In Madison, they’re done with Gilda Radner

You know, whippersnappers, a little cultural history won’t kill you.

Madison, Wisconsin is the latest location where a “Gilda’s Club” is changing its name because young people today don’t know who Gilda Radner was. And apparently, enough people think that’s a barrier to success.

The “clubs” started when the comedienne joined a support group in California as she battled cancer. She wrote in her autobiography, It’s Always Something, that she felt she could share what she was feeling. So her husband, Gene Wilder (a Wisconsin native, by the way), started the Gilda’s Club movement. to provide social and emotional support at no cost.

She said her ovarian cancer gave her “membership to an elite club I’d rather not belong to.” Thus the name. It meant something.

Today, the Madison location announced it’s changing its name, the Wisconsin State Journal reports, because references to Gilda Radner “are not part of the cultural literacy of young people in 2012.”

The new name: Cancer Support Community.

Funny, though: The name Gilda didn’t stop people in Minneapolis from raising enough money in the last year to locate a Gilda’s Club here.

“Our parent organization, Cancer Support Community is now the parent agency of all Gilda’s Clubs and Wellness Communities. As of this year, all of the Wellness Communities have changed their name to Cancer Support Community. Gilda’s Clubs across the county are beginning to follow their example,” says Lannia Stenz, the executive director of the Madison Gilda’s Club… err Cancer Support Community.

Too bad. Gilda Radner was too important a part of cultural history to wipe her name away.

  • ce

    Seriously? As if “Cancer Support Community” – about as generic a moniker as one can possibly come up with so it MUST have been generated by an ace marketing team – is somehow appealing to anyone.

    I was 12 when Gilda Radner died, but I still have a deep appreciation for who she was, and the fact that, without Radner we wouldn’t have had Fey or Poehler or Wiig or their peers. I’m way less likely to support an anonymous cancer organization than one who strives to create community in her memory. Ugh.

  • Robert Moffitt

    I’m not sure what Gilda would think of this. But her friend, Emily Litella, would just say “Never mind…”

  • Bob Collins

    I think she would say what she said to Mr. Bunny.

  • boodabill

    From Gilda’s Club Desert Cities:

    The “brand” of Gilda’s Club has grown in part because of its remarkable logo. The red door is vibrant and upbeat; a cariacature of one of Gilda Radner’s most beloved characters (Roseanne Roseannadanna) peeks around it invitingly. We learned early on that this logo, with its inherent spirit of humor and courage, welcome and warmth, conveys the Gilda’s Club message in a glance.

  • Jude

    I think it is a terrible idea and more people remember Gilda then they will ever remember whatever that horrible new name is… see I forgot it already. What an insult to a wonderful talent that lost her life too early.. shame on you Wisconsin…

  • P.Ulllease

    Heres an idea: How about keeping the name Gilda’s Club and reminding people HOW this club got its name!

    What a slap in the face.

  • Sue

    If folks who enter this building don’t know who Gilda Radner is, then wouldn’t you want to share such an incredible and inspirational woman? Don’t you want them to know? She was enough of an inspiration to name the organization after her, now it seems someone just got lazy and doesn’t want to bother to teach some young people about this amazing woman. I can assure you that in twenty years, our family will not stop telling my nephew’s daughter what a wonderful father she had…until he lost his battle with cancer. I find this so saddening and disheartening!! Please reconsider and at least put her name in there somewhere! She deserves that much!!

  • lstadnick

    I am appalled at the possibility that the lady who was the inspiration for many cancer survivors (including myself) and for whom the organization was named in honor of, would have her name removed. Many younger people don’t know as much of American history as they should; TEACH THEM.

  • Sasha Aslanian

    Anyone with big hair like mine can’t forget her character

    Roseanne Rosanadana. Every humid day I look in the mirror to see if I’ve achieved the trademark triangle of Gilda’s frizzy hair.

  • Jody Schreiber

    So what if people don’t remember Gilda. She was an inspiration to a lot of people (Besides being a hysterically funny comedian).. Without her SNL never was the same!! Tell these people who don’t ,know who she was !!!!