Back in the 80's when a ton of female comedians weren't necessarily in the spotlight, Rita Rudner was and she was blazing trails. Her gift of delivering clever quips in a sweet demeanor while somehow being a bit self-depreciating can't be duplicated and even now, this stylish and classy funny gal hasn't slowed down a bit. These days Rita hits the stage mostly in Las Vegas but this Sunday (May 10th) as a special Mother's Day treat, she'll be in beautiful Dana Point hosting the StillWater Showcase featuring five of OC's best young musical performers. Before you award yourself with an evening of discovering new talent along with being entertained by the great Rita Rudner, we talked to her about the showcase, her writing style, her thoughts on Twitter, and even got a bit of love advice.
OC Weekly (Ali Lerman): Since you wrote the book "Rita Rudner's Guide to Men," I thought maybe you could give me some advice. I have a grandma pestering me about getting married. So basically, I need to find someone or break it to her that she's going to die before it happens.
Rita Rudner: [Laughs.] She should just be happy that you are happy. I used to have a joke about my grandmother asking when she'd become a great-grandmother and I told her, as soon as you do something extraordinary. It's such a weird landscape these days so maybe you'll have to do something on YouTube and then tweet it. Also maybe try Tinder. The way I met someone was when I decided to do comedy I said, I need to meet a man who likes comedy. And that's what I did. My husband Martin produced comedy shows, he hired me, paid me, and then I married him. [Laughs.] That's how it happened really and we're still making money together and have been married for 27 years. You just have to keep doing what you love and someone will appear the old fashion way. That's really what I believe in.
I'll be on the lookout for my own Martin then! I'm sure people ask you for advice with comedy too but switching that, what's the best advice someone has given you about it?
Well I always follow my own advice which is, just be who you are, don't try to copy anybody, and don't try to be what you think comedy might be. Just be you. I think that's what a lot of singer/songwriters do because they're being original. They write about what they like so they're being themselves. So with anything, just be the best version of yourself that you can be.
Definitely words to live by. Your jokes are so quick so I'm guessing your brain is constantly churning which must make for a ton of writing.
You know, my brain kind of shuts off when I'm not doing my act all of the time. I just got home yesterday from a few theatre dates and because I did two big shows in a row, my brain starting going on and on so I wrote three or four new jokes. But now that I'm home, it has kind of settled down. I'll be going back to Vegas and then to New Jersey so then, my brain will start turning again. So yeah, I might think of something and write it down but when I'm doing my act, that's really when I start thinking of things. It's scary because I have all of these notebooks with coffee stains, pages ripped out, words that are illegible, and that's how I make my living! [Laughs.] That's the way I do it though! It's all kind of a mess and then it just comes together.
Oh I completely understand! So I was looking at your Twitter and you seem to be unusually concerned with Giselle Bündchen retiring. Care to explain?
[Laughs.] You know, there are so few things that you can tweet about that aren't serious. I get so excited when something superficial happens so I can say something. I don't want to tweet about an earthquake or something horrible that has happened in the news so when something silly happens, I like to jump on it. You have to really think about what you say because people get very angry at nothing.
Well you seem pretty hip on there because I also noticed you brought up the One Direction catastrophe.
[Laughs.] That's so funny because we took my daughter to see One Direction in Vegas and I looked at Zayn and said, he's not even into it! Everyone was singing and he was drinking water. I said he didn't want to be part of the band and sure enough, my Zayn prediction came true. You know, some kids don't appreciate what they have because it just comes too easy. Just wait until he's 40 and he's like, I quit the most popular band in the world? What was I crazy?
Right? OK let's talk about some other young talent. How impressive are the acts in the StillWater Showcase? I know one of them is your daughter so please feel free to brag.
They're very impressive! My daughter Molly Bergman opened for me in Vegas and on New Year's Eve at the Laguna Playhouse and has become very active in the music scene in Orange County. When we're in town she sings in restaurants and has made some good friends in the music scene. They're all so talented and since my husband produces shows, he thought on Mother's Day it would be a great idea to have these kids perform in front of a real audience. They're always performing in shopping malls or restaurants where people aren't really focused. It will be great for them to get together and see what a real audience is like and I want to be able to introduce them. I think it's going to be a lot of fun. These kids are just so talented!
I love that it's a family affair. Does your daughter realize how cool her mom is?
Umm…I think I'm just kind of her mom. I don't think cool or uncool comes into it. Hold on, let me ask Martin. [Laughs.] He just said no. Oh, he also said he's cool so I don't have to be so, there's that!
Catch the StillWater Showcase hosted by Rita Rudner on Sunday May 10th at 5pm, 24701 Del Prado Dana Point, CA 92629. 949-661-6003. For tickets go to www.DanaPointStillwater.com. If you can't make it out, you'll get another chance to see Rita along with Louie Anderson on May 30th at the Downey Theatre and for more info, go to her website www.RitaFunny.com, become a fan on her Facebook page, and follow her on Twitter at @RitaRudner.