Rita Rudner has been working on an autobiography lately, a considerable undertaking for someone with her history. She has been writing and performing stand-up comedy for thirty-eight years, starring in her own specials, in plays and movies, and traveling around the country. That’s before you figure in her pre-comedy days as a singer and dancer on Broadway. That was the career path she expected to follow, and looking back, she sees a life full of unexpected twists and turns.
“Everything surprised me,” she says. “Because I never thought I’d be… I only thought I’d ever be a dancer. I never thought I’d be a comedian. I never thought I’d marry someone who lived in Australia. I never thought I’d adopt the most fabulous child in the world. And I never thought I’d have a beach house. So everything surprises me.”
I spoke with Rudner for the Boston Globe as part of a story on this year’s Women In Comedy Festival. This is the last of three podcasts dedicated to the WICF — EP28 was a round-up that included interviews with Femmedy Trio, Caitlin Gill, Reformed Whores, Erin Judge and Kaytlin Bailey of Cake Comedy, and WICF founders Michelle Barbera and Elyse Schuerman, and EP29 was my late-night conversation with Petey Gibson. We covered a lot in the conversation, from those early days to her appearance in Boston, from the show business advice she gives to her teenage singer/songwriter daughter to the glamour of grout. Since I couldn’t fit all of it into the Globe article, I decided to release the interview as a podcast episode for all of you kind folks to enjoy.
After the interview, stay tuned for “Little Castrato,” a new song from The Upper Crust‘s new album, Delusions of Grandeur. Next week on the Department of Tangents Podcast, Lord Bendover, Count Bassie, and Jackie Kickassis join me to talk about how they first got together in the 18th century, entertaining the lowly, and rock and roll. You can listen to and download this week’s podcast in the player below, or subscribe and review on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, and wherever you prefer to get your podcasts.