“Gleefully wacky and irreverent.”

–The New York Times

“Line by line, Mr. Rudnick may be the funniest writer for the stage in the United States today.”

–The New York Times

“Deeply funny musings and adventures elevate Paul Rudnick to the highest level of American comedy writing.”

–Steve Martin

“One of the funniest quip-meisters on the planet.”

–The New York Times

“Paul Rudnick is a champion of truth (and love and great wicked humor) whom we ignore at our peril.”

–David Sedaris

“Quips fall with the regularity of the autumn leaves.”

–Associated Press

Month: May 2014

May 28, 2014

News of the Day


The small Spanish town of Castrillo Matajudios has opted to change its name, which translated roughly as “Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers.” This name originated during the Inquisition, and may actually have been used as a means of protecting the town’s Jewish population. The town’s new name is Mota de Judios, or “Hill of the Jews.”

The following alternative names were also considered:

Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers – We’re Kidding!

Little Hill Fort of Jew Huggers

Little Hill Fort of People With Many Graduate Degrees

Jews “R” Us

East Little Hill Fort of Jew Killers



About 2,800 crossbows are being recalled because they may fire without the trigger being pulled. These crossbows were made by Precision Shooting Equipment of Tuscon, and the recall affects the models named TAC Elite, TAC Ordinance and Enigma, all selling for between $600 and $1500. In light of this error, and to help their products seem less threatening, the company is thinking about the following new crossbow names:

My Little Crossbow

The Funbow

Goodbye Kitty


The Boston police are currently seeking someone dubbed The Tickler, who has been breaking into the homes of sleeping people, all male, and tickling their feet. The Tickler never steals anything, and as soon as his victims wake up, he runs away.

A crime wave of similar behavior has been sweeping the area, including:

The Tastemaker – This fiend breaks into homes and rearranges the eclectic objects which have been painstakingly placed atop bookshelves and sideboards. The Tastemaker has been known to grab marble obelisks, ostrich eggs on brass stands, and costly tortoiseshell boxes. He shoves all of these items into the garbage, and adds a Post-it reading, “Where they belong!”

The Stylist – This arch-felon targets unsuspecting victims’ closets, where he re-groups their entire wardrobes into unexpected color combinations, spray-painting “Why not?” across a nearby wall.

The Mother – This perpetrator, believed to be a woman, sneaks into unsuspecting citizens’ co-ops and condos while they’re at work. She unearths every possible item which the citizens would never want their Moms to see, and stacks these items on the dining room table. Her finds include amateur porn, questionable tank tops, and photos of happy gatherings which the citizens’ Moms were never invited to. The Mother then carves the words, “I Hope You’re Proud Of Yourself” into the front door.

May 27, 2014

Libby Gelman-Waxner: Oh My Godzilla


Here’s one of the many reasons why I enjoyed the latest remake of Godzilla: because, unlike in so many other recent action blockbusters, New York wasn’t destroyed. It was downright refreshing to see the movie’s various monsters dismantle parts of Hawaii and San Francisco, and of course, Las Vegas was born to be leveled. There’s a great moment in the movie where the gamblers in a Vegas casino don’t even bother glancing around, as their city is torn to bits; Godzilla stomping on Caesar’s Palace seems like just another tourist attraction.

But here’s the movie’s huge secret, and I’m shocked that I’m the only person who’s noticed. Godzilla spends most of the movie going after these other, angular monsters called Mutos. At first I thought that the Mutos were basically towering mid-century modern butterfly chairs, like on my parents’ patio:



But then a thought occured to me. Several years back, when I first became America’s most beloved and irresponsible film critic, I wrote for Premiere magazine. One year I was even nominated, in the category of Essays and Criticism, for a coveted ASME Award, offered by the American Society of Magazine Editors. I lost the award, for one simple reason: just like with the Jill Abramson situation, the male power structure was threatened by me, because I’m a beautiful, capable woman with occasional rage issues. The magazine world and The New York Times are still not ready to honor a female Godzilla. But here’s why I’m sharing all of this – take a look at the ASME Award statuette:


It couldn’t be more obvious: Godzilla assumes that the Mutos are actually marauding ASME Awards, and he wants one. And if this means sacrificing a chunk of the Golden Gate Bridge, so be it.

