Last night, I wished a happy 90th birthday to Mel Brooks.
What I did not know is that June 28th is also the birthday of another legendary Jewish comic, the late Gilda Radner.
Born in 1946, Gilda Radner is remembered as part of the original cast of Saturday Night Live, then known as the not ready for prime time players. Standing on the shoulders of Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett, Gilda paved the way for the careers of Tina Fey, Rosie O’Donnell, Ellen Degeneres, Amy Schumer, Roseanne and other female comedians. While some of her characters were broad and perhaps a little on the annoying side, other characters were sweet and maybe a little naive.
After leaving Saturday Night Live, Gilda acted in several movies, including Haunted Honeymoon(1986), with her husband, Gene Wilder. She left this world in 1989, dying from ovarian cancer. After her death, Gilda’s Club was established as a support system for those fighting cancer.
Happy Birthday Gilda, wherever you are.
Tina Fey has the career that many starting out in the entertainment industry can only dream of. An alumni of Saturday Night Live and the show runner and one of the stars of 30 Rock, Tina is one of the funniest women in the industry.
Her 2013 auto-biography, Bossypants, is not the standard auto-biography. The standard auto-biography follows a very linear and standard pattern: I was born here, I accomplished a, b, c,d, etc. Very staid, very traditional and to some, could be very boring. This auto-biography is not boring. It is funny, honest and full of life’s truths that we could all stand to learn.
I especially loved the script for the infamous Hillary Clinton/Sarah Palin 2008 election skit.
I absolutely recommend it.
It’s not easy to be a woman these days. Despite our advances (and thank g-d for them), there is still some pressure to live a traditional life.
In the 2008 movie, Baby Mama, Kate (Tina Fey) has a very successful career. But her love life is non-existent. With no man in her life and wanting to be a mother, Kate hires working class Angie (Amy Poehler) to be her surrogate. When Angie announces that she is pregnant, Kate goes into overdrive to prepare for the birth of her upcoming child. Then Angie moves in with Kate and Kate’s well ordered, always in control life is no longer in order or control.
This movie is incredibly funny, especially considering who the two lead actors are. Fey and Poehler have a natural chemistry, Fey playing a version of Felix to Poehler’s Oscar. This movie proves that not only are women funny, but a well written movie with fully rounded female lead characters will bring audiences into the theaters. Another factor that makes this movie an enjoyable one is how completely realistic Kate’s situation is. There are many women like Kate, who have worked very hard to prove themselves as capable professionals. But then they reach a certain age and realize that while they were so furiously building their careers, they may have missed out on the possibility of a spouse and a child.
I absolutely recommend it.