She participated in pride events, supported LGBTQ rights, and had ardent followers in the queer community. Judy Tenuta, a brazen stand-up who jokingly referred to herself as the “Goddess of Love” and toured with George Carlin while establishing her career in the 1980s comedic golden period, passed away on Thursday. She had been alive for 72 years.
Tenuta passed away on Thursday afternoon at her Los Angeles home, surrounded by her family, publicist Roger Neal told The Associated Press. The death was brought on by ovarian cancer.
She was a “really witty, fantastic performer,” and being around her was always enjoyable, according to Neal.
Tenuta claimed to have been born on November 7, 1965, but according to Neal, she was born in 1949. She was a traditional woman who would never reveal her true age, but now that she is no longer with us, we can.
Her heart-shaped face and bouffant hair, which had a flower accent, gave off the appearance of sweetness and purity, but her harsh, gravelly voice and acerbic humour—which included expletives—quickly destroyed that impression. She described the accordion she played as “an instrument of love and submission” throughout her performance.
She belonged to a generation of comics who helped live comedy become more well-liked in clubs around the country, including Caroline’s in New York City, the Laff Stop in Houston, and the Comedy Store in Los Angeles. Tenuta and other female workers achieved success in a traditionally male-dominated industry.
“I was shocked to read of my beautiful friend Judy Tenuta’s passing. She was a great, close friend. Weird Al Yankovic, who collaborated with her on his 1990s TV series and a 2006 music video, tweeted, “I can’t believe she’s gone. The goddess of Earth has truly been lost.
One of a kind wrote “Spinal Tap” star Michael McKean in a tweet. Damn.”
In the 1987 HBO special “On Location: Women of the Night,” Tenuta co-starred with Ellen DeGeneres, Rita Rudner, and Paula Poundstone, and attracted widespread acclaim.
For their club or movie work that same year, Robin Williams, Lily Tomlin, and Bette Midler were among those who won honours.
The gold lamé-wrapped, gum-chewing Tenuta, who received her prize from Carlin, wisecracker, “I would trade it in a minute if I could simply be a wife and mother.”
The Weird Al Show and “Space Ghost Coast to Coast” were just a couple of the diverse roles and voiceovers she has appeared in. She performed in “The Vagina Monologues” in Chicago and Los Angeles.
For “Attention Butt Pirates and Libertarians” and “In Goddess We Trust,” Tenuta received back-to-back nominations for best-spoken word comedy album at the Grammy Awards in 1995 and 1996.
She participated in pride celebrations, supported LGBTQ rights, and enjoyed the ardent support of the homosexual community. She stated that she was “available for same-sex marriages” on her website and claimed she was an ordained Judyist minister.
She claimed that she grew up in a Catholic home with six brothers as the “isolated, little flower”; as a result, one of her stage titles was “Petite Flower.”
She did odd jobs after finishing college, such as packing meat and taking inventory at a store that sold Catholic religious apparel.
In an interview with The Associated Press in 1989, Tenuta claimed, “I got fired because they caught me trying the item on.”As a result, I think he became quite nervous when the boss came in. I answered, “Pig, I need to check to see whether they seem alright.
Before beginning her solo standup career, Tenuta joined the Second City comedy group in Chicago. Tenuta claimed that despite her eccentric attire and odd stage presence, the majority of people understood her act—which included the egocentric “Judaism” religion—right away.
“I am the only one who has the right to express unhappiness with my religion. Because of my faith, you may set aside all of your concerns and focus on mine for a while., which is really nice, she told AP.