Friday, January 17, 2014

Comedian Lily Tomlin rings in for Michiganders

Comedian Lily Tomlin rings in for Detroiters.
Detroit is in for a treat. 

Among the comedians booked for Gilda's Laughfest in Grand Rapids going on March 6-16 is Lily Tomlin -- and and she's happy about it. 

"I love going to Michigan. It's my home state. I grew up in Detroit and I still have one relative living there," said Tomlin, who was not only funny but interesting and genuinely kind. At one point during our 2 hour interview she had to get in a car and head to an appointment. Four times along the way our call was dropped and each and every time she called me back. That never happens -- the celebrity calling you back that is. She also took the time during our conversation to send me a photo of herself wearing a tiara at the Oscars -- so I could see what she was talking about.

Most of what was said will become fodder for a feature but she also took the time to answer a few questions from local readers who chimed in on Facebook. Below is what she said:

Q: Michigan has a great incentive in place for making movies in the
state.  Are you involved in anything that might choose our great state
to set up shop?"

A: I’m not involved in any that would be shot in Michigan that I know of. (But) I know Michigan needs my support – certainly around the old area of Detroit (12th Street) where I grew up. I’ve always wanted to do a story based on my childhood and adolescence because my brother and I had so much fun.

Q: What happened to your show with Reba?

A: I loved our show and I adored working with Reba. It just didn’t get picked up.

Q: Her favorite Gilda Radnor moment. And congratulate her on her
marriage, after 42 years of dating! That's committment!

A: It’s hard to say what your favorite Gilda moment is – she was so adorable and funny.

If she had to choose a favorite Gilda character it would probably be the obnoxious personal advice expert Roseanne Roseannadanna or Emily Litella. She was the old hearing-impaired woman who gave angry and misinformed editorial replies on Saturday Night Live’s ‘Weekend Update’ skit.

Gilda's Laughfest was created by a team at Gilda's Club Grand Rapids in 2011. Since its start LaughFest has averaged 55,000 attendees per year. Proceeds from the festival will go to support the free cancer, grief and emotional health programs offered through Gilda's Club Grand Rapids. For tickets to see Lily Tomlin or other events going on during the 10-day festival visit laughfestgr.org

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