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Episode 85

Comedic Genius & Manna for Love Slaves featuring Judy Tenuta

Episode  85
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Come closer and worship the goddess that is Judy Tenuta. Judy joins us with her divine comedic origin stories, revelatory wisdom and magnificent accordion odes of exaltation.

Plus, Fritz and Weezy are recommending and discussing LBJ: Triumph and Tragedy on CNN, Mrs. Maisel on Prime and Winter on Fire: Ukraine’s Fight for Freedom on Netflix.


Fritz Coleman (00:00:03):

Welcome to Media Path. I'm Fritz Coleman. And I'm Louise Lanker. Here on Media Path, we cherry pick the latest offerings from the entertainment landscape and offer them in hopes that you'll agree that it was time well spent. And we have the coolest guests, and we're gonna introduce her right now. She is, honest to God, the love goddess, the Aphrodite of the Accordion <laugh>. She was the first woman to win the best female comedian at the American Comedy Awards. And I remember that award show, and George Carlin presented her her award. That must have been an astonishing, she's an amazing standup. She's had her own specials on H B O's Showtime Lifetime. She's a two-time Grammy nominee. She's an author of books like <laugh>, attention Butt Pirates and Libertarians <laugh>.

Judy Tenuta (00:00:53):

My album. The book is

Fritz Coleman (00:00:54):

Your album. Well, it doesn't matter. I don't know what it is. It just ma I laugh my ass off when I heard that. And Full Frontal Tenuity, she's an a yes, or she is an a, an ordained minister in her own religion, Judaism. She's an actress, and she's produced her own movie that is streaming right now on Amazon called Desperation Boulevard. I love this woman. Judy Tenuta, thank you for being here, miss Judy.

Judy Tenuta (00:01:18):

Ah, welcome. Thank you. Judy Vincent. Thank you. Louise, thank you

Fritz Coleman (00:01:22):

So much for joining us. I, I want you to describe the philosophical parameters of Judaism. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Judy Tenuta (00:01:29):

Oh my goodness. Well, basically, um, you know, okay, well, basically I want all women to be worshiped as love goddesses. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, that's number one. And many women say to me, oh, goddess, how can I worshiped as a love goddess? Well, uh, you know, as you know, uh, you, you've got to be sassy to your love bucket and Yeah. Right. Um, yeah. So, so it's just, it's just, and, and you should, I dunno, I'm just excited to be here. Yeah. Let's party.

Fritz Coleman (00:02:06):

Oh yeah, we're, no, don't, don't, don't bring me accordion out early. That's gonna be our huge closer <laugh>. I wanna know, since you have your own religion, is it tax exempt? Cuz I might want to get involved in this summer. Yes.

Judy Tenuta (00:02:18):

And by the way, I wanna say that, uh, you don't have to leave whatever religion you believe in to <laugh> to believe in mine.

Fritz Coleman (00:02:27):

Okay. But, but, but honestly, there, there's a point to this and that is that you strongly advocate for gays. And you've been doing that for a long time. And, and the ability to marry gay people, men children,

Judy Tenuta (00:02:38):


Fritz Coleman (00:02:38):

Yeah. And women and children's issues. I mean, that's, that's, that's the wink that you're doing to people, which is cool.

Judy Tenuta (00:02:43):

Yeah. Oh, I wanted to say ladies to ladies and or men that are being ladies, uh, no. If you, if you wanna be worse, because a love goddess, you've gotta act like a Ferrari, you know, make a lot of noise. And only start when he pumps all his money into ya.

Louise Palanker (00:03:02):

<laugh>. It's important also that you hit the accordion on every punchline

Judy Tenuta (00:03:09):

<laugh>. I, well, you know, that's gonna happen because what's Of

Louise Palanker (00:03:12):

Course. Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's, it's critical. So you encourage conversion because it's more, it's a, it's, it's a, it's a way of life. It's sort of like, what are some other comparable religions where you don't have to leave your religion to join the religion? There's

Judy Tenuta (00:03:26):

No other, I don't think there are others are there?

Fritz Coleman (00:03:29):

I don't believe so.

Louise Palanker (00:03:30):

No. I think it's in a class. I

Judy Tenuta (00:03:32):

Think the pulp would like it. Do you? I was great. I

Fritz Coleman (00:03:36):

Was, oh my God. One of your funniest jokes in your whole career is I used to date the Pope <laugh>, but I was only using him to get to God <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:03:47):


Judy Tenuta (00:03:47):

Is correct.

Fritz Coleman (00:03:48):

And I went, that's such a great joke.

Judy Tenuta (00:03:49):

And I went to the all girls, my parents were very, I loved my parents. They sent me to the all girl Catholic school sent obnoxious in bondage, you know, uh, the nuns. Uh, yeah. But you know what, here's what I loved about those nuns. You know, you don't, nobody, I don't use dangling participles, you know, I, I, yeah. So I, you know, I use proper English. Oh my God. Doesn't it make you cringe? You know this at being on the radio and your own podcast. Oh, I can't stand it. People actually still say to me, Hey Jude, I seen you. Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:04:29):

No. Look, I, I think that you can maybe incorporate some grammar Yeah. In Judaism that you can, if you make it a little bit more like Scientology, people have to purchase the books and work their way up to speaking properly so that they can become a God.

Judy Tenuta (00:04:46):


Louise Palanker (00:04:46):

Right. Oh, that's correct. There it is. So your book is blurry, like your background. It's, it's Judy in Space.

Judy Tenuta (00:04:53):

Yes, it is Judy in Full Frontal Tenuity.

Fritz Coleman (00:04:56):

I love that book cuz it comes in three sections and each one is hysterical. One is Judy's Hollywood to English Dictionary. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, and the other is Judy's Sassy Stoner Snacks.

Louise Palanker (00:05:08):

Judy, would you like to read a selected excerpt for the class

Judy Tenuta (00:05:12):

<laugh>? Oh my God, I I should have picked this out earlier.

Louise Palanker (00:05:16):

Oh, we can cut.

Judy Tenuta (00:05:17):

Oh, oh, oh. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Well, uh, one of

Fritz Coleman (00:05:21):

The, and the last section three is 40 Ways to Breed A Love Slave. Is it breed

Judy Tenuta (00:05:26):

Or, or, or Love, yeah, whatever. You know, <laugh>, I just, I just, I say these things like, oh, you know, one of the, uh, one of the things that I say is, um, you know, you c you can't trust, please do not trust the internet. Do not go on the internet to, to look for love. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Cause everyone lies. You know that mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they make up their own, they make up their own bio, and you know what? Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, especially when they say things like, oh, I love the outdoors and basking in the sun for hours. Yeah. He sells oranges on the freeway.

Louise Palanker (00:06:05):

<laugh>. That's right. That's right. I love how you can read between the lines. It's an important skill. See,

Judy Tenuta (00:06:12):

That's why, you know, they have these shows. Uh, I shouldn't go off on that, but, you know, I don't know what that is. That the, the something about they're looking for love and then, and all of these guys say they're billionaires. And then Yeah. The second time they talk to them, ladies get suspicious when the guy goes, oh, I'm so embarrassed, but could you wire me 30 grand <laugh>?

Louise Palanker (00:06:35):

Right. Well, they just, or

Fritz Coleman (00:06:36):

They going to become president. Their

Louise Palanker (00:06:37):

Wi wifi is spotty and they just need a little to hold them over. It's, it's the Tinder Swindler. The Tinder s Swindler. Right. That's

Judy Tenuta (00:06:45):

It. That's it.

Louise Palanker (00:06:46):

Yeah. This guy. Okay. Yeah. Caution. All right. So I wanna know if your parents thought you were funny.

