Rita Rudner is a do-gooder. She does good at entertaining the masses with comedy (OK, great), she does good with her family and friends (OK, probably great again here), and she does good (alright, alright) when it comes to giving back. We retract. Rita Rudner is a great-doer. This Saturday night she’ll be showering her goodness all over Dana Hills High School doing her part to benefit South Orange County School for the Arts. Since we know so much about Rita on stage and before SOCSA raises a ton of money with her help, we thought we’d get to know a little behind the scenes info on her by getting random with Rita.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Do you have Pokemon GO on your phone?
Rita Rudner: I have been meaning to find out what it is but I don’t know. I know people that do like it so one day, I’m going to find out what it is. I’m a good procrastinator though so I might never find out.
A word of advice? Don’t find out. Do you remember the first joke told? I only remember the first joke that worked that I ever told. That was, "I broke up with my boyfriend because he wanted to get married and I didn’t want him to." That was my first real joke.
And it still works! I know! It’s a good one because it just pivots at the end. It’s a good technical achievement and I was very proud of myself. I left it on a lot of my friends answering machines.
Very well done! What’s something that will make you laugh all of the time? Let’s see, what makes me laugh all of the time without fail? Gosh, I’m not a laugher!
OK, what? Well, I look at things and I think, oh I understand why that’s funny. And then I analyze it in my brain. I went and saw Defending the Caveman on Broadway, I sat in the front, and I loved it! After the show I went back stage to say how much I loved it and the star of it Rob Becker said, “Did you hate it? I said, I loved it! I laughed the whole time! He said, “But I looked at you and you didn’t smile once!” I told him, but I was laughing on the inside. It was terrific!
What a weird curse and gift to have! I know! Isn’t it awful? But I do know someone who makes me laugh all of the time. That’s my husband Martin. He’s very funny.
Martin is a good man. What is one of your all-time favorite songs? John Mayer’s “Say.” Dahh dah dah dah, say what you need to sayyyy. I’ll sing it for you if you want. Say what you need to say, say what you need to sayyyyyy. Oh it’s such a beautiful song! Wait, what’s that Martin? Oh, he just said it was a good song until I sung it. I’m telling you, very funny.
He’s a little chastiser and I like it! So other than Martin, what’s something you refuse to throw away? Oh I have a jacket that I bought about thirty years ago from an antique store. I have worn it three times and every year I look at it in my closet and think, this year I’m going to wear it. And I never wear it. The material was shredding because it’s an antique so I actually took it to a place to have it restored and then I put it back in the closet. In twenty years I still haven’t worn it but I’m going to wear it this year, yeah right.
It’s an antique so I guess if you don’t wear it, it’s acceptable. I know! This is how old I am. I’m so old that I have vintage Chanel and I’m the original owner. [Laughs.]
Ha!! Look at you! You just laughed out loud! I mean, it was at your own joke but, yeah, I’m proud of you. Oh yes well, I only chuckled because your laugh is contagious. So, I laughed.
Happy to help. Who is your dream passenger on an international flight? Someone who doesn’t talk. [Laughs.] That’s it. I just want to read and drink!
I hear that sister. What’s your favorite way of wasting time? Well at the moment, I’m addicted to MSNBC but I think that will end soon. Also, this is one of my favorite months because the big fashion magazines come out. They’re like bibles and are so thick. I just love to look at the pictures and not buy anything.
If you had to be a man, who would you be? If I had to be a man? Well, I’d have to be a gay man because I love everything that they love! I love fashion, beautiful things, and would love to have more of a sense of style. I have a friend that can just look at something and make it beautiful and I just can’t. Like now, I'm looking at the pillows on my couch and I can’t make them beautiful so I need to look at Pinterest. So, I’d be a really stylish gay man.
Hilarious. If you could have a superpower, what would it be? I’d like to be able to organize my closet. [Laughs.] I would like to be Closet Girl. I would know where everything was and I wouldn’t have to sort through anything to find just one thing. Everything is in the right place and I go right to it because I’m Closet Girl.
I like how everything keeps coming back around. I mean, the closet is where your antique jacket is and if you were a fashionable gay man, you’d be coming out of the closet, girl. Well you know what? Closets are big in my life.
Apparently! Tell me three things that are on your bucket list. First I’d have to buy a bucket and make a list. So that’s two. You know…umm…what do I want? Gosh, I don’t have any hopes or dreams! Well, I want to write another book and hopefully that will happen so then I can write another one. So a bucket, a list, and then I want to write a book. I really think you should keep your hopes and dreams in a place where you can achieve them. No going to the moon or being a super model for me.
Last time we talked I asked you for some dating advice and you told me I needed to “find a Martin.” A year later, still no Martin. Am I a lost cause over here? Oh I do remember that! You know, it’s so hard out there now because even when people ask me how to become a comedian, it’s not the way it used to be! You have to go on YouTube and do something if you want to be…wait. What? Oh, Martin said he’s available if you want to take him. [Laughs.] OK forget where I was going. My husband says he’s available.
Well Rita, I might have to take him up on that offer so I assume this will be our last interview.
[Laughs.] Well we can go out and sit in the same booth and laugh together. But we’ll be laughing inwardly.
A second show has been added this Saturday so you can grab tickets to see Rita Rudner at 7pm or 9pm by going to www.socsarts.org at the Porthole Theatre at Dana Hills High School, 33333 Street of the Golden Lantern, Dana Point 92629. You can also catch Rita on September 30th at the Montage and if you’re in the LA area, she’ll be at the Laugh Factory November 1st. For everything Rita, check out her website www.RitaFunny.com and follow her on Twitter @RitaRudner.