These days Gene Wilder sightings are few and far between – The puckish icon who charmed audiences as The Waco Kid, and Willie Wonka hasn’t been seen on film since 1999 and on TV since 2003. So, any opportunity to experience one of the elder statesmen of American comedy in person should be treasured as the rarity it is.
It was that all-too-uncommon opportunity that brought people to hear Wilder live and uncut in conversation with writer Letty Cottin Pogrebin at New York’s 92nd Street Y in 2007. Now, seven years later, PBS’s Blank on Blank series has taken Wilder’s recollections his life in showbiz and set them to animation – the perfect medium for an actor whose ability to balance nebbishy sweetness with manic charm has always been practically cartoonish.
Come back, Gene. It’s been too long since someone made us piss ourselves with laughter.