LOS ANGELES — Judy Tenuta, a brash stand-up who cheekily styled herself because the “Love Goddess” and toured with George Carlin as she constructed her profession within the Eighties golden age of comedy, died Thursday. She was 72.
Tenuta died Thursday afternoon at dwelling in Los Angeles, together with her household round her, publicist Roger Neal informed The Related Press. The reason for demise was ovarian most cancers.
“She was a really humorous, superb performer,” Neal mentioned, and it was all the time a “completely satisfied time to be round her.”
Tenuta had claimed her birthdate as Nov. 7, 1965, however she was born in 1949, Neal mentioned. “She was old-fashioned so she would by no means inform her actual age, however now that she’s gone we will inform her actual age,” he added.
Her heart-shaped face, topped by bouffant hair with a flower accent, conveyed an impression of candy innocence that was shortly shattered by her loud, gravelly supply and acidic humor, expletives included. The accordion she made a part of her act was “an instrument of affection and submission,” as she fondly known as it.
She was amongst a era of performers who drove the recognition of reside comedy in golf equipment nationwide together with the Comedy Retailer in Los Angeles, Laff Cease in Houston and Caroline’s in New York Metropolis. A usually male-dominated area discovered room for ladies, together with Tenuta.
“Devastated to listen to of the passing of my expensive, expensive pal, the beautiful Miss Judy Tenuta. I can’t imagine she’s gone,” tweeted Weird Al Yankovic, who labored together with her on his Nineties TV sequence and a 2006 music video. “Earth has really misplaced a goddess.”
Michael McKean, of “Spinal Faucet” fame, tweeted, “Certainly one of a form. Rattling.”
Tenuta gained nationwide consideration in 1987 with “On Location: Girls of the Night time,” a HBO particular wherein she starred with Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone and Rita Rudner.
In 1988′s “American Comedy Awards” TV particular, Tenuta was named greatest feminine comedy membership performer reverse male winner Jerry Seinfeld. Different honorees that yr for his or her membership or display work included Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin and Bette Midler.
“I might commerce it in a minute, if I may simply be a spouse and mom,” wisecracked the gold lamé-wrapped, gum-chewing Tenuta, who accepted her award from Carlin.
She was a frequent visitor on late-night speak exhibits and recreation exhibits and with radio shock jock Howard Stern. Her performing and voiceover credit had been eclectic, together with appearances on “The Bizarre Al Present” and “Area Ghost Coast to Coast.” She appeared onstage in “The Vagina Monologues” in Los Angeles and Chicago.
Tenuta was a two-time Grammy nominee, getting back-to-back nominations in 1995 and 1996 for greatest spoken phrase comedy album for “Consideration Butt Pirates and Lesbetarians” and “In Goddess We Belief.”
She was a supporter of LGBTQ rights, took half in satisfaction festivals and counted members of the queer neighborhood as enthusiastic followers. On her web site, she mentioned that as an ordained minister of Judyism she was “obtainable for identical intercourse marriages!”
Tenuta grew up within the Chicago suburb of Maywood, attending Catholic faculties that included one she dubbed “St. Obnoxious and Bondage.” She mentioned she was the “remoted, petite flower” — Petite Flower turning into certainly one of her stage nicknames — in a Catholic household that included six brothers.
After graduating faculty, she labored at odd jobs that included wrapping meat and taking stock at an outlet for Catholic spiritual apparel.
“I acquired fired as a result of they caught me making an attempt the stuff on,” Tenuta mentioned a 1989 interview with The Related Press. “So the boss got here in, and I suppose he acquired type of upset. And I mentioned, ‘Effectively, I’ve to see if they appear good, pig. I’m making an attempt to make enhancements for these broads.”’
Tenuta went on to affix the Chicago comedy troupe Second Metropolis earlier than beginning her solo stand-up profession. Regardless of her outlandish garments and weird stage look, Tenuta mentioned most individuals caught on instantly to her act, which included the self-centered “Judyism” faith.
“In my faith, I’m the one one which will get to complain. The very nice factor about my faith is you may overlook all about your issues and take into consideration mine for some time,” she informed AP.