Bill Murray describes the last time he saw Gilda Radner

Gilda Radner was in the news this week -- because she wasn't considered "news" enough for some of the affiliates of Gilda's Club. That story had a less sad ending than originally thought, with only a small number of Clubs dropping Gilda's name and not the organization as a whole. But in an attempt to keep Gilda's relevance alive, here is a very heartwarming story told by Bill Murray, her friend and former Saturday Night Live castmate, about the last time the two saw each other at a party thrown by Laraine Newman. It's not a new story, but it's a nice one worth sharing (and remembering):

The whole Monty Python group was there, most of us from the show, a lot of other funny people, and Gilda. Gilda showed up and she’d already had cancer and gone into remission and then had it again, I guess. Anyway she was slim. We hadn’t seen her in a long time. And she started doing, “I’ve got to go,” and she was just going to leave, and I was like, “Going to leave?” It felt like she was going to really leave forever.

So we started carrying her around, in a way that we could only do with her. We carried her up and down the stairs, around the house, repeatedly, for a long time, until I was exhausted. Then Danny [Aykroyd] did it for a while. Then I did it again. We just kept carrying her; we did it in teams. We kept carrying her around, but like upside down, every which way -- over your shoulder and under your arm, carrying her like luggage. ...

We worked all aspects of it, but it started with just, “She’s leaving, I don’t know if you’ve said good-bye to her.” And we said good-bye to the same people ten, twenty times, you know.

And because these people were really funny, every person we’d drag her up to would just do like five minutes on her, with Gilda upside down in this sort of tortured position, which she absolutely loved. She was laughing so hard we could have lost her right then and there.

If you're not laugh-crying too hard, visit the Huffington Post Comedy Tumblr to read Murray's whole story (an excerpt from Live from New York: An Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live by Tom Shales and James Andrew Miller) about how it was impossible for Gilda Radner to not perform. Just because it's a really great story about Gilda Radner.

Photo credit: The First Five Years on Tumblr

(via Kottke)