Why Some Original SNL Stars Aren't Involved With The Gilda Radner Documentary

Gilda Radner Saturday Night Live NBC

Love, Gilda is a documentary about the career of former Saturday Night Live comedian and actress Gilda Radner. The documentary is narrated by Radner, who recorded long conversations about her life and career with an interviewer not long after she was diagnosed with stage 4 ovarian cancer. The documentary also features many interviews with individuals Radner knew personally and professionally, although there are some glaring omissions from key members of the SNL cast who knew Radner quite well. Director Lisa D'Apolito said that while the team contacted over 100 people to be interviewed for the documentary, some never responded.

Love, Gilda has interviews from big Saturday Night Live names like Lorne Michaels, Martin Short, Chevy Chase, Laraine Newman, and Gilda Radner's writing partner Alan Zweibel. That's quite a list and a who's who of SNL royalty, but conversely, the documentary was not able to get an interview with cast members like Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, and Don Novello. Lisa D'Apolito didn't harbor any ill will towards those who never responded to be in the doc and gave Deadline a possible reason as to why some of the former Saturday Night Live cast members may have declined to talk about the late comedian:

"It's hard for everybody (to talk about Radner). People loved her so much and to talk about her, was very painful because it brought back that loss. I totally understand why people didn't want to be in it. It's personal."

Another reason some may have opted out of appearing in the doc was that Gilda Radner's impact on the Saturday Night Live cast may have been more substantial for some than others. For example, the comedian had a very publicized relationship with Bill Murray during the time the two worked together. Though their relationship was known about, very few details were known about their romance other than that it ended badly. Radner would later go on to marry actor Gene Wilder, who Lisa D'Apolito spoke to ahead of the documentary but was left out of the feature out of respect for his being very ill at the time of the interview. After Radner's death in 1989, it was Wilder who carried out her personal wish to create organizations that helped folks with cancer, and ultimately led D'Apolito (who was working for one of those organizations) to make Love, Gilda.

Love, Gilda is a production of CNN Films and is expected to air sometime in 2019. Saturday Night Live airs on NBC Saturdays at 11:30 p.m. ET. For more on upcoming programming that's coming to television in 2018, check out CinemaBlend's midseason premiere guide and summer premiere guide. For more on SNL alumni, read up on how the movie Caddyshack ended up ending the feud between Bill Murray and Chevy Chase.

Mick Joest
Content Producer

Mick likes good television, but also reality television. He grew up on Star Wars, DC, Marvel, and pro wrestling and loves to discuss and dissect most of it. He’s been writing online for over a decade and never dreamed he’d be in the position he is today.