I also loved Godzilla because it features Aaron Taylor-Johnson, who’s like Channing Tatum’s even dreamier younger brother; Channing and Aaron are both sensitive lugs, with massive shoulders and yearning eyes. They both look as if they’ve either just fallen in love, won the Superbowl, or been bopped on the head with a frying pan. In real life, Aaron is a hero to mature women everywhere, because he not only married a woman who’s 23 years older than he is, he added her last name to his own. And let me just ask you, isn’t Aaron Taylor-Johnson just a baby step towards Aaron Gelman-Waxner? Or maybe Aaron Taylor-Johnson-Gelman-Waxner, which would sound like a truly diverse law firm, or a great new cable company?


Of course, the real reason I loved Godzilla involves the creature itself. In past remakes, Godzilla usually looks like a guy in a rubber Godzilla suit picking up Matchbox cars and tossing them around; he’s like the official playing field mascot at Godzilla University. But this time out, Godzilla is impressively ferocious but also a mite slow. He moves like my Uncle Morty trying to stand up, after spending a few hours in a lawn chair or his recliner. Just like with Uncle Morty, Godzilla needs a minute to get going, and I kept waiting for Mrs. Godzilla to appear and ask, “Sweetie, do you need a hand? And are you using sunscreen?” This Godzilla has a touch of arthritis, which is endearing. I felt that after finally defeating the Mutos and overturning a fleet of destroyers, this Godzilla needed a few Advil and a nap. Let’s just call him Assisted Godzilla, if you ask me.


May 26, 2014

My Weddng Day Advice to Kim and Kanye


1. Let your love shine like a pure beacon of truth and beauty. In the great Kardashian tradition.

2. Kim: don’t listen to the haters – a tasteful wedding dress can absolutely include stretch lace, see-through mesh panels, and mosquito netting.

3. Kanye: Never Google Kim.

4. Even though Jay-Z and Beyonce snubbed your wedding in the most public way possible, take the high road. I’m sure they did have car trouble.

5. Kim’s previous two marriages don’t count, because they occurred on American soil.

6. Except for her virginity and a discount on her QuickTrim “Burn & Cleanse” diet pills, a sex tape involving peeing is the most precious gift a wife can bestow on her husband.

7. Kanye: Don’t worry, because Kim will never become anything like her mother, Kris. However, thanks to advances in cosmetic surgery, Kris has already become more like her daughter, Kim.

8. Kim: this is only your third embarrassing tabloid wedding debacle. Pace yourself.

9. If you have another daughter, be sure to name her Lil’ Kim. Or alternately, you could auction the rights to her name, so she might be American Airlines West, Marlboro Lights West or Best Western West.

10. Never go to bed angry. Or with any of Kim’s sisters.

11. Bruce Jenner is not transitioning and becoming a woman. He’s trying to enter Witness Protection.

12. Kim: The phrase “losing the baby weight” does not include abandoning the baby.

May 25, 2014



Remember how in middle school, you were the prettiest and the most popular cheerleader,and a lock for Prom Queen, until one day, out of the blue, another girl transferred in, and suddenly she swept it all away? Well, welcome to the bittersweet, where-did-it-all-go world of New York’s Cardinal Timothy Dolan.

Just a few short years ago, Cardinal Dolan had it all. He liked to think of himself as not just wise and beloved, but wisecracking and jolly, and on the fast track to either becoming Pope, or the natural successor to Leno. He’d josh about his weight and baseball, and his inner evil would only emerge occasionally, as when he shrieked invective at Governor Cuomo for championing gay marriage, claiming he felt “burned” and “blindsided.” Because after all, shouldn’t every New York citizen be ruled by the Cardinal’s whim?

