Stand-up comic Judy Tenuta, who boldly billed herself as the “On Thursday, the “Goddess of Love” and 1980s comedian who developed her career on the road with George Carlin‘s help, passed away. She died at the age of 72.
Publicist Roger Neal confirmed to The Associated Press that Tenuta passed away on Thursday afternoon in her family’s company in Los Angeles. Her death was attributed to ovarian cancer.
According to Neal, spending time with her was always a joyous experience because “Neal said it was always a “happy time to be around her.” Neal stated that despite Tenuta’s assertion that she was born on November 7th, 1965, she was actually born in 1949.
She was old-fashioned and would not admit her actual age, but now that she is gone, we may. Her bouffant hair, which she adorned with a flower, gave the idea of pure innocence, but her harsh, gravelly delivery and caustic humor, which contained expletives, rapidly dispelled that notion.
She referred to the accordion she played as “an instrument of love and submission” in her show. Live comedy clubs like the Comedy Store in Los Angeles, the Laff Stop in Houston, and Caroline’s in New York City all owe a great deal of their success to her and her generation of artists.
As a woman, Tenuta could break into a traditionally male-dominated industry. She was disheartened by the news of Miss Judy Tenuta’s passing. She was a dear friend. Weird Al Yankovic tweeted, “I can not believe she is gone. I worked with her on my 1990s TV series and our 2006 music video.
“A goddess has been lost to Earth forever.” Actor Michael McKean, known for his role in the film “Spinal Tap,” “stardom, tweeted, “You are unique. Damn.” In 1987, Tenuta starred alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, and Rita Rudner in the HBO program “On Location: Women of the Night,” which brought her to widespread prominence.
Contrasting with the male winner Jerry Seinfeld, Tenuta won the best female comedy club performance award at the 1988 “American Comedy Awards” television special. Bette Midler, Lily Tomlin, and Robin Williams were all recognized that year for their contributions to the club or cinematic worlds.
Tenuta, who took her prize from Carlin while chewing gold lamé and sarcastically remarking, “I would trade it in a minute if I could just be a wife and mother,” was being witty. She frequently appeared on late-night discussions, game shows, and Howard Stern’s radio shock show.
Her acting and voice-over resume were varied, including roles on “The Weird Al Show” among her many credits “along with “Space Ghost Coast to Coast.” She made an appearance in “The Vaginal Conversations” in both Hollywood and the Windy City.
Tenuta was nominated for a Grammy not once but twice, for best-spoken word comedy album, for his albums “Attention Butt Pirates and Lesbetarians” and “In Goddess We Trust,” respectively, in 1995 and 1996.
She actively participated in pride events and garnered a large following among the LGBTQ community. In her capacity as a Judyist pastor, she advertised herself online as “available for same-sex marriages!”
Tenuta attended Catholic institutions, including one she jokingly named “St. Obnoxious and Bondage,” during her formative years in the Chicago suburb of Maywood. She came from a Catholic home with six brothers and described herself as an “isolated, petite flower.”
After finishing university, she did a variety of odd jobs, such as packing meat and doing inventory at a Catholic religious clothing store. Tenuta told The Associated Press in an interview from 1989, “I got fired because they caught me trying the stuff on.”
When the boss finally arrived, he apparently became really agitated. Well, I have to see if they look okay, pig, I said. It is for the ladies that I am working on these enhancements. While developing her stand-up career, Tenuta became a member of the Chicago improv group Second City.
Tenuta claimed that her act, which included the egotistical religion of “Judaism,” was not lost on audiences despite her eccentric clothing and strange stage presence. No one else in my faith has the right to voice their displeasure with God. Her faith allowed her to “forget all about your problems and think about mine for a while,” as she explained to AP.