Published On: Thu, Feb 27th, 2014

Alan Zweibel’s Play About The Life Of Gilda Radner Still Drawing The Crowds After More Than 25 Years

Zweibel’s play, “ Bunny, Bunny” tells the story of his friendship with the groundbreaking comedienne whom he first met on the set of Saturday Night Live in 1975.

HBO's 13th Annual U.S. Comedy Arts Festival - Alan Zweibel: History of Me

Alan Zweibel’s play entitled “Bunny, Bunny: Gilda Radner — A Sort of Love Story, ” which has both moved  and amused crowds since it made its first off -Broadway debut way back in 1997 will be back on stage, this time for West Coast audiences at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank,  California during  the first week of March.

The play, an adaptation of Zweibel novel of the same name which he published in 1979, describes the deep and platonic friendship he had with Gilda Radner, which began when he met at a screenwriter on the cast of Saturday Night Live  while Ms. Radnor was  one of the first comedy show’s  stars.

Alan Zweibel recalled in his novel and later in his  play how the pair built up a fruitful working relation which developed into a very close friendship.  Zweibel worked in tandem with Gilda Radner developed the characters Roseanne Roseannadanna and Emily Litella for the show, later going on to maintain their special friendship until Gilda tragically passed away from ovarian cancer in 1989, aged just 46.

Zweibel, who also co-wrote 700 Sundays with another close friend Billy Crystal, has promised to be in the audience at the Falcon Theater to revisit the details of his remarkable close friendship with “Bunny, Bunny: Gilda Radner which is indeed a special sort of Love Story, ”

Alan Zweibel graduated the University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, almost immediately after which he began a career of sorts writing material for  stand-up comedians working the comedy clubs in their Manhattan circuit. Eventually Alan compiled a portfolio containing more than 1000 of his favorite jokes, which he managed to pass on to Lorne Michaels,  who had been chosen to be one of the producers a new concept in live television comedy to be called Saturday Night Live. Michaels was very impressed with Zweibel’s material and he took him on board at Saturday Night Live,  to be one of the original writers.

 

During the five that, Zweibel was on the writing team at SNL, he was responsible for the creation of many of the show’s landmark characters and most  memorable sketches among them the classic  Samurai, which features the late  John Belushi.

Zweibel’s close friendship and creative collaboration that he developed with Gilda Radner during their time together on Saturday Night Live, continued long after they left the show. Ms. Radnor’s last television appearance before she tragically passed away was on It’s Garry Shandling’s Show, in an episode which Zweibel co-created and produced.

Zweibel has been the recipient of multiple Emmy, Writers Guild of America, and TV Critics awards for his work in television.

Zweibel’s is also listen number of other books, including The Other Shulman, which won the 2006 Thurber Prize for American Humor, while a book that he wrote especially for children entitled Our Tree Named Steve  has been translated into eleven languages.

Gilda Radner will be recalled not only by Alan Zweibel  but all of those who appreciated her humor and her warm and endearing  personality which shone through during her many television appearances on Saturday Night Live. Gilda  was the first performer cast in the show, for which she won an Emmy Award in 1978.

Gilda Radner met her future husband, actor Gene Wilder on the set of the film Hanky Panky in which they both appeared. Radner and Wilder  went on to make a second film together, the box office hit The Woman in Red, which was released in 1984. The couple remained married until Ms. Radner’s tragic passing in 1989.

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