Whatever happened to Emo Phillips, Pee Wee Herman and Bobcat Goldthwait; you know, people who didn't soullessly echo the water-cooler rants of the big-haired receptionist with coffee grounds in her teeth? Judy Tenuta should know.
Once the one-trick pony of loud, feminist rants set to accordion music, Tenuta these days is scrubbing the toilets of the comedy circuit (including our very own Improv this weekend), delightfully unhappy about nearly everything.
"In the land of Judy-ism, everybody has a stalker and a psychic. Luckily, mine are one-in-the-same person."
"A stalker, a psychic and a plastic surgeon," I play along, ill advisedly.
"Excuse me bitch, but I don't have a plastic surgeon!" I think she's mad. "Not yet, anyway."
To redeem myself, I mention that I was referring to Joan Rivers. I swear.
"Oh yeah, then why'd you bring it up, sex monkey!" She gets me right. "Joan Rivers is a year older than God's pants!"
I want out. So I turn to the subject of wardrobe. "What are you wearing?"
"I have on a gold lame ... what do you call those Cher pants? They're like, uh, bell bottoms," she uhs. "Gold lame bell bottoms, and a kind of a fun print top. Yes, I look very sassy today."
"There would be a few queens that would wanna try on this outfit."
"Like me?" I let her in on My Big Secret.
"Unless you can wear a size four, I don't know."
"Try a size zero," I vomit.
"You wear a size zero? Are you anorexic?" she diagnoses. "That's disgusting! Eat! What is that about!"
"It's about drinking."
"Oh, OK, so you run on drugs and drinks. I hope you're not one of these people that go 'I forget to eat.' Because then you should forget to breathe."
Time to dip into the subject at hand. "What's the show about. And is it still funny?"
"Oh, honey, we're gonna have a fashion show. I'll probably give away one of my pairs of hotpants to any studcicle that can fit into them, and hopefully he could do my hair after it," she swims in a sea of stereotypes. "Oh, yeah, it'll be great. I'll probably perform a marriage, and/or a divorce. And of course I have a lot of fun songs."
Miss Judy is promoting her new straight-to-video film foray, "Desperation Boulevard," a story of a child star who will stop at nothing to regain her crown. It's a film that, reportedly, has been plagiarized by foppish imp David Spade. Even better, last week's B-List vagina, Erin Moran, is in both.
"We were gonna get Gary Coleman, but he was too busy beating up a security guard at a video store for asking for an autograph. We had Erin Moran, and also, well, she must have told them," she calms herself. "I don't blame her for doing it."
Erin Moran: Beyond blame. "Do you want to hit David Spade? Because I do."
"No, I wouldn't want him to fall over. Y'know, I don't know. Maybe it'll help my movie."
"Oh, Judy, you are an amazing American icon," I glaze over.
"You mean I'm the original American idol?"
"More like 'The Surreal Life.'"
"Oh, I can't watch that crap. Y'know, the only way I'm gonna get a reality show is if I'm a drug-induced, implanted whore who slurs my words."
Excuse me? Let's talk about something lighter. Like, uh, the war.
"Now here's the thing that makes me mad. We have all these secret-service guys, and these Navy blue seals, and these undercover, y'know, guys," she eloquently sums up world affairs. "Excuse me! You mean, they can't pay off like a few of those Iraqi toads and give 'em some free TV dinners, and they won't poison the pig? You mean to tell me they won't give him one cyanide Hot Pocket! What's going on?"
"They make those? I want one."
"You're already a size zero."
Somehow -- while discussing sizes -- we get to the subject of recent bloated Salem witch, Kirstie Alley. "She's everywhere, you know."
"That's bad news. As soon as you gain like 30 pounds, they make you a witch. And of course she's got that gravelly voice so it's like 'Hey, hey, come to my coven, or else, Pier One!'" she gravels. "Excuse me, she's about to turn into Jupiter any moment. When you have more chins than the phone book ..."
"Or more excuses than "Dianetics.""
""Dianetics," not diarhetics," she conjures the perfect T-shirt. "All the people in Dianetics -- John Travolta, Kirstie Alley -- they've all ballooned up rather nicely."
Next I ask Judy the most ridiculous question I can. "What's next for Judy Tenuta?" Burp.
"I'm trying to get caught selling or taking drugs so that I can get a movie deal. I need to be caught bouncing on Jeb Bush or something," she bounces. "Oh NO! I got it! I'm gonna be caught making out with Katherine Harris, that slimeball!"
"Consider it done."
"I love you!"
I love you, too.