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  1. One of my fondest memories of being a kid in the 70's was sleeping over my cousin Susan's house on Saturday nights.  We'd involve ourselves in all sorts of hijinx including making prank phone calls posing as Mary Smith from the Yingling Book Company, calling people to inform them that their names had been entered in a book of the month contest and, yes!  They'd won!  Winners could select titles like The Yellow Stream by I.P. Daily,  The Tiger's Revenge by Claude Balls,  and The Bloody Stump by Hoobicha Kokoff.  Bwahahahaha.  (We rarely made it through The Tiger's Revenge before giving ourselves away with peals of adolescent girl laughter).

    But the highlight of our night came when my Uncle Jim would let us sneak into the living room (after Aunt Bonnie fell asleep) to watch Saturday Night Live.  He loved Gilda Radner.  I can still hear him impersonating Gilda as Roseanne Roseannadanna.  My dad and older sister were partial to Lisa Loopner (probably because my sister's name is Lisa).  Susan and I loved Gilda's infamous BabaWawa.




    (How cool is this clip with another female comic genius, Madeline Kahn? Does anyone remember her sitcom, Oh, Madeline! ? Brilliant.)

    I mean, COME ON!  Who doesn't read the name Barbara Walters without hearing Baba Wawa?  That was Gilda!  My best friend mom, Lois, could bweak into her Baba Wawa and keep me laughing for hours.

    This is a weird segue, but bear with me.  I have a thing for old books.  My mom used to run estate sales and I would tag along with her to scour the homes of the departed for their weird, old books (I'm sure a few of the titles will find their way into future blogs here on SSF).  One rainy afternoon, while mom was politely handling a mob of the deal seekers of the deceased,  I found an old advice book written by, YES, Baba Wawa and thought that I had struck gold!  I couldn't read the absolutely ludicrous chapter titles without hearing Gilda Radner's Baba Wawa voice.

    Another weird segue (give a rambler a break, y'all), back in 1998, I was teaching myself how to design websites.  My prototype was blog site - before the word blog was a word - called MyJobStinks.com.  Since I'm on the cusp of being a hoarder, I found an entry to the site - I have a copy of the entire site on my old backup drive - featuring Baba's book on a page entitled "lists."  Here it is for your viewing pleasure...  (Note: while I did not alter all of the ridiculous chapter titles, I challenge you to read each one without doing it in Gilda's Baba Wawa voice):

    Intwoduction How to Talk with Aristotle Onassis, in Which Is Embodied the Secret of How to Talk with Practically Anybody, But Especially Truman Capote
    Chapter One How to Talk with the Celebrity (Who May Be Nervous Too)
    Chapter Two How to Talk with the Tycoon The Female Tycoon The Tycoon's Wife Doctors, Lawyers, Architects, etc.
    Chapter Three How to Talk with Royalty, and Other VIPs Such as Politicians Diplomats Clergymen The Military
    Chapter Four How to Talk with the Young, and the Old (Don't Shout)
    Chapter Five How to Talk with Difficult People Including the Bereaved The Handicapped Bores Drunks The Belligerent
    Chapter Six How to Cope with Disaster
    Chapter Seven All About You Charm Nervousness Your Clothes Your Hair Your Face You
    Chapter Eight How to Win a New Boss, or Husband A Good Girl's Guide for When to Be Sexy, and When Not
    Chapter Nine Parties The Perfect Size The Perfect Host The Perfect Guest
    Chapter Ten The Lecturer Comes to Town The Care and Handling of a Guest Speaker Tips for When You're the Speaker
    Postscwipt When All Else Fails Twenty Sure-Fire Conversation Starters

    You couldn't do it, could you?  You couldn't.  And I assure you, these are the real chapter titles.  I could really devote an entire blog entry to my commentary on the book alone.  Perhaps at a later date when I'm hard pwessed for material.

    To say that Gilda Radner had an impact on my life would be a gross understatement.  I wanted to BE Gilda. To say that performing at Gilda's Club a few years ago was the most thrilling moment in my comedy career would be an equally gross understatement.

    Thank you, Gilda Radner, for inspiring a socially awkward girl from the 70's to become a socially awkward woman with a purpose... to make people laugh.  (And thank you, Uncle Jim, for bringing Gilda into my world...I hope you're reading this in heaven and doing Roseanna Roseannadanna...the disappearing eye snots bit was your favorite).

    Postscwipt:  I still have the book.
    Postscwiptscwipt:  I just let my friend proofread this and she asked, There's actually a book like this?
    Postscwiptscwiptscwipt:  Said friend just said, You have some typos - 'bweak, pwessed, postscwipt' - she's foreign and therefore, an unreliable editor.



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  2. 2 comments:

    1. Joanne Filan said...

      Awesome, both of you.
      I was partial to Emily Litella myself. "never mind."

    2. I can definitely see her influence in your work. Great post Sam!

      Postswipt; Jane Curtain and I have the same birthday! So I was always partial to my "bday sista"

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