Last week, the producers of Robert Mapplethorpe biopic Mapplethorpe revealed that Girls actress Zosia Mamet will portray the late photographer’s close friend Patti Smith in the film. She will not be the first actress to play the punk singer onscreen, though, as actress Mickey Sumner played Smith in the 2013 film CBGB – and Saturday Night Live star Gilda Radner hilariously spoofed her in 1979, a few months before the Patti Smith Group put out Wave.
In the lengthy sketch, Radner played tank-top-wearing, bouffant-armpitted punk yelper “Candy Slice” who was performing at a benefit concert to help end yeast infections. It begins with a backstage look at the festival, in which Garrett Morris plays Bob Marley, Laraine Newman takes on Olivia Newton-John, Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi portray different-era Elvis impersonators (“the Elvii”), Jane Curtin does her best Dolly Parton and Paul Shaffer impersonates Don Kirshner. Guest host Ricky Nelson played himself. Before the Smith spoof even begins, Bill Murray’s concert promoter character offers Newton-John a “tootski,” and Parton compliments Marley’s “reggie music.”
When Candy Slice finally makes her entrance, she’s like a burping, vomiting wet noodle. But when she gets onstage, she’s a rock dynamo, clutching her hair, straining her face ’til it trembles and falling to her back to sing “Gimme Mick,” a wry love letter to Mick Jagger – whom the real-life Smith named as her favorite singer (along with Maria Callas) a year later on Kids Are People Too. Radner’s Jagger song, though, is tongue-in-cheek, as the chorus goes, “Gimme Mick, gimme Mick/ Baby’s hair, bulgin’ eyes, lips so thick/ Are you woman, are you man?/I’m your biggest funked-up fan.” The verses grow chintzier and chintzier until Radner ends the sketch in an inevitable way.
Mamet’s sure-to-be-more-serious role as Smith is just beginning production. Doctor Who actor Matt Smith will play Mapplethorpe in the picture, which will be written and directed by Dig filmmaker Ondi Timoner.