Judy Tenuta (00:06:52):

Oh, you know what? My can, I just, I don't, you know, they're in heaven. But I love my mother and father. They were very, they were strict. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but they were also, once I said, okay, I'm going on stage. And they came and saw me. And one time in Chico, I'm from Chicago mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And, uh, there, there was this place, like a bathhouse, so to speak. And, and it was on Halloween. And they said, well, we're coming with you. I go, no, no <laugh>. And they were like, you know, they were there. And, and my mother's like, oh, that's so sweet. How they just lie down in their towels, <laugh>

Louise Palanker (00:07:31):

Their parents a bathhouse on Halloween. Oh

Judy Tenuta (00:07:33):


Fritz Coleman (00:07:34):

I love it. I love your

Judy Tenuta (00:07:35):

Parents in Chicago. Uh, yeah. They were the best. They were the best. I love 'em. All them.

Fritz Coleman (00:07:39):

Yeah. So you, that, that's where you started standup, right? Did you do Second City as well there?

Judy Tenuta (00:07:44):

Well, I took the course with Dell Close. I took the course. I wasn't, you know, I, I just realized when I started doing these things that, you know, maybe it would be hard to go on the road with like four people. And I said, you know, I think I just have to do it myself. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:08:00):


Judy Tenuta (00:08:00):

So yeah. That worked out for me. Cuz right down the street, you probably know this Fritz was Ziess. Yep. You know, that. And, uh, and, and a lot of clubs in the, uh, early eighties, so many places that you could go to to do it, you know, and even some of the Ja the jazz and, you know, Chicago's famous for blues. They had a blues club called RAOs. And I even said, could I, could I go up? And they go, yeah, yeah. And I go, oh my God, these these blues guys are a great audience. They were laughing and I <laugh> and

Fritz Coleman (00:08:33):

Then the, yeah, I started in a jazz club and for that, and that, that was why it was a very nurturing environment because they stuff doesn't have to be perfect. They're very supportive of you if they see what your intent is. And it was a great way to learn. You didn't get killed with the hecklers or anything. They were,

Judy Tenuta (00:08:49):

But what I found out was I said, oh my God, they're such a great audience. They're laughing so much. And the guy goes, yeah, they're Hi

Fritz Coleman (00:08:57):

<laugh>. Okay. So tell me

Louise Palanker (00:08:59):

How you take it.

Fritz Coleman (00:09:00):

Tell me how you developed the Love Goddess character. Was that just something you created before you started, or it sort of evolved?

Judy Tenuta (00:09:07):

Well, uh, you know, I came from a family of, uh, a huge Catholic family. So I'm, I'm half polished and half Italian. So my parents were all always taking a, a hit out on each other. <laugh>. And, and, uh, really the accordion was my mom's I u d and I popped out during it. And I didn't really have a choice. There were nine. Can you believe they had nine children? God talking. Sure. But, but as a result of that, I never heard myself speak Right. Until I graduated high school and went to University <laugh>, where I, I went into theater and I go, oh my goodness. Pe when you're on stage, people do listen to you <laugh>, huh?

Louise Palanker (00:09:49):

Yeah. And you get something to eat and it's Yeah. Yeah. A lot. There's a lot of pluses. No. So you, did every kid in the family play the accordion?

Judy Tenuta (00:09:59):

Oh, no. Okay. They were smart. They didn't show any aptitude, but <laugh>, I, I did. I mean, in fact, I would say, uh, uh, when I saw the accordion, I was only seven. And, you know, I'm a little girl, so I thought it was a toy. And my mom, well, you gotta practice every day. Well, I don't know what that means really. And then I'm outside playing with my girlfriend. She's like, Judy Lynn, get in the house. It's time for you to play your squeeze box <laugh>. Well, she made me go in the room that she does even half an hour, and I thank them so much. Thank you, mom and Dad. Yeah.

Louise Palanker (00:10:34):

What was the first song that you learned?

Judy Tenuta (00:10:36):

Oh, the first, uh, an Ambar, well, you, you've probably heard if you've taken accordion in School Days, which I can't even remember how to play that. School, school Days. School. I don't know. I could sing it, but I, I, I don't know how to play it. But, um, I, I was very good at making up my own songs. I was not like, uh, uh, you know, any of these great, uh, uh,

Louise Palanker (00:11:00):

Uh, you weren't a cover band.

Judy Tenuta (00:11:01):

Oh, yeah. I, I I could not be a cover band. I, I could not cover a song. I made up my, that's how I came up with, you know, the pop song.

Louise Palanker (00:11:13):

Oh, they're all ps Yeah,

Judy Tenuta (00:11:15):

Yeah, yeah. And, and, uh, you know, so I, that's a good thing cuz I could make up my own songs because as you know, as The Beatles said, you have to do your own music.

Louise Palanker (00:11:25):

Also, if you have your own religion, you're gonna need a hi book. Oh. And so it's handy. Thank

Judy Tenuta (00:11:30):

You. Yeah. Correct. Absolutely. <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:11:36):

So when you started performing standup, was it what we see you doing now? What I mean is you went out with the accordion, or did you just do jokes? Or was it this character from the very beginning?

Judy Tenuta (00:11:46):

Well, you know, when I came out, I was, yeah. I would say I would come on, I go, oh, I'm a petite flower. I started out as a petite flower, then I realized be, uh, you know, being raised Catholic, you know, the Virgin Mary had like all of these, uh, titles, you know, power of Ivory House of God, you know, mother. And I thought, well, you know, I have titles too. I'm a petite flower fashion plate, Saint Earth Mother Hostess, geisha, healer of Hermaphrodites, uh, VE impersonators and, and Aphrodite of the accordion.

Louise Palanker (00:12:22):

So, because we're all, you know, we're all many things, we're all so many different textures and correct colors and nuances. And that embodies all of, all of, uh, humanity and, and maybe femininity.

Judy Tenuta (00:12:35):

Oh, absolutely.

Louise Palanker (00:12:36):

We need to be petite flowers and we need to be worshiped. And you can have both.

Judy Tenuta (00:12:40):

Absolutely. Yes.

Fritz Coleman (00:12:42):

Who, who, who inspired you? Um, well, as comics,

Judy Tenuta (00:12:46):

You know, what can I just say? And I wanna say this, just, I meet some young comedians and they say, oh, I'd say, listen, you need to study all the great going all the way back to the silent great movie stars. Like I loved Harold Lloyd. Absolutely. Uh, you,

Fritz Coleman (00:13:04):

Buster Keaton,

Judy Tenuta (00:13:05):

Buster Keaton, I adored Buster Keaton. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and Charlie Chaplin, Mae West, um, come on.

Fritz Coleman (00:13:10):

Yeah. Yeah. She was a, she was one of the first women in films that had complete power over everything. First of all, she produced her own movies. She hired and fired people, including WC Fields, and didn't put up with crap from anybody, which was untold or unheard of in the, in the motion picture business earlier.

Judy Tenuta (00:13:28):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Correct. I adored her. Cool. And, uh, and then hopping into more of, you know, past the 1950s, uh, you know, of course I loved all the comedians that you love. And one of them was George Collin who come on mm-hmm. <affirmative>. He was, he was the godfather of modern comedy, which is absolutely the, uh, being an observational com, you know, and, uh, so come on. We love him. And I was so honored to open for him. As soon as my first H B O special came out, he, his manager got in touch with my manager and said, would you like to open for George Car? They didn't even have to say the second name. And I go, I'm there, I'm there. Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:14:08):

Anyone named George Burns?

Judy Tenuta (00:14:12):

Yeah. Right. And

Fritz Coleman (00:14:13):

Joan Rivers, Washington, she reviewed your book saying, Judy, you're hysterical.

Judy Tenuta (00:14:18):

Yes. I ador. I I loved that woman. She was a mentor to me. She put me on all of her shows. I even co-hosted some of her morning shows. And she, we had the best, she, she was so great. Also extremely generous, you know, you know how important, uh, what do you call it? Craft services. Oh, forget craft services. <laugh>. She had a gourmet chef backstage ripping up omelets for breakfast. And, and Yeah. Yeah, I know. So I said, Joan, Joan, you've gotta stop this because I came to the show with Judy T but by the time I'm finished, I'm in a Be Roseanne <laugh>. I love this fun and crap. I love, how

Louise Palanker (00:15:03):

Did she, how did Joan stay so slim?

