Judy Tenuta Brings Her Show to Gay Days
Judy Tenuta is the most popular comedienne in the whole world, at least in her opinion. The irreverent comic has been causing belly laughs for years, and this year, she will be cracking us all up at Gay Days. She is best known for her HBO Comedy Special which costarred none other than the most famous lesbian comedienne on the planet, Ellen DeGeneres. She parlayed her HBO special into a few Diet Dr. Pepper commercials. Although she never found mainstream fame, she has maintained a gay following, and it was great to sit down with her and get to know a little bit more about what she has been up to. It was really like getting my own personal ½ hour comedy show.
How did you get started in comedy?
Oh my god I am still waiting to start - I started in Chicago, all these comedy clubs popped up in the late '70s, and I went on stage with my brother John and I pretended to be the Virgin Mary, and I got laughs and I decided to keep torturing people. My friends said you need to bring your accordion on, I said I don't know... but I did it and it worked.
When/how did you get your big break?
Oh man, there were couple things, the big big break was doing the HBO Special in the late '80s then right after that about 6 months later I did the diet Dr. Pepper commercials, so that was it.
Why are you so popular with the gay community?
I like them! When I started in Chicago, there was a little gay bar called His and Hers and the first time they saw me, they were like come play at our club. They were so nice, friendly and open and you know supportive, it was kind of easy to do, they are more vocal and very demonstrative of their support. They will yell things out like, 'Oh goddess, please, you have to baptize my wayward friend.' Sometimes I can't really tell if they are gay, so I will say, 'Who's going to do my hair, right now? If he can style my hair in 60 seconds, I can confirm he's gay.' I go through all the stereotypes. They are going to love it at Gay Days.
What have you been up to recently professionally?
I have a book called "Full Frontal Tenudity," and I am going to be selling that at Gay Days. It's so much fun. It's got different sections and chapters. The first one is called "The Hollywood to English Dictionary," 'cause you know in Hollywood, or basically anywhere else where you do business in the big cities, people never say exactly what they mean. Right? They say, "Call me back, I'm just eating," that's code for "I'm having sex with your wife." Or, "I'd really love to come with you, but my plate is full," that's code for "Buzz off." Or nowadays they will say, "Oh, I love your work." That's code for "I just saw your sex tape."
And then I have another section - I've always been told I eat like a stoner, even though I don't smoke, I still eat these weird things, I will dip potato chips in butter pecan ice cream. I have little snack recipies in there, it's really good.
And of course I have "Love Goddess Advice" called "40 Ways to Get a Love Slave." It's advice and some other stories. And then I am just waiting to go drunk driving with Lindsey Lohan so I can get my own reality show.
I think you are going to be waiting awhile, she's doing a stint in the Betty Ford Clinic.
Oh, then I will have to get that NeNe chick mad, you know that bitchy wife lady... I'll get into an argument with her, so then that will work.
Does the Love Goddess have any advice for our readers?
Come to the show at Gay days to find out. I don't have my accordion with me because I am traveling, but come to the show, I guarantee they will have a party in their pants. Write into Rupaul to get me on the show, I want to be on Rupaul's Drag U. I just want to have a blast with everyone at Gay Days. I have noticed that the gay men really love the pool parties. I mean they could be in church and take their clothes off.
Based on that comment, it sounds like Judy pretty much has the gay community pegged! She will be playing at the Gay Day's Host Hotel, The Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at Sea World on Saturday June 1 at 8pm. Opening up for Judy will be the very funny Patty Accorso. Go to www.GayDays.com for tickets and more information.