Synopsis by Ron Wells
In this film of her one-woman show, former Saturday Night Live cast member Julia Sweeney recounts the worst year of her life. Something more than a stand-up routine, the comedienne performs on a stage set with only a couch, a chair, a table, and a lamp. With her run on Saturday Night Live and a marriage both behind her, she moved into the cozy house of her dreams in Los Angeles. But then, "God said 'HA!'". Her beloved brother Mike was diagnosed with lymph cancer, and he moved in with Sweeney so she could care for him. Their parents, worried, moved in as well, treating Julia like a teenager in her own house. Her house became crowded, and she slept on the couch in her backyard office. Then it really got personal; Julia was diagnosed with cervical cancer. Sweeney recounts her brother's struggles with chemotherapy, spinal taps, and a shunt in his forehead until Julia witnesses the performance of the Last Rites. She counterpoints the dark material with much humor, including an examination of her parents' many eccentricities. They force meatloaf upon her vegetarian diet, her mother communicates by stringing together several thoughts to make a single idea, and her father is addicted to National Public Radio and speaks of announcer Cokie Roberts as a life long friend. Julia Sweeney developed the material that would eventually become God Said, "Ha!" in comedy workshops in order to find the humor in her experience. It eventually became a 45 minute piece and then premiered in its final form in San Francisco in 1996. After an extended run, she moved the show to Los Angeles, and finally to Broadway.
cancer, family-dynamics, God, stand-up-comedy