I don’t know if this story is true, but it was just posted on this blog as a comment on that Gilda Radner / Steve Martin dance duet I posted a couple months ago, and it’s kinda sweet.
Here I am on MLK Day 2011 remembering Gilda. It was a Friday in 1978, and at 26 I had just finished the drive from Los Angeles to NYC. The goal was to be in the audience for SNL the next day.
I walked from the Americana Hotel to a deserted Rockefeller Center, arriving about 11pm. I hadn’t slept in the previous 36 hours. The guard under the NBC marquee let me know if I wanted tickets to be in line by 6am Saturday morning. Dismayed that might not happen due to my extreme fatigue, I walked over to the solitude of the taxi stand for a ride back to the hotel.
Suddenly Gilda appeared like an angel, full of energy, and stood close beside me. I reached into my pocket and pulled out a joint, asking her if she would like to get high. She grabbed it, and we vanished into the night in the back of that cab smoking, telling stories, and having a good old time. When we parted in front of the Americana about 6am after bar-hoping (including Woody Allen playing sax) she handed me her last pass for the evening’s performance, hosted by Steve Martin and including the wonderful “Dancing in the Dark.”
I have never been the same since. I imagine you are with Lucile Ball performing comedy skits in heaven. God bless you Gilda, and thank you again for a wonderful time. You left us way too soon.