Judy Tenuta (00:15:07):

You know, she, I never saw her. We went to lunch a few times and, uh, she was, she was so sweet. She would always talk about her jewelry and the, and I could, because I would ask her, cuz she had, you know, these fabulous rings and everything. So I would notice that she didn't really eat her food while we were talking. But I, so, but no, she ate a little, but, you know, not much. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:15:33):

Who, who were some of the, uh, Chicago had such a wealth of great comedians. Oh, who, who was part of your class? Emo and all those guys were part of your class, right?

Judy Tenuta (00:15:42):

Yes, absolutely. But the first person to bring me on stage was ahead of me, of course. But I, he was a sweetheart. Tom Dresen you.

Fritz Coleman (00:15:51):

Oh yeah, yeah. He's been on this podcast. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:15:53):

Yeah. He's a great

Louise Palanker (00:15:54):

Guy. He's from Chicago.

Judy Tenuta (00:15:56):

He sure

Louise Palanker (00:15:57):

Is. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:15:58):

And, um, and he brought me up on stage at the, at, at the time it was called The Pickle Barrel in 1975 or 76, you know. And, uh, so yeah, he was, he was great. And they had a lot of little clubs like that in Chicago. That was a great time to start out, because like I said, you could perfect your material. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, everybody would say to me, oh, you gotta move to California. But, you know, you didn't have stage time like you did. So I always tell people, like, for example, if you lived in Cincinnati at that time, you should come to Chicago cuz you could go on stage.

Louise Palanker (00:16:33):

Yeah. You could get a lot of stage time in before you hit LA so that your craft is more perfected.

Fritz Coleman (00:16:38):

Plus it's middle America, you know, and it's like, you, you understood what real people cared about. You know, a lot of blue collar people in Chicago. Oh, yeah. And you, if you could make them laugh, you were golden. Right. The rest of the country. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:16:52):

Yeah. Um, so yeah, it was a, uh, yeah, it was great. It was, uh, I was very happy about that. And

Louise Palanker (00:16:58):

When did you realize that your, one of your gifts is having a conversation with the audience in including them <laugh>?

Judy Tenuta (00:17:07):

Uh, I just felt like, um, I just felt like I, I needed to do that at the time, but I got chastised for it. Uh, you know, I was told it Judy, don't do that <laugh>. But, you know, I, I think it's a lot of fun when you're having a live show.

Louise Palanker (00:17:25):

Oh, yeah, exactly. And usually when you're on stage, there's people there. I mean, not always on Zoom calls, but you know, on stage often

Judy Tenuta (00:17:33):

They're actually on stage. Yes.

Louise Palanker (00:17:35):

No, well, they're present. And, and I guess the pandemic has been really difficult for performers, especially standup comedians, where the whole concept of what's happening is super spreader. People are, and laughing <laugh> and with low ceilings.

Judy Tenuta (00:17:52):

Yes, exactly. Well, I haven't been on a plane for two years. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, you probably

Fritz Coleman (00:17:56):

Have. I nope, I haven't either.

Judy Tenuta (00:17:58):

Yeah. Oh, okay. See, no,

Fritz Coleman (00:18:01):

No, I

Louise Palanker (00:18:01):

Don't think I'm just, I don't wanna wear a mask for that long.

Fritz Coleman (00:18:03):

Are you back booking shows now?

Judy Tenuta (00:18:05):

No. Uh, I am doing a, I'm very excited about doing, I, I love doing charity for pe. Like I told you, I'm doing something for the Shriners Hospital for Children on March 5th. Uh, they're going to have a big, they're actually having a dedication to Harold Lloyd, uh, the Harold Lloyd Family Foundation. And he was a, a big, he was awarded something very special by the Shriners. And so I, when they asked me, of course, you know, I loved Harold Lloyd Plus, I love that the Shriners take care of children because, you know, the hospital was first instituted for children with polio mm-hmm. <affirmative> mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, uh, you know, that was a big deal. So I'm gonna do that March 5th. So I'm, I'm very happy about that.

Fritz Coleman (00:18:47):

I do, uh, fundraising for an organization called the Children's Burn Foundation. And a lot, a lot of the surgeons they use, yes. Uh, the, uh, plastic surgeons they use are, um, part of the staff at the various Shriners hospitals around the United States. So they have a great re uh, relationship with them, and they do just miraculous work. That's cool. Good for you. Where, where's this gonna be,

Judy Tenuta (00:19:13):

Uh, at the Shrine Auditorium? <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:19:15):


Judy Tenuta (00:19:16):

Yeah. Yeah. Cool.

Louise Palanker (00:19:17):

That's named after Shriners. They get their own auditorium. Oh, I never realized

Judy Tenuta (00:19:21):

During the day. Yeah. I'm, I'll get there by 1:00 PM and I think I go on stage at, um, somewhere like two or whatever, but you know, it's gonna be, they actually want me to raffle off doctors.

Fritz Coleman (00:19:35):

Yeah. Oh,

Louise Palanker (00:19:36):

How much, how much

Judy Tenuta (00:19:38):


Fritz Coleman (00:19:38):

Raise people,

Judy Tenuta (00:19:39):

More money. I'm gonna have some doctors from the Shrine Hospital, <laugh>, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, you know, have the women bid on them, so why not? Are there

Louise Palanker (00:19:47):


Judy Tenuta (00:19:48):

They'll take the lunch.

Louise Palanker (00:19:50):

Are there any kind of rules as to what you can do with your doctor once you obtain him?

Judy Tenuta (00:19:54):

See, I, I think, yeah. You know, I mean, I think that's up to them. They have to discuss what their parameters are. But

Louise Palanker (00:20:03):

Because I would ask just for a little, I tuck, you know, just a little something over lunch and then

Judy Tenuta (00:20:08):

Think it's gonna be plastic surgeons. I think these are doctors that are more, and, you know, that take care of people who've been like, like Fritz said, in a fire or, you know, some kind of emergency situation. I don't think they do a

Fritz Coleman (00:20:24):

Lot of, and they don't have to have the ability to pay, which is the cool thing. They're, they're fundraising supports that people that support Shriners Hospital. Oh, wow. Because kids can have catastrophic illnesses and not come from families that can afford to pay for it. So it's important.

Louise Palanker (00:20:36):

That's what I, I'm wondering, Judy, if, if you and I went to high school together, what group were you hanging out with and, oh my

Judy Tenuta (00:20:43):

God, I was so un I went to a very, actually the real name of it was Immaculate Heart of Mary in, uh, and all these rich girls. And I did not, I was not rich. Um, and, uh, you know, so they were a little, you know, <laugh>, what do, but I would always kind of be doing jokes. I could imitate people so I could imitate the different nuns, and they liked that. So, you know, I was kind of popular like, for that reason. But that's fun. Yes. And, and, and here's the other interesting thing. I will never forget certain people, like Mary Kathleen. No, I'm sorry, take it back. Her name was Kathleen Keegan, beautiful voice. She would often perform at the various, you know, auditorium, uh, and,

Fritz Coleman (00:21:31):

And talent shows and all that stuff.

Judy Tenuta (00:21:32):

Yeah. You know, that it, but, you know, it's a Catholic school, so we didn't have anything wild, you know, <laugh>. But she would sing solos and I thought, oh, she's gonna be, and you don't, I I didn't see her after that. She just got pregnant and got married. Not that there was anything wrong with that <laugh>, but I, I then they were all surprised. What is Judy doing?

Louise Palanker (00:21:55):

<laugh>. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:21:57):

With a squeeze button. What's going on? She was so quiet.

Louise Palanker (00:22:00):

Have there been any reunions?

Judy Tenuta (00:22:02):

Well, I, I'm sorry I didn't go to them.

Fritz Coleman (00:22:06):

Me either. Till my 50th one that I went to. That one

Louise Palanker (00:22:08):

You did? What was that like?

Fritz Coleman (00:22:09):

Yeah, I performed standup at my 50th, uh, uh, high school reunion. And it was the most terrifying experience of my life. Oh. And believe me, when I tell you, there was faculty there that worked at my high school, honest to God, they, they wheeled them in and the, the gym teacher was there and it was awful.

