Alan Zweibel appeared on Letterman’s show a couple of months ago, and was actually allowed to read from his book, “The Other Shulman.” The excerpt he read was so clever and amusing that I made a note to get the book and, if I liked it, see if he’d come on my show to talk about it.
I got it, I liked it, and this afternoon, I spent an hour with him on the air. I told Zweibel I couldn’t remember ever seeing an author given the opportunity to do that on a late-night show before, and he explained how the unusual booking was arranged.
After several minutes of discussing the book, its origins, and how much of it was autobiographical, I steered the conversation towards Zweibel’s career as a TV comedy writer. We talked about “It’s Garry Shandling’s Show” (which he co-created) and the earliest years of “Saturday Night Live,” where he got off to an inauspicious start by hiding behind a potted plant.
That led to the topic of Zweibel’s relationship, both professional and personal, with Gilda Radner, from “SNL” through the eulogy at her funeral to his book “Bunny Bunny,” which became a stage show and may become an HBO movie. In her memory, he’s been a big part of Gilda’s Club, a series of cancer support centers around the country.