Comedy – Comic Relief – The Boxer & Gilda Radner & Weird Al Yankovic


Gilda Susan Radner (June 28, 1946 – May 20, 1989) was an American comedienne and actress….who is best remembered as an original cast member of the hit NBC sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live (still live every Saturday night in 2016)….for which she won an Emmy Award in 1978.  Radner gained name recognition as one of the original “Not Ready for Prime Time Players”….the freshman group on the first season of Saturday Night Live…..and the most talented SNL group ever to my way of thinking…as Gilda was the first performer cast for the show.  Between 1975 and 1980….she created characters such as obnoxious personal advice expert Roseanne Roseannadanna and Baba Wawa….a parody of Barbara Walters.  After Radner’s death, Walters stated in an interview that Radner was the “first person to make fun of news anchors, now it’s done all the time.”  On SNL, she also played the character Emily Litella….an elderly hearing-impaired woman who gave angry and misinformed editorial replies on “Weekend Update”…..also, Radner parodied celebrities such as Lucille Ball, Patti Smith and Olga Korbutin (Olga Korbut) in SNL sketches.  Radner battled bulimia while on the show……once telling a reporter that she had thrown up in every toilet in Rockefeller Center. She had a relationship with SNL castmate Bill Murray….with whom she worked at the National Lampoon….and that ended badly. Few details of their relationship or its end were made public. When Radner wrote It’s Always Something….this was the one reference she made to Murray in the entire book: “All the guys [in the National Lampoon group of writers and performers] liked to have me around because I would laugh at them till I peed in my pants and tears rolled out of my eyes”.  

Alfred Matthew “Weird Al” Yankovic (born October 23, 1959) is an American singer, songwriter, parodist, record producer, satirist, actor, music video director, film producer, and author.  He is known for his humorous songs that make light of popular culture….often with parody specific songs by contemporary musical acts….original songs that are style pastiches of the work of other acts….and polka medleys of several popular songs….featuring his favored instrument the accordion.  Since his first-aired comedy song in 1976….he has sold more than 12 million albums (as of 2007)….recorded more than 150 parody and original songs….and has performed more than 1,000 live shows.  His works have earned him four Grammy Awards….and a further 11 nominations….four gold records….and six platinum records in the United States. Weird Al’s first top ten Billboard album (Straight Outta Lynwood) and single (“White & Nerdy”) were both released in 2006….nearly three decades into his career. His latest album, Mandatory Fun (2014), became his first number-one album during its debut week.

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