I had the pleasure and honor of sitting down with two-time Emmy Award Winning comedian and actress Judy Gold shortly after seeing her hilarious new show "The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom." Judy is well known for her critically acclaimed long-running Off-Broadway hit show "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother," which won the 2007 GLAAD Award for "Outstanding New York Theater" and received a 2006 Drama Desk Award Nomination for Outstanding Solo Performance. "25 Questions for a Jewish Mother" was turned into a book and received a nomination for the prestigious Quill Award.
Whether it's theatre, television, or radio, Judy delights audiences with her humor, talent, and personality! Judy won two Emmy Awards for writing and producing "The Rosie O'Donnell Show" and was nominated twice for The American Comedy Award's funniest female stand-up. Most recently Judy starred in the hit Off-Broadway show "Love, Loss, and What I Wore." She just appeared on "The Dr. Oz Show" and "The Wendy Williams Show" and is seen regularly on "Tru TV Presents World's Dumbest." Judy has been a frequent guest on ABC's "The View" (which she has guest-hosted) and HLN's "The Joy Behar Show." Her TV specials include a half-hour comedy special for LOGO and a feature in the HBO documentary, "All Aboard." Her stand-up specials include "Comedy Central Presents: Judy Gold," "Comedy Central's Tough Crowd Stands Up," and HBO's half-hour specials, which earned Judy a Cable Ace Award. She has guest starred on numerous television programs including "Ugly Betty," "Law & Order," "Law & Order SVU," "Hollywood Squares," "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno," and "The Conan O'Brien Show."
Judy also hosted her own weekly radio show on Sirus/XM called "Hatched By Two Chicks" and is the host of iVillage.com's "Your Kid Did What?." From 1999-2009, Judy was the host of HBO's "At the Multiplex with Judy Gold" and hosted Comedy Central's "100 Greatest Stand-ups of All Time" and the "GLAAD Media Awards." Judy's comedy CD "Judith's Roommate Had a Baby" is available now.
In addition to being seen this summer in an episode of A&E's "The Glades," Judy's hilarious new show "The Judy Show: My Life as a Sitcom" is currently playing at the DR2 Theatre in NYC's Union Square (103 East 15th Street) through September 10th! If you have never seen Judy live on stage, now would be a great time to check her out! Click here for tickets!
1. Who or what inspired to become a comedian? Well, I knew I wanted wanted to be a performer, but as far as a comedian, I did it on a dare. When I actually did it for the first time I got this high that I've never gotten from anything else. I thought, "Oh my god, this is it." It was a no brainer after that.
2. Who's the one person you haven't worked with that you would like to? I would love to work with Barbra Streisand, Mike Nichols, and Meryl Streep.
3. How did you come up with the idea for "The Judy Show" and what made now the right time to bring it to the stage? "The Judy Show" is something I've been working on for the past 4 1/2 years and it came in all these different incarnations. I think it's where it is now because it's ready and I'm ready to tell the story. It's sort of the like "The Perfect Storm" with the passing of marriage equality. I mean, how often does some hugely, relatively social thing happen that fits right into this story of my life. It all just came together like divine intervention.
4. What have you learned about yourself from being a comedian? I'm not a morning person. I can tolerate almost anything and anybody if they are funny. I have such a respect for Good Humor (and I'm not talking about the ice cream), actually I have the upmost respect for all kinds of humor. Even if I don't laugh at it, I do know what's funny.
5. What has been your proudest moment so far? There's a couple. I'll have to say my son Henry's Bar Mitzvah was one of my proudest moments in my life. The other one is something a lot of people don't know. When I adopted Henry as a second parent adoption and my ex adopted Ben as a second parent adoption (it was after we had already broken up) it was a precedent setting case because this had never been done before. The reason I allowed this adoption to occur was because I didn't want Ben (who I gave birth to), to have different parents than Henry. Since we had broken up, Henry was really the only constant in Ben's life and I never wanted there to be another reason to not acknowledge our family as a family, so I did allow my ex to adopt him. I have to say, we were in the judges chambers and this had never happened before where someone didn't live with their partner or weren't in a relationship anymore, but this other person is adopting them. After the judge said to the boys, "Do you know what just happened here and do you know what's going on?" The boys said "Yes." Henry looked at Ben and said, "Now we're full brothers and hugged him." I just thought, oh god that was so worth it.
6. What is your favorite part in the creative process of putting a show together? When you begin living in the piece. It's not thinking about all the technical crap...it's when you are one with the piece.
7. Favorite place to write and practice the material on your own? Well, hello, I'm in NYC. I don't really have any other place to practice besides my two bedroom apartment with one bathroom on the Upper West Side. I will visit comedy clubs to try stuff out, but I write at home.
8. Favorite way to spend your day off? I like to sleep late. I like to play with the kids outside whether it's baseball or basketball in Central Park. I like to do something really fun and outdoorsy. I love to read. I would love to have a day off, and I haven't had one of these in a while, where I could just play. That's the key to day off.
9. Favorite skin care product? I'm a Kiehl's woman. I have to go with the Ultra Facial Moisturizer. You can use it day or night and you can travel with it. It's a great moisturizer!
10. Favorite website? Judygold.com...hahaha.
11. "Mary" or "Rhoda"? Who would I fuck or who would I be? I mean, I'm a Jewish girl from New Jersey..."Rhoda!"
12. What was the best part about writing for the "Rosie O'Donnell" show and what did winning two Emmy Awards for that mean to you? I gotta say, I worked on a ground-breaking hit show with the most incredible people. I loved getting up and having a place to go, actually go to work and do something fun and creative. It was just an amazing place to be because of all the people I worked with and met there. I loved Ro! I got to work on something that was such a big success that people just loved. And being a part of something that America really needed at that time and that paved the way for some really great shows, was wonderful. When we won those Emmys it was like, wow, I'm getting acknowledged for doing really hard work (we all really did work so hard). I used to see Emmy Awards in people's offices and I was always like, "Can I touch that?" and now I had one, which was pretty incredible. Just being appreciated and acknowleged was fantastic.
13. What's the best advice you've ever received? I used to have people tell me how I should look, what I should and shouldn't do and say on stage, what was funny and what wasn't and they'd never been on stage, so they don't know. Then someone once said to me, "You know what, you've worked hard. That's your time up there. You earned the right to be on that stage and now you do what you want to do." That really kind of hit me. I gotta tell ya, if you are not true to yourself, you have nothing. The one thing I've learned as I've gotten older was to listen to your gut. I don't know if you ever get this feeling in your gut, but I've had the expereince where sometimes an opportunity presented itself and it looked like a good one, but something inside me seemed off. Never ignore that. Your gut is always right and if you don't follow your gut, you get punched in the gut.
14. If you could dream about anyone while you sleep, who would it be? I like to dream about my father because he passed away a long time ago, but then I wake up and think he's alive and even after 21 years, I go, "Oh fuck, he's not." I also have a really big sleep issue. Sometimes, I would love to not fucking dream at all. I just want to be passed out. I don't want anything going on in that fucking head. I just want a break.