by Ryan Meehan
You’ve seen Judy Tenuta appear in shows from “The Vagina Monologues” to “Menopause: The Musical”. Her stand-up specials have aired on Showtime, HBO, and Lifetime. Judy was featured as the national spokesperson for a series of Diet Dr. Pepper commercials. The self-described “Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion” has made hundreds of guest and co-hosting appearances on such popular television shows as “The View”, “Late Night with David Letterman”, “Larry King Live”, “Entertainment Tonight” and “Comics Unleashed”. Judy is a two-time Grammy award nominee whose comedy albums include “Attention Butt-Pirates and Lesbetarians!” and “In Goddess We Trust”, and she was the first female stand-up comic to win “Best Female Comedian” at the American Comedy Awards. Ms. Tenuta has starred in two independent films: “Going Down in La-La Land” and “Gibsonberg”. You’ve also seen her on “General Hospital”, “Corey in the House”, and alongside Hilary Duff in “Material Girls”. Love Goddess Judy Tenuta is an ordained minister of Judyism, and her services are available to officiate same-sex marriage ceremonies. I am honored to have the legendary Judy Tenuta as my guest today in 10 questions.
RM: When did you first pick up the accordion; and what did your friends say to you when you told them which instrument you had decided to pursue?
JT: It was my Mom’s IUD. I popped out wearing it. And I never told my friends…actually, when I started doing stand up, my college roommate told me I should strap on my childhood squeezebox.
RM: What was the first stand-up comedy special that you watched in its entirety; and what was it about that performance which led you to believe that you’d be great at it as well?
JT: The Love Goddess (that would be me), admires many comedy icons, but the one who really gave me the courage to be my crazy self was Steve Martin. He was soo unapologetically narcissstic!
RM: What are the core elements of the religion that is Judyism? Are there any fees required for me to become a believer?
JT: As you know, My name is Judy and I have my own religion, Judyism. In order to join my religion, you must give me all of your worldly possessions and chant my name until you become a human speedbump.
RM: What was the most bizarre thing you witnessed while partying at the Playboy mansion this past New Years’ Eve?
JT: This past New Year’s eve was really tame. But Let’s go back in tiime, to 1999, It was wild. Anna Nicole Smith was lap-hopping from Ryan O’Neal to Hef, and then had so much champagne she fell into the Grotto where Ben Affleck & some of his pals fished her out, then Paris Hilton struts in picks up Mini-Me and makes out with him on the dance floor. Too much fun for one night!!!
RM: You’ve been in the business of comedy since the eighties…Other than the rise of the internet and social media, what is the biggest difference between the way stand-up comedy existed in that era and the current state of the art form today?
JT: There are far more clubs and venues for comics to perform, but also many more comics competing for those time slots. Also, there is YouTube which I love and when I’m not doing a live performance, it’s a great tool for presenting short films.
RM: What’s your take on the word “comedienne”? Do you feel that it’s necessary for people to have a completely separate term that is used to classify comedians who just happen to be female?
JT: Both are secondary to my many titles: Goddess of the Galaxy, Petite Flower, Princess of Panty shields, and Empress of Time and space.
RM: You tend to always have killer takes on pop culture, as evidenced by your Twitter account…Who do you think is the most fascinating pop culture figure in the world of entertainment today and why?
JT: Whoever is involved in a scandal. About 4 years ago it was Lindsay Lohan, then Charlie Sheen, now it’s Kanye West, Bruce Jenner, and Kim Kardashian’s ass.
RM: How do usually go about deciding which jokes fit best with the many mediums you use to convey your humor? In other words, when you come up with an idea does the inception of that idea usually include the thought that “This will be a perfect fit for a stand-up bit/YouTube video/song/section of my next book?”
JT: If it’s a great joke it fits anywhere, but of course I am also very visual, so I prefer to present my show in the theater…My books are life plans for my followers with great photos as well as stories.
RM: Speaking of books, your most recent work “Full Frontal Tenudity” was released back in July…What can people expect from that offering if they purchase that piece of literature; and how is it different from your last book “The Power of Judyism” which was released back in 1991?
JT: “Full Frontal Tenudity” is really 3 books in one: The first section is the “Hollywood to English Dictionary” which is a must because no one says what they really mean so I translate it for you. For example, when some one says “I love your work”, what they really mean is: “I just saw your sex tape”. The next section is “Judy’s Stoner Cookbook”, and the last is “40 ways to Breed a Love Slave”. Most importantly, everypage is illustrated with great photos and drawings
RM: What’s up next for you in the remainder of 2015 and beyond? Anything big in the works that we should know about?
JT: Please subscribe to my YouTube channel & subscribe to my series “The World Accordion to Judy” which posts a new episode every Friday. Also I am in a new indie film, “Deadly Crush”, and of course I’m about to marry Jake Gyllenhall as soon as he asks me! It could happen!
Official Website: http://www.judytenuta.com/
Judy on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Judy-Tenutas-Offical-Fan-Page/215781282632
Judy on Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/judytenuta
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