UPDATE: Gilda's Club is not phasing Gilda Radner out completely

Well, I'm glad I was wrong! The decision by a handful of local affiliates of Gilda's Club to change their name to Cancer Support Community is not an organization-wide change. The original article reporting the name change stated that "[t]he national organization is phasing in the new name, Cancer Support Community ... and the Gilda name will slowly go away." However, a new article on Michigan's M Live says that the name change will not be mandatory on a national level. Local affiliates are free to either keep the Gilda's Club name or go through with the change if they so choose.

The announcement by Gilda's Club Madison this week caused an uproar, even leading to petitions to convince Gilda's Club to reconsider taking Gilda Radner's name off of the organization that was formed in her memory. But now it appears that an eventual, full phase-out is not the case. Do some of us think that Gilda's story is worth telling to those who aren't familiar with her legacy of strength and creativity? Yes, indeed. And her book, It's Always Something, is a pretty good start.

Photo credit: Gilda's Club Grand Rapids

(h/t @ABHuret on Twitter)


  1. Even if I had no clue about who Gilda Radner was, I’d rather walk into a place called Gilda’s Club than a place that sounds like it wants to buttress bad cells.

    1. Agreed. All the people who seem to think the organization’s name needs to have “cancer” in it seem to be missing the point that it’s not supposed to be a depressing place.

      1. They really seem to have lost their meaning and purpose. I went to our local club during my cancer treatment and was treated perfectly horribly because my cancer wasn’t in my girlie parts. I’m a woman with a cancer more often seen in males. I give my charitable dollars to other organizations, because Gilda’s Club is a perfectly hideous caricature of what it once was. Putting the word ‘cancer’ into the name pretty much cements that shut permanently.

    1. Really? I think it’s hilarious. But then I know who Gilda Radner is, and, yesterday, when I walked up the street to take some pictures of the Gilda’s Club sign near where I work, I did think that the picture of her could be kind of scary to someone who wasn’t familiar with her.

      I could just imagine some kids seeing that and saying, “No, don’t make me go in there, the woman with the big hair looks like she’s going to eat me!”

  2. I don’t get all this outrage and protest and petitions.

    It seems to me that if a club wants to change its name then that’s its business.

    Why are people who are not members of this club and have probably never donated or heard of it before giving these cancer people greif about what they want to call their support group?
    We need a national “Mind Your Own Business Club.”

  3. It’s a good thing we don’t have to know  any celebrity who died before we were born. In fact, I doubt that there is even a way to learn more about people who died before I was born.

  4. I still have my Gilda Radner live from new york record in the basement.
    Way back in the 90s I converted it to mp3 using cooledit 97 and some command line tools.  She was a huge influence on an 8 year old me who around the same time discovered the holocaust and instantly decided there certainly was no god. When I would baby sit or hang around girls little brothers or sisters I would recite to Tiny Kingdom (or the 3 little pigs from cheech and chong). She was beautiful, bold, gross, absurd, smart, and fucken hilarious. But I realize her comedy doesnt hold up in this age. It’s cliche, but it was a more innocent time and her comedy wont be much appreciated by those exposed to howard stern (Gilda was the first guest to ever cry and walk off the show) and southpark. The goals of the organization are to lend community support for cancer, and I think Gilda, who also seemed so humble and sweet, would be ok with dropping her name if she felt it wasnt doing that cause any justice.

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