I've posted a few videos of the great Nichols & May recently, like here and here, but this is Elaine May only. And this, ladies and gents, is a must see. In a sort of "Oh, my God, laugh out loud funny" way. Mind you, it's not that Mike Nichols isn't around. In fact, the very reason she's speaking is to honor Nichols at the 2010 AFI Life Achievement Awards.
Over on Facebook, filmmaker/actress Jessie Kahnweiler responded to one of my Nichols & May videos by saying that Elaine May was her "higher power." Well, after watching this speech below, Ms. Kahnweiler will have to build an even-higher shelf. This is just a tour-de-force -- of both sharp writing and ease of performance.
Oddly enough, wonderful as she is here, the real treat of this may not be Elaine May's intelligent wit, outrageous wit, sly wit and off-beat whimsy. It may be watching Mike Nichols having the time of his life, literally collapsing throughout the speech in fits of laughter. You can almost see in his achingly-euphoric face him remembering teaming up with this brilliantly funny women almost 60 years ago at the Compass Players in Chicago (the precursor of Second City), and why the did so, and why they performed together so long and stayed friends even after they went their separate ways professionally. His is the face of laughter, love, and admiration.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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