Alan Zweibel has been funny for at least four decades, launching his career into the stratosphere in 1975 as a writer for the first incarnation of NBC's "Saturday Night Live." On his first day there, he met Gilda Radner, who would become one of the comedy show's breakout stars and his closest friend. Together, they created the characters Roseanne Roseannadanna and Emily Litella, and maintained a special friendship until her death from ovarian cancer in 1989.
Five years later, Zweibel recounted the relationship in the book "Bunny, Bunny: Gilda Radner — A Sort of Love Story," which he soon transformed into a play that mingles comedy and a quirky romantic tension that has seen multiple productions since its off-Broadway debut in 1997. The newest staging is at the Falcon Theatre in Burbank through March 2.
The New Jersey-based writer, whose play with Billy Crystal, "700 Sundays," appears on HBO on April 19, plans a visit to the Falcon this week to see himself and "Bunny Bunny" brought to life. Zweibel, now 63, spoke with Marquee last week about his years as Radner's closest confidant and the reasons for writing their unusual love story.