Louise Palanker (00:22:29):

Did you have to climb a rope?

Fritz Coleman (00:22:30):

No, I didn't have to do any of that, but I, I <laugh>. Yeah. But I, but it was, I, I felt like I climbed a rope naked,

Louise Palanker (00:22:38):


Fritz Coleman (00:22:38):

Performing in front these people. You

Judy Tenuta (00:22:40):

Are very brave. Very

Louise Palanker (00:22:42):


Fritz Coleman (00:22:42):

I guess I was trying to prove something that I hadn't wasted my entire life to these people. It was so terrifying. And

Louise Palanker (00:22:48):

How did it go? It

Fritz Coleman (00:22:49):

Went well. It was good. Oh, that's because I did personal jokes about people that I couldn't do at the time, you know?

Louise Palanker (00:22:53):

Oh, I'm, oh, there's some vengeance there, I guess, huh? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. <laugh>. So,

Fritz Coleman (00:22:57):

Uh, who, who is your audience? Judy? Who, who do you have a, a pocket of audience, for instance? Kathleen, uh, you know, uh, uh, uh, um,

Louise Palanker (00:23:07):


Fritz Coleman (00:23:08):

Yeah, I meant, uh, I mean, uh, uh, Kathy Griffin is firmly admits that 75% of her audience is gay. And I mean, do, do, do you have a pocket that

Judy Tenuta (00:23:19):

I, I, I mean, I do have a gay audience, but I have a lot of, uh, I have a lot of women, uh, again, a lot of responsible women, uh, women who actually ca people who actually came to my shows were women who got their husbands to bring them, or they would come with women, and then there would be a pocket of gays, you know, gay men and gay women. But mostly the audience I would say was, uh, you know, middle class, uh, American, or I, maybe not even all American, um, you know, women and with their husbands or with their friends, you know, I would

Fritz Coleman (00:23:55):

Say, but you are so cute on stage, and that's a dangerous term to use with a comedian. But you are, and even when you're jacking with some man in the front couple of rows, it's so fun and they react well. There's nothing threatening about it. It's really, um, it's really endearing. It's,

Louise Palanker (00:24:12):

I think it's therapeutic too, because she's, she's cracking wise at things that a lot of people are feeling, but not saying out loud, especially between couples. And it's, I think it's therapy. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:24:23):

Could be. Oh, I, yes. I do think good comedy is, is therapy <laugh>, because as you know, uh, in hospitals when people are sick, they play comedy movies for them. You know that. I don't know if you know that, but Yeah. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>.

Louise Palanker (00:24:36):

They do. Yeah. So why do, why do you think that that gay audiences are so eager to worship the goddess?

Judy Tenuta (00:24:44):

I think it's because I'm, uh, kind of larger than life. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, when I'm on stage, like, Hey, pigs, come on. You know what, you know, I

Fritz Coleman (00:24:53):

Have this, they wish they were you

Judy Tenuta (00:24:55):

<laugh>? Yes. I, I think so. Uh, but yeah, I mean, I'm, I'm larger than life, but, you know, what, do you notice this Fritz, you know, Jay Leno? Well, uh, Jay Leno, when he talks to you one-on-one Yeah. Everybody speaks differently when we're just talking to a couple of people, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But when you're in front of an audience, even Jay Leno and Jerry Seinfeld, who are, you know, more, they have kinda a Jay Leno. Definitely. Like, you can, you know, you can imitate Jay, you know mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:25:24):

<affirmative>, they have a bit of a character. And the way that I look at sort of standup or crafting your, your stage point of view or your persona, is that you take an aspect of your personality and accentuate it. So it's, yeah, go ahead.

Judy Tenuta (00:25:40):

You are exactly right. But I happen to have like five personalities,

Louise Palanker (00:25:45):

<laugh>, so, and most people do. Yeah. Yeah. But, but you're able to tap into all of them and, and, and create this bouquet that's just quite lifelike, <laugh> and fun.

Judy Tenuta (00:25:56):

Thank you.

Louise Palanker (00:25:57):

Well, and I think gay audiences love things that are very theatrical, because gay people are very entertaining.

Judy Tenuta (00:26:03):

Yes. I am very theatrical. So they like that. Yeah. So it's,

Fritz Coleman (00:26:09):

Go ahead, sweetie. I, I know that we have limited time with you. I, I want to talk about something that I think is really funny, because I think it does people a lot of good, which is the video you made calling Kicking Cancer's Ass. Yes. Which is on YouTube and talk, talk about what drove you to make that video.

Judy Tenuta (00:26:25):

Well, uh, you know, it's not hard enough that we're all going through the pandemic, right? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. But last year, um, a around February, I was feeling, uh, well, I mean before that too, but I have, I am one tough cream puff. Mm-hmm.

Louise Palanker (00:26:42):

<affirmative>, you know

Judy Tenuta (00:26:43):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, I, in other words, I could get a pain. And I go, oh, that'll go away. That'll go away. Plus we were in the pandemic anyway, though. It did get, it did get worse. And I said, we've got to go to the doctor. My doctors, thank God are one of the best at u c, so I wanna give kudos to my doctors. And I went in, and at first they said, uh, uh, Judy, you have a kidney stone. And they were correct. However, then they called me back and said, and we see more, so you're going to need to see the oncologist. So as soon as I heard that word, oh no. Oh no. Okay. But then I still stayed positive. And yeah. And then they, he told me, uh, you have ovarian cancer and, uh, we're gonna treat you right away. You're gonna get, you're gonna, right away, we're gonna start with chemo, and you're gonna get two bouts of, of a few bouts of chemo. And then we're gonna have to do an operation. And then, uh, that, that started in April. I did those, and then I got the operation June 29th. And then I had one more bout of chemo, uh, starting, I wanna say in August. And my, I was finished by September 16th, and I'm still standing as they go. There you go.

Fritz Coleman (00:28:00):

That's okay. And, and, and God, so this is very recent.

Judy Tenuta (00:28:04):

Oh, yeah, yeah, yeah. I think in order for the, I I think it was going on. And I just didn't, you don't, a lot of times you don't, you don't, what do I say about, but, but they say this oftentimes with women, uh, you, you don't get all the signs right away, you know? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, um, but I could, I would start getting like, last, I wanna say January, I would get these pains going up and down my si I go, this is not normal. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you know, I went and thank God for my thank you, thank you. My doctors, all the people who write me beautiful messages of encouragement and their prayers. What, whether you're people, if you send me a song to me, it's like a prayer. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So, you

Fritz Coleman (00:28:49):

Know, well, anybody who has suffered cancer themselves or had a, a family member, it's really empowering to watch this video cuz it's funny and it's, it's moving. Really. And I just wanted to say to you that the guy playing cancer in your video looks like Joe Rogan to me. <laugh>, he looks exact. I mean, he's all over steroid and he just looks, he looks, he looks like, oh,

Judy Tenuta (00:29:13):


Fritz Coleman (00:29:14):

Right, Joe, you're right. Joe Rogan on a bad day.

Judy Tenuta (00:29:17):

Oh my God. That's funny.

Fritz Coleman (00:29:18):

I never don't tell him I said that. Well,

Louise Palanker (00:29:19):

Spoiler alert, he gets his ass kicked.

Fritz Coleman (00:29:22):

I know. That's the fun part of it, <laugh>.

Judy Tenuta (00:29:24):

Yeah. Yeah. Well,

Fritz Coleman (00:29:25):

You look great. And I'm so glad that, so far things are going well. And I hope it, it stays that way for you. Thank

Judy Tenuta (00:29:30):

You so much. And

Louise Palanker (00:29:31):

I, so how many weddings have you officiated? Because on your website it says, if I wanna get married, I can that you are certifiable. I mean,

Judy Tenuta (00:29:41):

I am certifiable, but also

Louise Palanker (00:29:43):

Certified. Yes. <laugh>. And so what happens? How do we, how do you officiate and what's, what's required? Actually,

Judy Tenuta (00:29:51):

Uh, the most recent one was maybe, uh, just before I found out I was, you know, when I, uh, had cancer mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So I formed a wedding for these two wonderful gay guys, uh, uh, and they contacted me actually via email. And, and I said, oh yes, of course I will do it. And we did it on Zoom because as you know, we were in the pandemic already. So we're, we're on Zoom and it was a beautiful thing. Their family came on and said things and I said jokes about everybody and yeah, it was great. So

Louise Palanker (00:30:27):

Was there any accordion involved?

