Linda Richman: I'd Rather Laugh [DVD]

Linda Richman: I'd Rather Laugh [DVD]

Yes, this is <I>the</I> Linda Richman, the mother-in-law Mike Meyers made famous in his "Coffee Talk" skits on <I>Saturday Night Live</I> back in the 1990s. But she's not dishing about Streisand in this PBS special. Instead, she deals with some serious issues ranging from depression to agoraphobia. Subtitled "How to Be Happy Even When Life Has Other Plans for You," this 75-minute lecture outlines Richman's less-than-happy life. Her father died when she was 8, her mother was eventually institutionalized for depression, she married a chronic gambler when she was 19, she became housebound for 11 years, and then after recovering she lost one of her two adult children in a car accident. But Richman manages to find humor in her life as she addresses the audience while strolling about the "living room" set. She offers homespun advice, all self-tested, on how to wallow in misery and then get on with life. Richman is a compelling enough speaker that the camera wisely stays with her, making for mercifully few audience shots. She recounts conversations from her life, tells stories about her friends, and even includes an anecdote or two about her daughter and that famous son-in-law. <I>--Kimberly Heinrichs</I>