But then along came Pope Francis, or, as Cardinal Dolan refers to him in private, “that conniving little bitch.” Pope Francis not only gave the church a more open and accepting image, he encouraged his priests to stop spending money on luxurious estates and limos, and spend more time ministering to the poor. As Cardinal Dolan could be heard, muttering under his breath during Mass, “As if!” After all. Cardinal Dolan lives in a Madison Avenue mansion, where he’s tended to by a cook, a housekeeper and a driver. As his closest American advisor, Pope Francis has now selected Cardinal Sean O’Malley of Boston, a Franciscan in robes and sandals who speaks fluent Spanish. “Dear Lord,” Cardinal Dolan was overheard murmuring on Easter Sunday, “Sandals? With what, black nylon socks?”

Pat McNamara, a church historian, told the NY Times, regarding Cardinal Dolan, “He’s not out in the cold, but neither is he the rising star anymore.” Christopher Belitto, a Papal historian, told the Times that while Dolan is, “not doing a massive overhaul of his personality”, he is “giving himself a bit of a tuneup.” When the Cardinal was asked, on Meet The Press, about how he felt about Michael Sam becoming the first openly gay football player in the NFL, he replied, “Good for him”, through gritted teeth.

Cardinal Dolan, it is believed, now keeps a notecard with him at all times, to remind him of how to behave. His new commandments include:

1. When you’re talking about a homosexual or a woman who uses birth control, and you’re about to use the word “antichrist”, switch to “person.”

2. When you accidentally step outside St. Patrick’s Cathedral during the annual Gay Pride parade, instead of holding out a crucifix and chanting, “Shame! Shame!”, simply smile, wave and call out, “I love your leather harness!” or “Nice Speedo!”

3. Whenever you’re asked about your stance on abortion, reply, “Did you say ‘vacation’? I don’t take vacations! Too much to do! Why, just this morning, I took a poor person to Dunkin Donuts and bought him a whole box of donut holes!”

4. When you’re caught window shopping at Tiffany’s, just say, “Look at those gorgeous emerald earrings! Wouldn’t they look marvelous on a disabled child, or a Protestant?”

5. If a journalist asks how you feel, about Pope Francis ignoring you in favor of other clergymen, simply say, “I love His Holiness and I respect his judgement in all matters.” Avoid using the words “drab”, “jowls” and “fat.”


May 24, 2014

Tips For That Big Job Interview


1. Just before the interview begins, ask to use the restroom. Remove all of your clothing. Then, gesture to show the interviewer that you’ve shaved your pubic hair into the shape of the company’s logo. Smile and say, “Let’s get this party started.”

2. If the interviewer asks why you left your last job, sigh, roll your eyes and say, “Same old, same old. Someone got their femur shattered, someone else got pregnant, someone said the cocaine was half baby powder. He said, she said, yada yada yada. We’ve all been there.”

3. If the interviewer asks about your salary demands, take the interviewer’s hand, look deep into his or her eyes and murmur, “I’d just like to get paid enough to buy a pretty little thing like you somethin’ real nice.”

4. At some point be sure to say, “You should know one thing about me: I’m not a team player. Fuck that shit.”

5. Always be careful to glance around the interviewer’s office and comment, “Whoa – I guess I’m not the only one who could use a better job.”

6. Remember to inquire, “So would I be the first attractive person to work here?”

7. If you’re asked for your resume, start singing either “My Way” or “I’ve Never Been To Me.”

8. At the end of the interview, as you shake the interviewer’s hand, pass them a crisp one dollar bill. Then wink meaningfully and say, “And there’s more where that came from, sweet butt.”

May 21, 2014

I Read YA


Gorgeous is my first Young Adult novel, and I’ve been having a great time, learning about the far-reaching world of YA. In honor of Scholastic’s I Read YA campaign, here are some thoughts:

1. The YA readership is remarkably passionate, loyal and diverse. YA readers tend to devour books, and they take a wonderful interest in both their favorite authors and other readers.

