“The Life of Reilly”–remembering Charles Nelson Reilly

“The Life of Reilly”


Remembering Charles Nelson Reilly

Amos Lassen

Charles Nelson Reilly, famous for his game show jokes and sexual innuendos and guest appearances on the “X Files” takes us through his life which was bizarre, star-studded, tragic, hilarious, and totally amazing and he does so life sensitivity and quick one-liners. “The Life of Reilly” is an adaptation of Reilly’s one-man show and was photographed for the screen during his final two performances of his play in North Hollywood, California. Reilly had an incredible life and tells us all about it.

The film opens with some people being asked if they know who he is. Several of them say they’ve heard his name but don’t really know him. That is where I was before seeing this movie. I was totally entertained. Charles Nelson Reilly was quite the character and didn’t hesitate making fun of himself. He shared his childhood with us as well as how he got started in show business.

I came to understand at last what a fascinating person and enormous heart lay was inside of this outrageously flamboyant character but I also saw his dignity. The movie shows both the man and the artist, a veteran stage actor whose was wonderful at storytelling and he never slowed down.


This is a unique movie as it is the last performance Charles Nelson Reilly ever did of his one man show. To watch him tell his stories is to see a master storyteller and we see that we never really knew the man. Not only was he an amazing performer but he was also quite a man.
This one-man show that is touching and very, very funny. When Nelson Reilly talks about his family, he is hysterical. This is a wonderful memorial to a talented and loving personality. The film is a breezy tale of one man’s life told as an embarrassment of personal riches which Reilly inherited from a loving but strange family.

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