Judy Tenuta Returns to Orlando for GayDays | June 1
Judy Tenuta is the most famous person who has ever lived…and if you don’t believe it, just ask her. Tenuta is a triple threat with stand-up, acting, and a large LGBT fan base under her, uh, accordion. She has appeared in The Vagina Monologues, made over a hundred guest appearances on TV shows like The View, Late Night With David Letterman, Larry King Live and Dr. Katz and she’s had her own stand-up specials on Showtime, HBO and Lifetime. Tenuta was the first female stand-up comic to win “Best Female Comedian” at the American Comedy Awards and is a two-time Grammy nominee for her comedy CDs.
The self-described “Love Goddess” and “Aphrodite of the Accordion” has even taken to print with a new book entitled Full Frontal Tenudity. The outrageous book is part memoir, part advice book and part cookbook. In it she divulges her deepest secrets, helpful tips, and poignant stories.
Throughout her 30-plus year career, Tenuta has been a strong advocate for gays and issues related to children and women. The high-spirited feminist preaches that all we should all be worshipped as “Love Goddesses.”
Before performing Saturday, June 1, during GayDays at the host hotel The DoubleTree, I caught up with the unconventional and unparalleled comedienne from her Hollywood home about everything from her return to Orlando and a potential reality show to her plans to crash all the GayDays pool parties on Sunday.
It could happen!
ERIK RAYMOND: What can we expect during your show during GayDays this time around?
JUDY TENUTA: I’m so excited! I feel like I’m going to have as much fun, if not more, than the gay men! Do I need to have a fashion show? There’ll be music and maybe a fashion parade. The gay men love that. Will I need to have poppers? [Laughs]
How about a bathing suit competition?
Oh my god! I love that! That’s even better! They’ll all be in sequins! I have to start thinking about my outfits. Hello!? So, I hear there will be a lot of pool parties going on. I’ll have to go out and watch them do their water ballet. I’m going to have to get my iPhone out and take pictures. You know there will be a lot of gold lamé thongs.
Have you done many Pride events?
I’ve done a number of Prides. Can I tell you about the one I just did in L.A.? It was called “Mr. L.A. Leather.” Everyone in leather-it was great! What a great audience. I’m going to have to start practicing singing “Lady in Red” for when I’m at Disney on Saturday. [Laughs] More like “Ladies in Red.” I love it! Fantasmic!
Do you find there’s a difference in the audience reactions between straight and gay audiences?
Oh god, yes! I recently did a show in Los Angeles. I had no idea there would be so many gay people there. For everything, the gays just get so excited. They like to express their opinions. Every now and then, I’d hear, “Yea, Goddess!” and other cat calls from the audience. I’d say there’s definitely a lot more enthusiasm-especially if I make some sort of political comment.
Tell our readers about your book, Full Frontal Tenudity!
There’s three sections; one is the “Hollywood to English Dictionary.” I’m sure you have this in Florida also, but it’s really prevalent in Hollywood where people never say what they mean. They always pretend to be overly friendly, like “Oh, yes, we’ll have to do lunch.” Right. Basically that means, “Good luck getting a hold of me.” Or this one; people here love to brag about how much money they have, so you hear, “Oh I just made a ton of money last year.” That’s code for, “I’m filing for bankruptcy.”
One of my favorite ones is, “I only drink to unwind,” which translates to “I’m married to Jack Daniels.” “I love your work” means, “I just saw your sex tape.”
I have another section where I give “Goddess Snack Tips.” I don’t cook but I like making snacks.
Are there any reality show plans in your future?
I’m working on getting arrested. I hear from people, saying, “I haven’t seen you on TV much.” Uh, yea, that’s because I haven’t been in prison! Like that Jodi Hairy-ass, who got a play-by-play of her life! Or Lindsay Blow-han. That bitch doesn’t have to work a day in her life. She’s in court all the time like it’s a reality show!
When are you going to perform on a gay cruise again?
I need to do that! What’s going on with that?! It’s been a couple years. I remember I performed along with Suzanne Westenhoefer. That was fun! The gay men are so much fun, especially on those cruises. “Goddess, can we help you?” They had all these great excursions and they would ask me to come along. “Come on, ride this tortoise!” I’d reply, “What do you think my boyfriend is for?”
The one thing I did have to worry about was the non-stop food. Gay men are very health-conscious. I try to pump iron. [Laughs] I’m doing Pilates and I like it. I enjoy my candy though. I have to be careful. [Laughs] I have these great energy bars-god, I sound like a commercial. Shut me up. But really, some of them taste as good as a Snickers! Almost…
You’ve been doing stand-up for more than 30 years, and you’ve also appeared in a number of films and television shows.
Oh my God! I know and I’m only 38!
Where do you feel most comfortable?
I love the live audience, especially the gays! With live performing, I get to vent and speak on stage and meet everybody. I also love doing television because it’s almost like having a permanent record of your work. If I don’t have a sex tape and I’m not in court, I have to figure out other ways to continue to be on TV. [Laughs] They seem to give you a show as soon as you come out of rehab or jail.
Maybe we can get you involved in a lesbian sex scandal while you’re here.
Yes! Who lives down there; Gloria Estefan or, I know-J.Lo! I need to break up that union. I’ll have an affair with J.Lo.
Oh – and Pitbull! Oh my god! I think we worked it out. Here’s the story: I was trying to hook-up with Pitbull and then J.Lo got jealous. So, she made me do stuff with her. Next, we just need photos and then we can post them on Rick Scott’s web page and TMZ. [Laughs] Love that!
Seeing as though you’ll be here during the gayest week in Orlando, will you be officiating any weddings while you’re here?
You better believe it! What would GayDays be without a marriage through Judyism?
You always have the sweetest pet names for the men in your life; do you currently have a “love pig?”
I try to have one in every state. Don’t you think that’s best? We’ll have to go fudgesicle hunting in Orlando. [Laughs] But really, I’m there to have fun with the gays. We don’t want to complicate it with some clown that goes, “You’re not paying enough attention to me.”
Then, I’d have be like, “Shut up and get my mascara.”
What’s your latest television guilty pleasure?
That show Splash is hard to watch but I give those celebs credit. I should’ve been on Dancing With the Stars. What is up with that? They should call it, Dancing With the Non-Celebrity Who Wants To Be a Star. And I know the gay men love the Housewives shows but I can’t keep up with all of them. I mean, it’s so boring. How many times can you hear, “I hate you?” “No, I hate you.” “Your implants look horrible.” Shut up!
I love Project Runway. Oh, that Heidi Klum-she’s like an SS Officer, isn’t she? But she keeps popping out a kid every season. She needs to keep her legs together. I mean, she looks great but come on.
Photo courtesy of GayDays.com
Originally published by Watermark Media, Inc.