You may know her as the Love Goddess or you may know her as Judy Tenuta, but no matter what you know her as, she's an entertainer that has truly left a mark.
Armed with an accordion and rapier wit, Judy became nationally known for her first HBO special "Women of the Night" costarring Ellen DeGeneres, Rita Rudner, and Paula Poundstone, but her career has only risen from there. Judy was the first recipient of the "Best Female Comedienne" award at the American Comedy Awards; she has toured across the country with George Carlin, and she is a two-time Grammy nominee.
Judy talked to us about her upcoming show at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club, her career, and life in Los Angeles.
Were you always something of a comedian at heart? How did you get started?
I was one of nine children in a Catholic family where we were not allowed to laugh in the living room… we had to wait until Sunday Mass, when the priest asked for money!!
Tell us about your upcoming show “Put a Ring on it!” at the Jon Lovitz Comedy Club. What do you have in store for the audience?
IT WILL BE SUPER FUN! I MAY EVEN GIVE AWAY ARTICLES OF MY CLOTHING DURING THE SHOW! I WILL PERFORM A WEDDING BECAUSE I AM THE FOUNDER OF "JUDY- ISM"! AND MANY MORE SURPRISES!
What makes this show different (dare we say better?) than your other shows?
YOU NEVER KNOW WHAT WILL HAPPEN DURING MY SHOW. I ALWAYS INVOLVE THE AUDIENCE…THEY BEG FOR IT!!
Do you remember the first joke you told in front of an audience? What was it and what was the reaction?
I can't remember what I did 5 minutes ago, let alone 30 yrs ago. But one of my earliest memories of "Killing" a crowd was at the Great Lakes Naval Training Academy in Chicago. It was 1986, and I walked out onstage in my prom gown and held up my squeeze box & said, "Hey sailors, what do you say I discipline the Admiral?" They were screaming, applauding and banging on their chairs for 3 solid minutes.
Have you ever shocked an audience into silence with a joke?
Only the deaf ones.
YouTube seems like a great outlet for you. We love your video “Hot Bra Cones” and your Sarah Palin satire. How did you get started on YouTube?
I made videos and had computer geeks upload them for me.
Did you catch a lot of flack from Lady Gaga fanatics for your satirical comments about her?
I only caught flack from Sarah Palin followers who are too stupid to realize their own idol, Mrs. Palin, has a sense of humor... she let them satirize her on SNL.
You seem like you have a theory about everything; what’s your theory on this obsession men seem to have with blonds in miniskirts?
They have eyes and THEY ARE MEN!!!
You’ve shared the stage with some pretty amazing people including Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, and the late, great George Carlin. Who would have the power to make you think, “omg omg omg they’re freakin’ talking to me!”?
OMG!OMG! George Carlin STILL talks to me! And he only uses 7 words!!!
What’s coming up for you in the next year?
I'm writing a book, it's a coffee table book, so everyone can remember what I look like. Plus working on a few independent films. Including one with George Clooney… as soon as he remembers to ask me! It could happen!