What happened to Rita Rudner? My husband introduced me to her comedy about 20 years ago and I always enjoyed her style of delivery. Then she didn’t seem to be on television. Where, oh where, did Rita Rudner go?
Las Vegas! She is a headliner there now. I was so hoping she had not retired (she is in her late 50s), and she hasn’t. Our world is better off with her humor.
Rita was born in Miami where I used to live for a while. She moved to New York when just 15 to become a Broadway dancer, she did make a living as a dancer, but she veered off her plan to learn stand up comedy. As a female, this was not a hot bed of competition back then. She loved performing her work solo versus being in a chorus line. She achieved so much in her field and got the coveted gold ring, an invitation to be on the Johnny Carson show following several auditions. She had been on the David Letterman show many times, but the elusive Johnny Carson show was an ongoing effort before it finally happened. The night arrived; she got bumped. Another scheduled night arrived; she got bumped again. And a third time. Comedians were cut when the show was running over its time slot. Finally Carson put together a “bump” show and she and two other comedians shared the limelight. Rita was by then a top female comedian and she hasn’t stopped since. Good going, Rita.
Rita learned her style from watching and re-watching Jack Benny and Woody Allen. Aside from comedy, she writes New York Times best selling novels, including the 2008 humorous one about aging, “I Still Have It; I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It: Confessions of a Fiftysomething.” Rita also tested for several sitcoms but none panned out, married Martin Bergman, and adopted a child. Bergman and her child Molly did pan out. She used to talk about a cat in her stand up and I hope she has cats living with her now, but according to Life After 50, she has a dog named Twinkle. No mention of cats. Drat!
Quirky or kooky, but very witty is how I would describe her comedy. Her delivery is paced and calm and clean. Her movements are really quite elegant (must be the dancer’s grace). She is a master of the one-liners, which make for fantastic quotes.
Who was nine years in a row the leading comedian in Las Vegas? None other than, you guessed it, Rita Rudner. So pleased. Through at least 2013 she will be a headliner at The Venetian Hotel and Casino in this popular Sin City.
Check out her website which even has monthly comic strips of Rita. Her Facebook page is filled with one liners. Nifty.
Oh, here are some one-line quotes. Many more on the internet:
“I read recipes the same way I read science fiction. I get to the end and say to myself “well, that’s not going to happen”
“How come when you mix water and flour together you get glue…and then you add eggs and sugar and you get cake? Where does the glue go?” (My personal favorite from years ago.)
“Men don’t get cellulite – God might just be a man.”
Rita is so funny on stage and so calm. Nice things to be. I am going to buzz around the internet for a while now and see if I can find some videos of her on stage. Join me. There is one on her webpage, but I bet there are others out there too. I really do like a good laugh.