Judy Tenuta (00:30:29):

Oh, of course. Sure. Yeah, of course. What

Fritz Coleman (00:30:32):

Do you need to hear? An

Louise Palanker (00:30:33):

Accordion song? What are the wedding song? I would like to hear the, the wedding song.

Judy Tenuta (00:30:37):

Oh, the wedding song, sure. Let's see, what did I do for, for that?

Louise Palanker (00:30:41):

Um, or can they make requests?

Judy Tenuta (00:30:43):

Oh yeah. Well, I would do things. I have so many, you know, I have Mountain Girl, I have, uh, you know, by the way, these are all on YouTube, which I have like a hundred things on YouTube. There's

Fritz Coleman (00:30:54):

A lot of great, uh, performance footage of you on YouTube.

Louise Palanker (00:30:57):

Yeah. We'll put links in our show notes so everybody can find that so

Judy Tenuta (00:31:00):

Much, cuz that's all free. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. I know if they wanna go rent my movie, it's on, you know, my movie Desperation Boulevard that's on, uh, Amazon,

Fritz Coleman (00:31:10):

On Amazon Prime screaming

Judy Tenuta (00:31:12):

Only $2,

Fritz Coleman (00:31:14):

$2 and 99 cents for two hours of hysterical entertainment. And the beautiful thing about that movie is you've got, honest to God, you've got, uh, cameos in there from three quarters of show business. Yeah. Emo does a cameo in there. Burt Ward, Dana Plato, Aaron Moran, and your co-stars. Michael Lerner. This ain't, this ain't, oh, Michael Corn, he's like an established actor. It was great. Oh my God.

Judy Tenuta (00:31:37):

He's an Academy Award. Dominique from Barton Fink, and he was fab. He was great as my manager. Who?

Louise Palanker (00:31:45):


Judy Tenuta (00:31:46):


Louise Palanker (00:31:47):

Manny tries, he tries.

Fritz Coleman (00:31:49):

Oh, but tell me who Greg Glenna is. He wrote and directed this movie. Who's he? Oh,

Judy Tenuta (00:31:53):

Greg also wrote, it's a Guy thing. He also came up with the original concept, which was bought from him for, uh, Robert Janeiro was the dad. It was a comedy. Oh, come on.

Fritz Coleman (00:32:05):

What is Meet them, meet the Falker.

Judy Tenuta (00:32:07):

Meet the f That's it. The FALs, uh,

Louise Palanker (00:32:10):

Meet the parents. The parents. Yeah.

Judy Tenuta (00:32:12):

Parents. Yes. And, uh, so he, he said, Judy, I think we, I said, I wanna do a movie. I wanna have my own film because I'm not exactly type castable. You can't look at me and go, oh, she's a housewife. She's a woman, uh, on a pole. No, I <laugh>. You know what I mean? So, um, but, but, uh, yeah. So I said, I Yeah, let's do the movie. And the movie is the, the movie is a, about a former child star who will stop at nothing to make a comeback. And I am assisted, of course, by my relentless manager, played brilliantly by Michael Lerner. And then what I was so thrilled about, because as you know, many of these real child stars like Dana Plato, Aaron Moran and Ken Osmond are no longer with us. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, but they were are in the movie with me. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. Yeah. Play card game, like all, uh, y all, all child stars who are very protective of their careers. So,

Fritz Coleman (00:33:19):

Well, it's worth the price. It's worth the $2 and 99 cents on, uh, Amazon to see you in a mall parking lot suspended from a crane. Well,

Louise Palanker (00:33:28):

I, with angel wings. How

Fritz Coleman (00:33:29):

Long were you suspended from a crane?

Judy Tenuta (00:33:31):

Oh my God. We had to have breaks. I w it was <laugh> It was tough, but it was worth it. Um, yeah. Isn't that something, that scene and then Yeah. Different people climb up a ladder just to say hi to me. Yeah. And, and one of 'em is Emo Phillips. Yep. Yeah. And one of 'em is, uh, also a big drag queen from here known as, uh, mama, mama Worthy. And, uh, but as I say, I was very fortunate to have weird al who is a wonderful person as well as a genius, you know? Yeah. Uh, be genius. Um, and, and, uh, yeah. So it, yeah, it turned out I, I'm very happy about it. So if people get a chance to see that, but as I say, if you don't have any money, just go to YouTube and subscribe.

Louise Palanker (00:34:21):

That's absolutely. That's such good advice.

Fritz Coleman (00:34:24):

Yeah. Bust out one song for us before we leave

Judy Tenuta (00:34:29):

<laugh>. Oh. Oh. What am I doing? I wanna do the pop song. I just want a cowboy. It's riding me home. I just want a cowboy who's rich and lives in Rome. I just want a cowboy with cold plate. Yeah. I just want a cowboy. And he'd be my main man. I'd be his blue nun. He teaches me how to kiss the ground. I teach him how to duck from a gun. <laugh>. That's, oh, I just want a cowboy to whom I can confess. Yeah. I just want cowboy silky dress <laugh>.

Louise Palanker (00:35:24):

Wow. I wonder if he has ever heard that song and notice it. Oh, he

Judy Tenuta (00:35:29):

From my first album, uh, uh, which is by this pigs <laugh>. And Yes. So, um,

Fritz Coleman (00:35:37):

Yeah. I'll tell you, I just love you, Judy. I always have. I'm so glad I had this chance to talk to you. I remember when you came to town, you and Emo came to town at the same time. And I happen to think, emo to me is one of the most interesting standup comedians ever. Absolutely. He's so smart and metaphysical and interesting. I always love to.

Judy Tenuta (00:35:56):

Absolutely. Oh,

Fritz Coleman (00:35:58):

And I'm happy that I had a chance to have a conversation with you,

Judy Tenuta (00:36:01):

<laugh>. Good.

Louise Palanker (00:36:02):

Yeah, it wa it was just a joy at speaking with you. And I just celebrate everything you've done for standup cuz you just keep bashing down walls and kind of like expanding the universe within which standups can play. And, uh, you're a hero.

Judy Tenuta (00:36:15):

Oh, thank you. That's so sweet. Do I have to cry now? Maybe,

Louise Palanker (00:36:20):

Maybe a little tissue would be handy.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:22):

<laugh> the podcast

Judy Tenuta (00:36:23):

<laugh>. No, it was an honor and a pleasure to be with both of you. Really. We

Louise Palanker (00:36:27):

Love you.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:28):

Continue. Good health to you, my darling. Good to talk to you. Thank you.

Judy Tenuta (00:36:31):

And remember, yes, I love you and I love everyone who wishes me well. And remember, it could happen.

Louise Palanker (00:36:40):

We wish you so well, <laugh>.

Fritz Coleman (00:36:42):

All right. See you later, darling. Bye-bye. Bye-bye. Thank you.

Judy Tenuta (00:36:45):

Bye. Thank you. Bye.

Louise Palanker (00:36:48):

So, I'm gonna jump to the part of the show where I say something that Dina wrote for me. Everybody, please enjoy the following speech. Join our growing Facebook community. Our group is called Media Path with Fritz and Wheezy podcast community. Find it under the group's tab on our page Media Path podcast. The group offers exclusives behind the scenes, photos and info, early notifications, and sneak peaks on upcoming episodes and other news. And we'll be running regular giveaways of a prize package that includes signed books and swag from our guests. You can also subscribe to our fun and dishy to never miss an episode and receive other news and updates along with handy links and info on all of our recommendations. For example, you'll get links to all of Judy's YouTube videos and everything else, Judy, that you need to possess. Uh, and now

Fritz Coleman (00:37:42):

I I I am impressed with the enthusiasm of the members of our fan page. They're so cool. They're, it's like a qan on fan page. These people are obsessed. It's so cool.

