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PopEntertainment.com > Feature Interviews - Theater > Feature Interviews - Actresses > Feature Interviews F to J > Judy Gold

 

Judy Gold

Living Life As Sitcom Fodder

by Ronald Sklar

 
Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: September 23, 2011. 

“Exhausting but fulfilling” is how comedian Judy Gold half-kvetches about the demands of her off-Broadway hit, The Judy Show (DR2 Theater).  The one-person performance (which includes piano playing), about how Judy pines for her own sitcom and amazingly can’t get it, is the ironic basis for, well, a hit sitcom.

Here’s the story of a lezzie lady: Judy’s a dyke living in a cramped apartment on the Upper West Side. Crammed into this cuckoo’s nest are her two children (teenaged sons) and a long-time partner. Her eighty-something Jewish (to the tenth power) mother phones her constantly, continuing to lovingly turn the screwdriver into Judy’s hard-wired neurosis. Oh, and then there’s Judy’s whiny former life-partner, who is still in the picture. Add in a wacky neighbor or two, a gay manny and the general neurotic New York vibe, and what you have, my friends, is a sitcom a la Modern Family or Curb Your Enthusiasm. You’d hit that every week, right? You know you would.

But go tell it to the network execs, who consistently hit foul balls off her pitches. She’s no stranger to TV, with countless appearances all over the tube, including The Joy Behar Show, The View, Comedy Central and VH1 (and more to come). Yet Judy’s goal is to get her own real life on TV, which these days is par for the course.  And with reality TV still the current au courant, Judy shows us how easily reality mixes with fantasy, even back in the day.

She says, “I remember watching [The Brady Bunch] and thinking, ‘they all hang out with each other!’  I just wanted to walk in that door. I just wanted to be in that house. There was something about the fact that they weren’t related yet they were a family. It was so fun and my family was so goddamn boring.

“Back in the 80s, my friends were mostly gay. We were sort of this family. We were each other’s support system. That’s why I love The Mary Tyler Moore Show so much. I think gays can really relate to that show because here’s a woman who left where she was and created her own family. I think so many gay people have to create their own families because of the rejection from their original or nuclear family.”

However, Judy has some non-negotiable demands as to how she’s going to preamble her own series, first of which is that the sexuality does not come first.

Judy Gold“I think people would watch it and completely relate to it and forget that we’re gay,” she says. “We’re just like every other family. We went to one of these gay channels years ago, and they were like, ‘Where’s the sex?’  I’m like, ‘We’re a married couple!’”

True, and becoming truer every damn day as America detoxifies its perception of what Ozzie and Harriet means now. Although Fifties sitcoms forever damaged our idea of what is “normal,” Judy has her own theorem as to why her TV dream is not green-lighted (yet).

“The Jews think it’s because I’m Jewy,” she says, “and the gays think it’s because I’m gay. When I do Jewish press, they always ask me, ‘Well, are you more Jewish or are you more gay?’  Being gay is who I love, and being Jewish is who I am. The two are completely different. “

Still, her life-long devotion to her religion is what makes all the madness kosher.

“I do think [Judaism] gives [my kids] a good set of morals and structure,” she says. “It’s a way of life. [She says to her kids,] ‘You’re the child of an unknown sperm donor, your mother is a comedian and a lesbian, there is nothing conventional in this house, but we are going to have Shabbat dinner every Friday night.’ It was just something that I wanted to hand down to them. It’s something that’s really a huge part of me that I wanted to pass on.”

While she continues to search for a kind, understanding TV exec who will lift her to the higher ground, she continues performing her hit stage show (which, in addition to her plea for a sitcom, includes an ode to all of the favorite sitcoms of our lives).  And, just as we all inherently know that if the Professor fixed Gilligan’s boat, there would be no show, the same theory applies to Judy: if she didn’t have all the craziness, there would be nothing to pitch.

“I am kind of grateful for the dysfunction in a way,” she says.  “I don’t think I would be a comedian [otherwise]. And I don’t think I would think the way I think. I’m also very anxious, but it makes a great comedian, I gotta tell ya. I do have a different perspective on life which makes me a better performer.”

The Judy Gold Show has been extended again, through October 23rd. Go to www.Judygold.com for details. 

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Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: September 23, 2011.  

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 Copyright ©2011 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: September 23, 2011.