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Judy Tenuta‘s New Book — in Blonde
Comedienne’s new tome has the funny, the recipes and the pictures.
By Corey Andrew | Thursday, Jun 7, 2012
Full Frontal Tenudity by Judy Tenuta
Â VIEW AND PURCHASE ON iTUNESÂ
Comedian, actress and squeezebox squeezerJudy TenutaÂ has released her first book â€” and itâ€™s got multiple personality disorderÂ â€”or maybe her, itâ€™s just a triple threat.
â€œFull Frontal Tenudityâ€ is part-memoir, part-sex advice tome and part-cookbook. Dozens of hilarious photos of Judy â€” done up as famous blonds like Lohan, Gaga and Hilton â€” are one of the draws.
From the look of the images, Judy a.k.a. â€œThe Love Goddessâ€ hasnâ€™t physically changed much â€” except for her hair â€” since we saw her on HBO and Showtime during stand-upâ€™s â€™80s heyday.
Of course, part of that could be owed to the wonders of Photoshop, she told me during a riotous chat.
Judy Tenuta:Â Hello-ooo, this is the Goddess!
Corey Andrew:Â Good morning, Judy. How are you?
Judy:Â I might whip out my squeeze box. I get to guess where youâ€™re calling me from.
Corey:Â The phone number is Midwest, but Iâ€™m calling you from the West Coast.
Judy:Â Oh, youâ€™re in the San FranCrisco area. I am good! How are you?
Corey:Â Iâ€™m OK. (Judy starts playing the accordion.)
Judy:Â I decided to whip it out, anyway.
Judy:Â You deserve it, honey.
Corey:Â Here we are in Gay Pride Month, and you just came back from a big event?
Judy:Â Oh, it was so much fun in Palm Springs. They dedicated a beautiful statue to me. In it, I have blond hair, and the wind is blowing up my white dress. It looks so much like me. Sometimes they call it the Marilyn statue, but itâ€™s me. I love going to Palm Springs because Iâ€™m the youngest one there. Hello-ooo! (Sings with accordion accompaniment) â€˜Youâ€™ve got to be gray, to be gay in Palm Springs today!â€™ If you donâ€™t have a Hoveround, honey, youâ€™re not getting around. I love it there. They may dedicate a star to me.
Corey:Â This is a little weird, but last night I had a dream that we were going to a Halloween party together.
Judy:Â I love it! Halloween may be my favorite holiday. In terms of fun, thatâ€™s my favorite.
Judy:Â Oh, my God, what an honor! I love Lily and Dolly. (Judy does a Carol Channing impersonation.) â€˜Put on your Sunday clothes when you feel down and out!â€™ Lily Tomlin is a sweetheart doll, and, Dolly, hello! We love her.
Corey:Â Yes, even the new parts of her.
Judy:Â You just had to get that in there, didnâ€™t yaâ€™? Are you talking about the non-moving parts? Anyway, we love her!
Corey:Â I got a chance to look at your book. Itâ€™s a lot of fun.
Judy:Â Did you love the pictures, too?
Corey:Â The pictures make it.
Judy:Â I said I want to include the pictures. You know Iâ€™m very visual. I thought they were so much fun. It is a hassle to print it. You can get it on iTunes. Eventually, weâ€™ll do the print version.
Corey:Â There are some photos of you as a blond. Did you have more fun?
Corey:Â Judy, can you hold on a sec?
Judy:Â Are you going to the bathroom? (Corey answers the door, comes back.)
Corey:Â Judy? Sorry about that.
Judy:Â Youâ€™re supposed to be interviewing me, not people on the street! Who do you think you are, Matt Lauer?
Corey:Â (laughs) Sorry!
Judy:Â Get on your knees!
Corey:Â Iâ€™m already down there.
Judy:Â I have sassy stoner snack recipes in the book!
Corey:Â The peanut butter bars sound fantastic.
Judy:Â Donâ€™t they?
Corey:Â Who did you get to test to recipes?
Judy:Â Iâ€™ve had parties, and I serve these things! I have recipes that are easy to make: â€˜Goddess Stuffed Mushrooms,â€™ â€˜Hey Jude! Hey Jude! I Love Those Peanut Butter Barsâ€™ and lots of fun stories â€” and 40 ways to breed a love slave.
Corey:Â You do joke about using Photoshop on these images.
Judy:Â When women in Hollywood say â€˜Iâ€™m 40,â€™ it means, â€˜Iâ€™m 60. Hooray for Photoshop.â€™ Photoshop is the greatest plastic surgeon. If you could go around in just photos, everyone would look 22. Right?
Corey:Â I think you still look fantastic in these photos.
Judy:Â Thank you. My gay friend who did some of the photos, I have to tell him, â€˜Stop Photoshopping me! I donâ€™t weigh 300 pounds. I have a good figure.â€™ Iâ€™ll tell you a secret, on page 154, he actually bumped up my butt. I said, â€˜What are you doinâ€™ givinâ€™ me a Kim Lardashian butt?â€™ I make him show me the before and after.
Corey:Â You do mention in the book that in high school you were chubby.
Judy:Â Oh, my God, I do have a great story in there. I was 340 pounds. â€˜My Big Fat Secret,â€™ isnâ€™t that a great title? I destroyed all younger photos of me from 14 to 16, when I ballooned into a planet in high school.
Corey:Â I think some people would also be surprised that you and Bette Midler both got started performing in bath houses.
Judy:Â Oh, my God, that was a great one! I did the one in Chicago. I felt like the Bette Midler of Chicago.
Corey:Â What was your show like then?
Judy:Â I had to hand out a lot of towels. You take work where you can get it.
Corey:Â The cover is pretty wild, too.
Judy:Â That was in honor of Lady Gaga. That was another one where I accused him of Photoshopping. He said, â€˜No, those are your thighs.â€™ Gee, I guess they look good.
Corey:Â You should keep him around.
Judy:Â He had to help me put all that caution tape on. With that caution tape on, Iâ€™m dressed more than most Beverly Hills housewives. They go around with just a credit card on their navel.
Corey:Â Have you started thinking about the follow-up to the book yet?
Judy:Â Not yet. I want to do another movie. A movie Iâ€™m in premieres at Graumanâ€™s Chinese Theatre tomorrow, called â€˜Gibsonburg.â€™ I owe you a visit in San FranCrisco. I love it there. I havenâ€™t been there in eight months. Iâ€™m a goddess who lives in Hollywood, where thereâ€™s a two-silicon minimum. Iâ€™m the only one who doesnâ€™t have that. One of my favorite Fourth of Julys was in San Francisco. I was at the top of a hotel and could see the fireworks all across the Bay. It was so beautiful.
Judy Tenutaâ€™s book, â€˜Full Frontal Tenudity,â€™ is available now on iTunes. For more on Judy, visit:Â judytenuta.com
Corey Andrew has been interviewing comedians and writing about comedy for the last decade and a half. In 2011, he published the book, â€œLaugh Lines: Conversations with Comedians.â€
Corey was a writer and performer with Midwest sketch troupe, The NonProphets, before moving to the Bay Area with his family a few years ago. If you have ideas for future columns about comedy, you can send them toÂ firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ and follow him atÂ twitter.com/coreywrites.
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