Gilda Live (1980)

Mike Nichols directs Gilda Radner, Don Novello and Paul Shaffer in this concert film of the Saturday Night Live star’s Broadway show.

If you’ve watched any of Gilda Radner’s SNL sketch work then you’ll know what a captivating and spunky presence she was. This live show struggles to translate that. It is a greatest hits revival of her best characters from the TV show, the audience recognises them all but… we don’t . The value of familiarity has been lost in time and the jokes often aren’t there in the admittedly enthusiastic skits. Don Novello’s hip priest act fills in during the costume changes and his monologues do raise a smile but the eponymous headliner only really comes to comedic life with her spirited songs. These are the highlights of a dated show, the rest best half forgotten as a fond memory for a previous generation.


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