smoked big fat cigars and appears regularly at casinos. Not to mention the fact that he *allegedly* cheated on his wife multiple times since he was always at the Playboy Mansion in the 1970's.
The next two Laughfests were off the hook since they didn't have dipshits headlining them. This year, however, is an exception.
The co-headliner of this year's Laughfest is Lily Tomlin. Now, I have nothing against Ms. Tomlin. As a matter of fact, yesterday morning, I had received a notification from my WOOD-TV app that started with "Lily Tomlin has....." and my instant thought was that she had passed on. Thankfully, she's alive and well and will be at Laughfest in March.
Now, I have no problems with Ms. Tomlin. As a matter of fact, she's perfect for the festival. Both she and Gilda were Detroiters, both portrayed little girls on their respective shows (Tomlin was on Rowan and Martin's Laugh-in from 1970-73), both had famous characters from their shows (ie Earnestine the Operator) and not forgetting the fact that Lorne Michaels was a writer on Laugh-in before creating SNL. She was the Gilda of her time, and is still quite active at 74.
Sadly, it's the co-headliner of this year's event that's pissing me off. That, of course, is Jay Leno.
Yes, THAT Jay Leno. You know, the big-chinned asshole who raped David Letterman from getting The Tonight Show, screwed Conan O'Brien out of that same show, is very notorious for ripping off his skits from others (i.e. his Headlines is really Letterman's Small Town News) and so on. Of course, thankfully, he's bequeathing the show to Jimmy Fallon in a few months (I think NBC pressured him to quit since the show's not raking in all that much financially), but who knows how long that will last? I think he'll try to weasel himself back into late night.
The point is, I think it sucks that Laughfest will try to make some dough off this dickhead who is nothing more than a false prophet in the world of comedy. True, they do have some top-ranked talent coming this year - like Jim Gaffigan and Chris Tucker - but I think I'll pass. Jay Leno doesn't deserve my money.
I think I'll donate to my favorite women's charity instead, and it's in a Jolly part of Lansing.
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