Louise Palanker (00:37:51):

Yeah. We keep,

Fritz Coleman (00:37:51):

And they're ecstatic to be our friend.

Louise Palanker (00:37:53):

We keep dropping clues and they just search the internet for proof that what we said was accurate.

Fritz Coleman (00:37:58):

It's so much

Louise Palanker (00:37:58):

Fun whenever you say H Rrc, they know we're talking about Hillary. They're smart. <laugh>, our group is smart. Uh, so Fritz, what have you. So we were gonna watch stuff this week and then recommend it to people and usually we do that before the guest. But Judy has a very busy schedule. So now we're gonna do it. And I wanna know what you've been watching this week.

Fritz Coleman (00:38:18):

Well, I just finished watching the last two installments of a four installment, uh, production by CNN about Lyndon Banes Johnson.

Louise Palanker (00:38:27):

You have to say lbj. So the Qan ons know who you're talking about.

Fritz Coleman (00:38:30):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative> lbj, triumphant Tragedy was the title of this. It ran over the, and culminated on President State. And it also is to honor Black History Month because the triumphs of the Johnson administration were his domestic legislation. He had the Great Society Program in, um, included the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. And he miraculously got those bills passed with bipartisan support due to his uncanny skill at arm twisting, he was known as the master of the Senate. Now, the tragedies in the triumphant tragedy title were his miscalculations about Americans' involvement in the Vietnam War. He knew Vietnam was a debacle from the beginning, but he didn't want to be the one American president to lose a war. So he doubled down, intensifying our military involvement, and it turned out to be a disastrous and devastating mission. And it ended up defining his presidency and he felt bad about it all the way till the day he died.


Now, there are reasons why this series would resonate in today's environment, even if people aren't old like me and care about LBJ and past presidents. You'll watch it and say, this guy made some mistakes, but he got things done with bipartisan support. He really knew how to work the Congress. Another interesting factor is when Johnson began his political career in the house in the Senate, he was a, uh, he was a, a congressman first, then a senator. He voted as a racist. He never supported any civil rights legislations before his presidency. He even voted against an Andy Lynching bill, which seems to me to be a slam dunk, something he would vote for. But he changed over his career and went on to become one of the most consequential presidents in American history, especially in civil rights. Why was that? Well, one reason was he was haunted by his past experience as a teacher in poverty stricken elementary schools in Texas.


And another was that he wanted to continue the mission that JFK started, but didn't have the political chops to get over the finish line. But Johnson knew how to get it done. There's a great quote from one person who was talking about Johnson's ability to get past bipartisan civil rights legislation. And the quote is, he was a white man from Texas, and if anybody could dual with segregationist, it was most likely Lyndon Johnson because he was from the South. And so he had a modicum of trust amongst those people. Nothing like the deadlock Congress today. Now, if you're interested in Johnson and you're interested in reading books about lbj, I recommend four volumes by the same historian, Robert Carro. He did four books about Johnson. The first one was the path to power His Start, his amazing energy, his urge for power. The second one was called A Means of Ascent from his defeat in the 1941 campaign for the Senate to building his own personal fortune. Then the third one was the Master of the Senate. How he followed in the paths of Daniel Webster and Henry Clay and John C. Calhoun in making the Senate the most powerful arm of the government. And the last one was the passage of power. It follows him from 58 to 64, the most triumphant parts of his career. So there's a lot to be learned about Johnson.

Louise Palanker (00:41:46):

I think one of, one of the more interesting aspects of, of Johnson's trajectory was he, he is a southern Democrat. I don't, I don't know if he's technically a dixiecrat or with anything anybody technically was, or that's just a term of art. But after he passed civil rights, the, he lost the South. So all Democrats,

Fritz Coleman (00:42:07):

And he knew he did, he said, I think I just handed the South to the Republicans for,

Louise Palanker (00:42:11):

For, for decades or for generations. Yeah. So he understood what was happening and he understood that the Republicans will capitalize that and, and start launching sort of the southern strategy to scoop up all of those racists. Uh, so he, he, he understood to a certain extent what the fallout would be. So he was prepared for that to happen. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:42:34):

And he said, I'm the president. I have the power, and what good is it if I don't use it? Right. And, uh, I, I just, I, I think when, when you look at him in contrast to what, you know, president Biden whose intentions are fantastic, but he's got a 50 50 Senate, he can't get anything done. So even with his fabulous intentions and, you know, the Build Back Better program and all these other environmental things could be as big as the Great Society with Johnson could be a, uh, something that could be compared to, uh, the New Deal. But if you don't have the votes, you can waste your energy all day long talking

Louise Palanker (00:43:10):

About it. You know, I think Johnson's predictions has have, have come true to an extent where the Senate is dysfunctional. So the Republicans have devolved to one issue, uh, which is what they can't say overtly out loud, which is we're racists. Mm-hmm. <affirmative> and you know, so everyone in here is corrupt and the only agenda is to appease people who are still racist in America. That's all they're, that they voted for us to do. And it's just, to me, it feels like they're flying off a cliff. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:43:42):


Louise Palanker (00:43:43):


Fritz Coleman (00:43:43):

Well, in the old days they would deny that they were racist. Now they fully admit it and they've made a party out of it. But the Republicans embrace racism

Louise Palanker (00:43:50):

Now. You know, how is that improving anybody's life? It's really just diminishing returns. I just think it's, it's fatalistic. So, but I have a hopeful, you know, attitude regarding those things. But they did

Fritz Coleman (00:44:00):

A good job with this thing. I love the way they, the, the relationship between, um, Martin Luther King and the President, which was a little contentious at first, but they learned to trust one another and they really had the same goal. Yeah. And Johnson was just smart enough to be able to read the tea leaves of all that

Louise Palanker (00:44:17):

Stuff. Another good movie, if you're interested in that time period, is Selma cuz they, they kind of to pick Absolutely. The conversation

Fritz Coleman (00:44:22):

That, that just ran the other night on T M C. Yes. Turned tcm, whatever.

Louise Palanker (00:44:26):

It's, so in light of current events, I wanted to recommend two documentaries. One of them is a little more difficult to find, but my husband and I saw it at, at the Santa Barbara Film Festival maybe back in 2015 or something that was called Mayan. And there's one running on Netflix called Winter On Fire. And I think that people in America don't fully understand what the people in Ukraine are fighting for. What matters to them, what they are attempting to achieve, and how much is at stake and what's in their hearts. So both of these films, winter On Fire and Madan are documentaries on the unrest in Ukraine. During 2013 and 2014, a student peaceful demonstrations supporting European integration were met with violent pushback from corrupt Russian backed leaders. The events erupted into a bloody revolution in which the people took to the streets of Kiev in what became known as the Revolution of Dignity or Mayan.


What followed was a massacre as armed troops murdered unarmed civilians, these films depict the grit, courage, and will of the Ukrainian people to live in a free representative society. Their valiant efforts forced the resignation of Putin Powell, president Victor Yakovich, who it turns out lived in a lavish mansion featuring a golf course, parks, ponds, pavilions, statues, fountains, ostriches, and a replica Spanish gallion in a manmade lake <laugh>. They actually let people come in. Like you could go in. It's like people of Ukraine have seen how this guy was living at, you know, the outright the outrage is pretty potent. Uh, it's important for Westerners to truly understand how determined Ukrainians are to resist the bully neighbor on their doorstep and to enjoy the freedoms that we so often take for granted.

Fritz Coleman (00:46:08):

Wow. They sent like two great premiers for today's news.

Louise Palanker (00:46:11):

Exactly. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:46:12):


Louise Palanker (00:46:13):

Do you have anything, do you have anything else to recommend? Cuz if you don't I do.

Fritz Coleman (00:46:16):

No, I want to, I want hear are are those both on Netflix or you said one's hard

Louise Palanker (00:46:20):

Of them? Fine. One of 'em, one of 'em we saw at a film festival. I think you can get the DVD on Amazon, but I, I didn't see it streaming anywhere. I haven't watched Winter On Fire, but I would imagine it's, it's maybe documenting different individuals, but telling the same arc of events mm-hmm. <affirmative> and I think it's very important for people in the West and any NATO country, <laugh> citizens, especially Americans, you know, they look at the news and they, they don't really fully understand how badly Ukrainians want to be free.

