False Idols Move Over!

By Stacy Davies

Posted August 28, 2008 in Arts & Culture

Hot goddesses are in short supply. While any waif with a penchant for police cuffs and money shots can snag a momentary paparazzi spotlight, true goddesses, such as comedian Judy Tenuta, seem to shine in perpetual exultation. Tenuta ignited that light back in the 1980s when she created her own religion, Judyism, and—accompanied by her accordion—not only starred alongside Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone and Rita Rudner on HBO’s hit special Women of the Night, but released her legendary comedy LP Buy This, Pigs! (now out on CD), turning all who witnessed and heard into devoted followers—or as she puts it,  “love slaves.”


From spitting her gum at her flock (and telling them to “crawl for it”) to writing a country and western love song to Pope John Paul II (“he’ll teach me how to kiss the ground, I’ll teach him how to duck from a gun.”), Tenuta’s focus is always on preserving the Goddess and teaching the faithful. In fact, she feels now more than ever her message should be heard—and she knows just the medium: A reality show.


“For eternity, I’ve just been going on my talent—and so far, I haven’t gotten a show. So I think I should go to Florida and become a teacher like that Debbie La Fever [Florida middle school teacher Debra Lafave who was convicted in 2005 of having sex with a student], and do I’m Hot For a Fifth Grader. I mean we’re smarter than fifth graders, right?”


Exploitation of jailbait aside, Tenuta is on the lookout for worthy “stud muffins” a few decades older, and she religiously practices husband hunting—no firearms needed.  


“Hubsicle hunting is a favorite activity of mine. And you can use a taser for that. I mean just a little encouragement with high-voltage electronics will get any guy off the fence.”


Since “hubsicles” are hard to come by, the always-practical Tenuta says she might just take the route of her celebrity peer, Angelina Jolie, and have children anyway.


“I’m going to go to Africa and adopt Kenya. I really want to open the United Colors of Benetton in my home. But you know, look at Brad Pitt—he wanted kids and now it’s a nightmare that will never end. The poor guy’s had no sleep since he met her. And you know she’s nuts—she said she wants 12 children, just like the disciples of Jesus. So if she’s Jesus, who’s he, Mary Magdalene?”


Tenuta clearly knows her dogma, having been raised a strict Catholic in a house with eight siblings—almost all boys—and it was this combination of religion and being an invisible girl that merged to form Judyism.


“I remember going to church and we’d pray to the Virgin Mary and she had all these titles—Tower of Ivory, Queen of Angels, Queen of Heaven, Suppliant for Sinners and I thought, that’s pretty cool! So I decided I am the Princess of Panty Shields, Empress of Elvis Impersonators, Queen of Candypants, Healer of Hermaphrodites. You know, you have to empower yourself.”


And then the sacred accordion was added.


“I’m half Polish and half Italian, so besides the fact that I’m always taking a hit out on myself, I had to play the accordion. I thought it was a toy until my mom told me I had to practice and locked me in a room until I could play ‘Lady of Guadalupe’ in the dark.”


While she never did receive a response from the Vatican to her famous accordion composition, “The Pope Song,” Tenuta has continued to spread her Word—and if Judyism were the predominant religion in the US, she sees some profound changes.


“First of all, a lot of moms wouldn’t sit on their kids in the tub because the Devil told them to do it. Hello! What was that? And that mom who let her three-month-old baby bake in the car while she was in gettin’ some Dunkin’ Donuts? And she wasn’t even convicted because she was suffering from sugar confusion? Sugar confusion! Move over ADHD! I mean, I love the people in Texas, but no one is allowed to live there anymore. And you know, my religion wouldn’t tell Katie Holmes she couldn’t be in Batman—the biggest film of the year—because I’m insecure about being short!”


As a goddess she’s also been sending vibes to the Olympians.  


“I’ve been watching these girls swim in the Olympics and I’m really rooting for our American women, because I feel our lesbians are a lot better than their lesbians . . . And you know, they’re saying that the Chinese gymnasts cheated, that they were too young, and I’m like, um, could you tell when they got the gold medal and they tried to open it to get the chocolate? Hello! They’re four years old!” 


Tenuta also recently become a minister, and using her book, The Power of Judyism, she looks forward to performing all the new gay marriages between her adoring “Butt Pirates and Lesbetarians.”


“You know the day after that bill passed all the guys were at Crate & Barrel—you couldn’t get a straight person in there! And of course I would counsel my potential marrying love slaves—I want to prepare them for the pure misery of marriage.”  


Her counseling would even extend to presidential hopefuls, like John McCain, who she thinks might be asking for a bit too much.


“You know, I give him credit, he wants to do something to help the gas crisis so he’s going to convert himself into fossil fuel—but he’s married to this beautiful Stepford trophy wife and she came with a lifetime supply of beer. The guy’s livin’ the Super Bowl! Why run for president?”


[Note: Judy Tenuta will be offering pieces of her holy garments to all hot stud puppets who bring her an offering at the show—emphasis on hot.]


Judy Tenuta performs at the Grove Theatre, 276 E. Ninth St., Upland, (909) 920-4343; www.grovetheatre.com. Saturday, 8PM, $20-$25. 18+ 



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