Biographer, Stephen Michael Shearer (Beautiful: The Life of Hedy Lamarr, Patricia Neal: An Unquiet Life, and soon, Gloria Swanson: The Ultimate Star, plus his series of 20 celebrity profile features in the Las Vegas Review-Journal in 2008 and 2009, sends us this information on comic/author, Judy Tenuta, who will perform at the Tropicana's Laugh Factory, September 17th through 23rd...
Judy Tenuta hails from Oak Park, Illinois, where she was born in the mid-1950s. I remember her when she first came to New York in the early 1980s appearing at the classic comedy club Caroline's. "I had wanted to be an actress when I came to New York," she recalled when I spoke with her recently. Her friends goaded her into doing comedy. As an up-and-comer, Judy was one of the classic originators of the mid-1980s "Golden Age of Character Comedy" which also saw the emergence of such gifted artists as Roseanne Barr, Steven Wright and Sam Kinison. Inventing such self-proclaimed monikers as "The Love Goddess," "The Aphrodite of Accordion Players," and "The Fashion Plate Saint," Tenuta coined the expression "Judyism" to express her religious outlook of the world. In 1987, she appeared on HBO's "Women of the Night" with Ellen DeGeneres, Rita Rudner and Paula Poundstone, and that year she was the recipient of the "Best Stand-Up Female Comedienne" honor at the first American Comedy Awards. She has made numerous TV and film appearances, received two Grammy nominations for her comedy albums, and is also lovingly remembered by a generation of "Dr. Pepper" commercial aficionados. Her first appearances in Las Vegas were opening for George Carlin at Bally's along with Blood, Sweat & Tears (who got her to sing "The Ballad of the Green Berets" after a show one night in one of the small lounges to an audience of older patrons). "It was so much fun," she recalled of her first gigs here. She once opened for Mitzi Gaynor, shared billing with Jackie Mason and with Pauly Shore, and she has headlined at the Paris, the Golden Nugget, The Comedy Club at Harrah's, and with the Amazing Johnathan at Krave. Recalling her first opening at the Sahara, Judy "was pleasantly surprised that Steve Wynn and his family were in the audience. I was so excited I got to meet him." She credits Wynn with giving Las Vegas its resurgence as "The Entertainment Capital of the World." "It's a giant Disneyland for adults," she says. "The beautiful thing about Vegas is...just seeing the shows. It's fantastic!" Tenuta has authored a recent self-published book, Full Frontal Tenudity! (available through ITunes) , and can be seen in two new films, Gibsonburg andGoing Down in La-La Land. Her contract with the Laugh Factory, where she will be appearing in two shows nightly beginning September 17, has been extended. Seriously, Judy Tenuta finds comedy "healing of the psyche and emotions," and so very needed in today's world. Her future? Possibly someday she will make a film with George Clooney ("when he asks me"), or she could be the new Cher at Caesars Palace. "Hey, it could happen!"
Thank you, Stephen.
We have been told that Judy Tenuta will perform at the Tropicana Laugh Factory one week out of every month, and could be deemed the new poster child for the comedy club. In addition to her funny stand-up routines, Judy does great interpretations of Sarah Palin, Cher, Roseanne Barr, and even Rita Rudner, her longtime friend. Those in the Windy City area can see 'The Love Goddess' at the Chicago Laugh Factory, September 6th through 8th.