Fritz Coleman (00:46:49):

Yeah. And what they don't understand is something that the movie you recommended points out is, this is not new to the Ukraine. Mm-hmm. This has been going on for eight years mm-hmm. <affirmative>, there was a, a awful bloodshed and has been at a low level Right. Right through the last, since the 14.

Louise Palanker (00:47:04):

But does it feel to you like Putin is trying to distract us once again from the crimes that Trump committed because we're on the verge of sort of busting those wide opens? That,

Fritz Coleman (00:47:12):

That was my thought at the beginning of the wag the dog philosophy. Okay. At the, at the very beginning of this whole thing, I thought the timing of the walls closing in on Trump, both in New York and in Georgia and in the one six committee and in the doj, all seems to me to be really suspiciously timed with Putin, like doing a misdirection deal over here. Yeah. To, to get mines off of it. Because I think with, uh, something we've always expected, Trump's unholy alliance with Trump with, uh, Putin, that stuff's gonna pop up when they, when these documents are made public or when they come up before the one 16 committee or in the, in the testimony they're gonna do in public here in a couple of weeks. I just think who knows what we're gonna see in that?

Louise Palanker (00:48:00):

And it just seems like the world's easiest connect the dots Yeah. Puzzle. Yeah. Because, you know, you've got Tucker Carlson and whoever else, you know, one of the grandkids or whatever, you know, so you've got a religious guy, whatever his name is, Franklin Graham, and then you've got Tucker Carlson all saying, Hey, go Putin, Putin, you're doing awesome. You know, don't go sport.

Fritz Coleman (00:48:22):

And, and Tucker does Victor Orban, who's just as bad, but more sly about it. What's, what's that all about? They,

Louise Palanker (00:48:28):

They all work for autocracy. They work for team autocracy and they're trying to overthrow the American way of

Fritz Coleman (00:48:33):

Life, but there was no organization more rapidly anti-Soviet than the Republicans. What, what, what's causing this feeling now where they're pro Russians and anti-American?

Louise Palanker (00:48:44):

Well, you know, how televangelist are, can easily dup people. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, they've been easily duped by Putin because he came in post-Soviet and said, Hey, you know, I've got my pet priest and my pet rabbi, and he, he marches 'em out. He, he fired everybody that was moderate in religion who was ready to come back and say, yes, I'd like, I'd love to morally and, you know, and ideologically and guide my people. They had, there was a reformed rabbi and reform, you know, like normal revere. Were

Fritz Coleman (00:49:12):

You talking about

Louise Palanker (00:49:13):

Putin yet? Um, they were all kind of un way under the radar during u during, during the Soviet Union because that was a godless state. So there no religion was allowed. So all of the religious leaders that were respected and moderate and, and very good at guiding their people, they wanted to come back as soon as the Soviet Union was toppled. And then when Putin realized that, oh no, I'm gonna use religion. So he fired all of the, you know, the state rabbi and the state minister and the state priests that were moderate and normal people, and brought in his more extreme versions of all of those religions. And then they went about sort of cultivating people in other countries who are very religious and saying, you guys like Jesus. We like Jesus. So they went about making friends with a lot of right wing evangelical people in the United States. And so people like Franklin Graham feel like, and they were

Fritz Coleman (00:50:09):

Pro-Trump and that was the, that that was their, you know, it was all transactional.

Louise Palanker (00:50:13):

They go hunting, the oligarchs come over and they go hunting with 'em and they talk about guns and God and, and all, all the things they have in common. So they're, they're value mirroring. It's all a big puppet show. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. And meanwhile

Fritz Coleman (00:50:27):

Other thing, I I I would love to, I would love to discover that the, um, that Putin's, um, design here was to deflect attention from Trump and his relationship to Trump and all that's going on here. Plus he also knows that it's not a hundred percent a foregone conclusion that Trump won't be reelected. So he could be seeding the next election by doing something that deflects attention. But I also think because of where Putin is in his career, he's been in this job for 20 years, um, and people in the Soviet Union are getting hip to the fact that he now might easily be the richest man on the planet. He's squirreled away all this money as have the oligarchs. They're getting the, the Russian population's getting hip to his mo. And it might be that he's deflecting attention from his own problems in his own country.

Louise Palanker (00:51:23):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>, have you seen the documentary around Netflix called The Family? I believe it's called. Yes. Oh, so they, that's, that's sort of a Christian cult that's into infiltrating all of the, the power dynamics of the United States, be they political business, you know, whatever it is. And so their motto is Jesus plus nothing. So what that means to me is like, as long as you say Jesus, it really doesn't matter what you do. So Trump said Jesus, he never went to church, but he said Jesus, and that's all they needed to hear. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So Putin says, Jesus, that's all they need to hear. They're trying to usher in the kingdom of heaven on earth. So their agenda is not in compliance or in alliance with American or with the United States, uh, national interests and, and, uh, security. It's, it's completely out of alignment. For example, take global warming, for example. They don't care because they think that they're going to heaven very soon, or that heaven's coming down to Earth very soon. Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. So this, keeping the planet safe for our children and our grandchildren isn't, it isn't an is it isn't a pressing issue for them.

Fritz Coleman (00:52:31):

Fortunately, there's another documentary out talking about the schism that's occurring in the evangelical movement mm-hmm. <affirmative> that says that Trump is not the, um, not the gift from God that most of the evangelical people think it is. As a matter of fact, it's the antithesis of Christianity. Ah. And so they're fighting their way back. So that, that, I think that's a positive. So

Louise Palanker (00:52:53):

Maybe they're saying this is how, this is how it says the devil was going to present himself. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:52:58):


Louise Palanker (00:52:58):

Listen, so be careful.

Fritz Coleman (00:52:59):

It would be too easy.

Louise Palanker (00:53:00):

Well, I'm gonna take a sharp left turn. Okay. Into something a little bit

Fritz Coleman (00:53:05):

More fun feeling transition.

Louise Palanker (00:53:06):

Yes. It's called Mrs. Maisel. In that Season four has just premiered on Amazon Prime. If you haven't yet kind of like dipped your toe in the waters of Mrs. Maisel, it's a treat. And I think it's a treat for anyone, whether you're interested in comedy or the fifties or the sixties or whatever else, it's just an eye candy treat. So in 19 19 58, New York, Midge Maisel's life is on track, husband, kids, and elegant family dinners in their Upper West Side apartment. This is a young woman who wakes up an hour before her husband so that she can painstakingly glam herself and slip back into bed so that, God forbid, her husband never catches a glimpse of her actual face. It is the fifties. But one night her husband Joel takes a shot at an open mic, he bombs and then blames her. Hmm. Maybe the wrong person in this couple just tried standup.


She is off and after it, and she is the only one in her family who thinks she has not lost her mind. The marvelous Mrs. Maisel is gorgeously produced in a deliciously, captures a setting, and the time placing you in Greenwich Village in nightclubs on sound stages in the Catskills and at Miami Beach. It's hilariously written and directed by Amy Sherman Palladino, who brought us one of my all-time favorite shows, the Gilmore Girls, which is streaming in its full entirety on Netflix. And, uh, if you, we can talk about Mrs. Maisel if you've been watching it, Fritz. But I also wanted to add that if you are enchanted by Mrs. Maisel and wondering just how accurate the storytelling is in regards to women's expected roles in the fifties and in society and the dent, they were making are not making in the world of standup comedy during this timeframe, I would say that the comedian Mrs.


