It’s Dec. 1: Wishing you “Bunny Bunny”

When I unexpectedly met comedian, author and former “Saturday Night Live” scribe Alan Zweibel in an East Brunswick temple last month, I had no idea he would make me cry.

Yet cry is exactly what I did… when I read his beautiful, heartbreaking book, “Bunny Bunny, Gilda Radner: A Sort of Love Story.”

Listening to Alan’s impromptu introduction last month of friend and fellow comedian Susie Essman – in which he regaled the audience with stories of his days on the “SNL” set and vividly (and humorously) described first meeting Gilda Radner – convinced me I needed to pick up “Bunny Bunny” from my library ASAP.

I devoured the book in one sitting. Which is not hard to do – it’s only 190 pages long and full of Alan’s recollections of his conversations with Gilda over the years.

They clearly loved one another, though their relationship never became as romantic as perhaps Alan wished it to be. They supported one another through failed relationships, Alan’s eventual marriage and birth of two of his children, and Gilda’s eventual diagnosis of ovarian cancer and her drawn-out, painful death.

By the time I reached page 189 – titled “At A Memorial – June 1, 1989” – I was bawling.

“I don’t know why God makes people and then takes them back while they’re still having fun with the life he gave them in the first place,” Alan’s eulogy goes. “Just like I don’t know if I’m supposed to celebrate the fact that Gilda was in my life, or feel cheated that she’s not here anymore. But even though her body grew to betray her, spirits just don’t die.”

I know exactly how Alan feels. Which is why a recent episode of “Celebrity Ghost Stories” featuring Eric Roberts made such an impression on me.

“You can’t kill energy,” Eric said in it. “You can only displace it.”

Me and Alan Zweibel hanging in East Brunswick last month./Credit Ava Gacser

The title of Alan’s book, by the way, refers to a phrase Gilda began using as a child to make herself feel safe when she was scared – and one that she continued using as an adult, albeit a bit more infrequently.

“It’s just that, for whatever reason, on the first day of every month the first words that I say when I wake up are ‘Bunny Bunny’ to make sure it’s going to be a good month and keep me safe from anything bad that could happen,” Gilda explains to Alan in the book.

Since it’s Dec. 1, I can’t think of a better way to start the first day of the last month of 2009:

Bunny Bunny to you all.

2 Comments

  1. March 1, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    […] the first of March – Bunny Bunny to you! It’s time for another edition of Only in […]

  2. September 27, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    […] in the off-Broadway show “Celebrity Autobiography.” Alan wrote an extremely touching book about his close friendship with “SNL” co-star Gilda Radner called “Bunny […]


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