2. Some YA readers can be adorably strict. For example, a reader might tell Goodreads that, “In Jane Smalljammer’s Reign of the Dark Fairies, I had a problem when Philandria, the Queen of the Underelves, destroyed the hive of the Screechlings in one day. I just felt that this wasn’t realistic.”

3. YA readers are fiercely devoted to underdogs, meaning characters who, in real life, might often be overlooked, under-appreciated, or bullied. YA readers like to see these characters prevail, through their hard work and good humor. These readers also like it when the female underdogs manage to nab at least one truly cute guy, preferably with tousled hair.

4. YA readers enjoy stories centering on gay characters, transgendered characters, and characters of color, far more than the audience for adult fiction. While adult readers will sometimes stick to books that reflect solely their own experience, YA readers seem to be more curious and open to all sorts of stories. Especially if there’s kissing.

5. YA books span every historical period, and it’s refreshing when wars and revolutions and the building of the pyramids are seen through the eyes of younger characters, who always seem able to speak English.

6. There’s been a huge surge in books focusing on wizardly worlds and dystopian despair. Both of these genres allow for extremely high stakes and cinematic action.
It’s especially nice when young girls, as in The Hunger Games and Divergent, defeat evil empires, while the cute boys remain steadfast, and are willing to make a Starbucks run, while the warrior girls save the planet.

7. Right now I’m looking forward to reading YA by terrific authors like Elizabeth Eulberg, whose latest novel is Better Off Friends; Ransom Riggs, who has Hollow City, which is the second volume in his bestselling series which began with Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children; and Tim Federle, who’s written Five, Six, Seven, Nate!, which is a follow-up to his completely delightful Better Nate Than Ever, a tale of a kid making his way on Broadway.

May 20, 2014

Moments of Gay Zen


– Trying to explain where Lispenard Street is, to a perfectly nice, heavily accented cabdriver.

– Wondering if, in movies and on TV shows, the gay brother is the new gay best friend.

– Loving Hedwig, because of the show, Neil Patrick Harris, and the fact that the whole thing seems breathtakingly politically incorrect, as if the show is daring the audience to figure out a responsible op-ed reaction.

– Enjoying how creepy right-wing blowhards, like Maggie Gallagher, are asking for “tolerance” for fundamentalist Christian homophobia, something I support, as long as the homophobes don’t want to get married.

– The special joy of watching two over-the-top gay male co-hosts on Home Shopping, selling Waterford Crystal. Especially when, while showcasing the Waterford Crystal crucifix and rosary, they begin gushing about Madonna.

May 18, 2014

Simple Thoughts


On a recent episode of House Hunters, a real estate agent guided a couple through the front doorway and into a home’s foyer. “And this is the inside,” she said.

I knew a woman, an ex-model, who once compiled and published a book of self-portraits and inspirational thoughts. There was, as you might imagine, an enormous amount of white space in this book. On one page there was a single thought: “Sometimes, when we do not succeed…” On the next page: “…we call that failure.”

During my early years in New York, I once worked as a messenger. I wore knitted gloves, with the fingers cut off. One day, as I was delivering a package to a modeling agency, a group of models began passionately admiring these gloves. One of the models asked, sincerely, “How did you do that?”

Actors’ resumes will often include a category labelled Special Skills, which might include fencing, accents or acrobatics. I once saw a resume where, under Special Skills, an actress had listed, quite seriously, “Using the phone.”

May 17, 2014

William Ivey Long For $1000

Here’s the video of the illustrious William Ivey Long’s
category on Jeopardy, from last night.

And here’s an additional look at William’s
Tony Award-winning work, from Cinderella:

May 16, 2014

Shameless Self-Promotion At Its Finest


The glorious paperback of Gorgeous, my Young Adult novel, is now available everywhere! While the book is YA, it’s also suitable for New Adults, Old Adults and even the most Delightfully Ancient Adults!