Maslow's most closely based on would be Joan Rivers, who we talked about with Judy. She was a married and unhappy housewife when she first began doing standup as an attempt to launch an acting career. Joan wrote a lot of books, but my favorite is her first called Inter Talking, which brilliantly depicts her scrappy and persistent path towards her ultimately triumphant career. The book is just full of advice for young comics too. One of my favorite takeaways from Jones book is that each time you are on stage work on just one thing, assuming you know your act and that you are not struggling to find words. One thing could be a facial expression, a physical behavior, an impression of a voice in one of your stories, or one new joke. In other words, don't load yourself up with too much to remember. Being on stage is scary enough. Know your act and work on one new element at a time. Advice from Joan Rivers.

Fritz Coleman (00:55:37):

Yeah, I, uh, I wrote for Joan for a while. I mean, meaning I sold her jokes for $10 piece. Same. Yeah. I always thought it was very ironic, um, where she would pay you $10 for a joke. Yeah. And then her accountant would send you a 15 page document to sign, which was probably, uh, more expensive than the $10 you got for a joke. But the document for 15 pages, you had to sign that you would never sell this $10 joke to somebody else. It was so funny.

Louise Palanker (00:56:02):

Yeah. My friend Alex and I would write jokes for John and we would like, we never cast her checks. We just liked that Jack. Yeah. From Joan Rivers. We were so excited. But

Fritz Coleman (00:56:09):

About Mrs. Maisels, I, I respect that show because it's very difficult to portray standup comedy in anything close to reality. Every movie, the one called Punchline with Tom Hanks and Sally Fields, I love them to death. They gave it a good shot. They worked their material out down at the Comedy of Magic Club. There was nothing believable about either of them playing a standup.

Louise Palanker (00:56:30):

Now, p being a standup and, and having the speaking fluently, the language of a person who's comfortable on a stage is not something that an actor can do. It takes 10,000 hours. And you were saying that you do like it in shows like, I'm dying up here when they use actual standups, because then Yeah, you can see that I

Fritz Coleman (00:56:47):

Didn't like that show in general because I thought it was, they portrayed the, the Comedy Store so dark and manipulative and it, it is, uh, is it? Well, I didn't have that experience. So you're a man. Yeah. Okay. Well, um, that, that, that could well be true, but I I, I don't even mean just the politics in the room. I mean, the humor on stage, the people that performed in that show were so dark and not everybody was dark. Freddie Prince wasn't dark. Jay Leno wasn't dark. David Letterman wasn't dark. They were funny. And so I just didn't like the idea that, but of course, in order to get people to watch, you have to sort of put the Im perimeter of the present and what's gonna make people laugh. So I, they had to write differently. But

Louise Palanker (00:57:30):

Well also, you know, every show has a temperament. It has a mood, it has a culture. They create sort of a world. And then if your show is good, you sort of stick to those beats and those rhythms. And so that's what, that's the story they wanted to tell. They wanted to make it a little bit sinister. And so, yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:57:48):

A great example of what I'm talking about is Eric Griffin, an African American comedian

Louise Palanker (00:57:52):

Friend of mine.

Fritz Coleman (00:57:52):

Very funny guy. And they let him do his own act on stage. And it always made me laugh. He could tell that he had spoken these words before. It wasn't a memorized script.

Louise Palanker (00:58:00):

He is a polished performer. Yeah. Very. Is right there. So there's Eric. Yeah. <laugh>. He just makes me laugh cause I know his jokes. So I'm, I look at his face and I'm thinking of, of, of his jokes. So, uh, yeah, I, I think it's almost impossible. The woman who plays Mrs. Maisel, I should probably know her name. She, Rachel Brosnahan. Rachel Brosnahan. She does, I, I don't know if she did any stage time to get herself, uh, acclimated. But I, I feel like the only thing that's unrealistic is that somebody would be that good at riffing after two years. People can barely do 10 tight minutes after two years. And she's supposed to be like opening for like the Johnny Mathis guy when she and, and she's gonna go off book and just come out with these like, amazingly brilliant observations that I don't know that that even happens after 20

Fritz Coleman (00:58:51):

Years. She's a good actress. She's a good actress. Right.

Louise Palanker (00:58:53):

But like,

Fritz Coleman (00:58:53):

But the show looks like a movie. Yeah. Every, every episode looks like a film. It's so beautifully shot. And I, I, I agree with you.

Louise Palanker (00:58:59):

It really is. It's very sy cinematic and it's just fun and the details are all in place. And if you were raised in that time period or if your grandparents were raised in that time period, it really places you there. So I highly recommend Mrs. Maisel. And there's a lot of wonderful books about standup. If you're interested in the history of standup, we had Wayne Federman on, I recommend that episode.

Fritz Coleman (00:59:20):

That's like the of standup now. His book, the History of Standup Comedy from so-and-so to, um,

Louise Palanker (00:59:27):

Such and such,

Fritz Coleman (00:59:28):

Such and such. Dave Chappelle, Uhhuh <affirmative>. It's so good. Yeah, it's so good.

Louise Palanker (00:59:32):

So I don't know, I think we're out of things to recommend, but I think we can, we can wrap it up right about Alfred. It's sounds good. Usually we still have a guest with us and we're saying goodbye to our guests, but we can protects. Oh, there it is. History of standup Wayne Federman. Yeah.

Fritz Coleman (00:59:44):

Have you noticed that Thomas is like on fire with these? Thomas

Louise Palanker (00:59:47):

Is just

Fritz Coleman (00:59:47):

Lit. He's just, he's he's so good.

Louise Palanker (00:59:50):

Glows from within. Yeah. It's fantastic. So, uh, this has been a great episode. Remember earlier when Judy Tenuta was here? Mm-hmm. <affirmative>. That was fun. So I'm gonna do, do you wanna tell people to review our show or ask them kindly to do so? I

Fritz Coleman (01:00:03):

Would like to ask them sort of informally to please review our show because we're trying to spread the word now. We're very happy to tell you that, uh, our show is exploding in the country of Norway right now. Huge. We've got a, we've got a, we've got a spike in viewership in Norway and we're sort of like the German government in the thirties. We're conquering the Northern European countries cuz they're easier. Right. And we're gonna work our way down and then have everybody at the end. Yeah. But if you review our show, it helps to spread the word and join our fan book. Uh, uh, our our Facebook, Facebook fan page,

Louise Palanker (01:00:35):

Fan page. Especially if you're from, nor from Norway. Uh, we're especially interested in hearing from King Harold because we saw you when you were a little boy on, on the PBS show about the Queen of Norway who escapes, uh, the Nazis by becoming best friends with fdr. And Harold is a little boy and I immediately Googled him. He's now the king of Norway.

Fritz Coleman (01:00:56):

No, but it's interesting. Uh, we know that you're interested in the books we talk about and, and, and our fan page is a great way for you to express specifics that you like, like a particular book that we recommended that you read. And we'd like to hear your opinion about it cuz we're there. We'll, we look on every day and would love to start a dialogue with you about that. And if you review the show, it would trick other people into loving our show as well. Do

Louise Palanker (01:01:17):

You think if we were able to book King Herald, that that would, that would be a smash.

Fritz Coleman (01:01:22):

It'd be like the Charlie Rose show. Yeah. In uh, well, no, that was a poor choice of words.

Louise Palanker (01:01:26):

So Dina, can you reach out to King Harold of Norway? I'm on it. Okay. Right now. That'd be excellent booking. I imagine that he All right. You know, he spent part of his childhood in America. He speaks English, right? Probably everyone in Norway speaks English. Come on. Norwegian people are brilliant. All right. Here come our closing credits. We would love for you to join us online on Instagram and Twitter, or we are at Media Path Pod and on Facebook where our show is Media Path Podcast. And our Facebook group is Media Path with Fritz and Weezy podcast community. You can find full episodes with all kinds of bonus visual content on our YouTube channel Media Path podcast. We would love to know what media you have been enjoying. You can contact us at our social media or email us at Media Path We wanna thank our wonderful and beautiful guest, Judy Tenuta. Our team includes Dina Friedman, Francesco Demond, John Madox, Sharon Bello, bill Fiac, Thomas Hubble, Mason Brown, and you Theme music is by me and John Madox. I am Louise Lanker. Happy birthday to my husband, Ron 2/22/22 is his birthday. I'm Louise Planker here with Fritz Coleman and we will see you along the media path.

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