Libba Bray, in the New York Times, called the book “Gleefully wacky and irreverent” and “A wicked good time”, while the Boston Globe said that it’s “A satire as sharp as a stiletto heel that takes on celebrity culture, the fashion industry, consumerism and princess stories. Oh, and it’s wickedly hilarious.” In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said “With writing that’s hilarious, profane and profound (often within a single sentence) Rudnick casts a knowing eye on our obsession with fame, brand names and royalty to create a feel-good story about getting what you want without letting beauty blind you to what’s real.”

Three members of true writer royalty have also offered their wildly generous thoughts. Meg Cabot, the bestselling author of The Princess Diaries, said “When I wasn’t laughing out loud (which was often), I was wiping away a tiny tear.” Melissa De La Cruz, author of the hugely successful Blue Bloods series, said “Paul Rudnick’s generous, open heart, scathing wit, encyclopedic knowledge of pop culture and droll humor are all in force in his latest creation, Gorgeous, which is aptly named. I absolutely adored this book and snort-laughed through the entire thing. You will too.” Jane Hamilton, who wrote the amazing A Map of the World, said, “Reader Advisory: because you will split a gut laughing out loud, best to locate an Emergency Room in your area before you begin reading. I wish Gorgeous was my wallpaper; I wish this pure joy was Surround Sound; I wish this deliciousness was a drink. I wish Paul Rudnick was the President, the Pope and the Surgeon General. What a gorgeous place the world would be!”

I am so grateful to all of these writers, and most especially, I would like to take this occasion to again thank the extraordinary folks at Scholastic, including Lori Benton, Ellie Berger, Stacy Lellos. Bess Braswell, Leslie Garych, Sheila Marie Everett, Tracy Van Straaten, David Levithan, Kelly Ashton, Rachael Hicks, Elizabeth Parisi, Annette Hughes, Elizabeth Whiting, Corrine Van Natta, Alan Smagler, Jacqueline Rubin and everyone in the sales department: Lizette Serrano, Candace Greene, Catherine Sisco and Emily Marrow. Over the past year, I’ve gotten to know and cherish these wonderful people. I could not have felt more welcome – being published by Scholastic has been a writer’s dream, and not just because there’s a really impressive gift shop in the lobby.

With the most overwhelming gratitude, I would like to thank my sublime editor, Rachel Griffiths, and not just for helping me eliminate unnecessary commas. Rachel has been a tireless, irresistible and constant inspiration. A great editor allows a writer to fail and remains helpful and encouraging. A great editor never loses her sense of humor. And a great editor gives a writer the most constructive and illuminating advice, and beyond that, hope. Rachel is truly a great editor. Plus, during the past year, she has managed to give birth to both my book and a new human being, her son Dom. And while I’m not claiming any sort of superiority, between Dom and myself, I’m the only one who’s just been published in paperback.

So please, enjoy Gorgeous in its terrific new form, which also makes a perfect gift, an ideal beach read, and a magnificent accessory. Who won’t look better, if they’re carrying a copy of something called Gorgeous?



May 15, 2014

My Greatest Fears


1. What if I’m asked to become the new Executive Editor of The New York Times and I can’t think of a polite way to say no?

2. What if I buy the LA Clippers and then I mess things up and people start wishing that Donald Sterling was back?

3. What if I bid $50 million at Sothebys for a Jeff Koons statue of Popeye and then I can’t figure out where to put it? Does it belong with my Disney Princesses chess set or my collection of vintage Josie and the Pussycats salt and pepper shakers?

4. What if I’m introduced to Ann Coulter and she wants a hug?

5. What if because of climate change I’m never sure if I should wear a lightweight jacket or a lightweight jacket over a sweater vest?

6. What if Edward Snowden hacks into my computer and threatens to leak all of my eBay searches?

7. What if I’m alone in the elevator and then Solange Knowles gets on and I just start sobbing?

8. What if as I’m crossing a busy intersection, just as a truck is about to hit me, a cat runs out and drags me to safety with its little paws, but then I realize that the whole thing was a set-up so the cat could get on Youtube? If I call the cat a whore will people think I’m a monster?