“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: January 2014

January 7, 2014


Here’s a video of the now retired Pope Benedict watching a group of male acrobats. It looks a
bit like an outake from that soft-core movie about Caligula.
I’ve read that the acrobats also received something called Monaco’s
coveted Golden Clown Award, which I would also like to be awarded.
I’m not sure why a group of appreciative nuns are waving what
appear to be guest towels which they’ve stolen from their hotel.

I once saw Siegfried and Roy perform in Las Vegas, and I could swear that in their grand
souvenir program there was a full-color photo of Siegfried and Roy meeting the Pope,
with each man competing to see who could wear the most white silk and gold.
I haven’t been able to track down this photo, but I’m including some other shots
of the fabled S&R, whom I’ve always heard are genuinely nice men, and who
personally saved several tiger species from extinction. Their act was impressive,
and it included a movie about how S&R had met, on a cruise ship, and there was
footage of the couple’s glamorous Vegas estate, where they shared an enormous bed with
various lions, tigers and each other.

Siegfried and Roy, much like the Pope, were considered a mainstream family attraction.
Please double-click on these photos, to access the full glory of the guys carrying
white tiger cubs in their tote bags.



I would also like to mention that in yesterday’s NY Times obituary of Frank Sinatra’s valet,
the valet’s son had one of the best names ever: Snake Jagger.

January 6, 2014

The Difference Between Actors and Stars


1. Actors hug everyone. Stars will only hug Ellen.

2. If an actor says, “I’m really broke”, they’re really broke. When a star says, “I’m really broke”, it means they’re going to fire someone on their staff.

3. When an actor tells another actor, “You look fantastic!”, they mean it. When a star tells another actor, “You look fantastic!” the subtext can be, “Until I can talk to the director.”

4. When an actor gets a nice dressing room or a decent trailer, they’ll instagram photos of it to their friends. When a star first takes a look at their dressing room or trailer, they’ll call their agent and manager to ask which stars have bigger and better ones.

5. Actors will often be required to wear costumes which have already been worn by many other actors. When stars gain weight, they will sometimes accuse the wardrobe department of shrinking their clothes.

6. While performing a scene in a movie or a play, actors will look at the person they’re talking to. Stars won’t do this, because the existence of other people confuses them.

7. Some stars are both supremely talented actors and delightful human beings. It’s not fair.

8. It’s thrilling to work with a wonderful actor. It’s thrilling to watch a great star, from the safety of the cineplex.

9. Actors have fans. Stars have stalkers.

10. The test of a great actor: the respect of one’s peers. The mark of a true star: a perfume endorsement after they’re dead.


January 5, 2014

More Rules for Riters


1. If while you were asleep, Rumplestiltskin crept into your home and wrote your book for you, that would be a wonderful thing. Because it would mean that you were either a retired President of the United States or a has-been TV personality.

2. Some extremely successful self-published authors often ask their many online readers for advice on plot and character development. This is like asking strangers on the subway if you should get a nosejob.

3. All writers deserve legal access to medical marajuana. And medical vodka.

4. I knew a wealthy woman who lived in a 12-room apartment. Her doting husband also bought her an additional studio apartment in the same building, and furnished it at great expense, for use as her designated Writing Room. She also purchased a special writing wardrobe and a writing hat. As far as I know, she never wrote a word.

This may be why Virginia Woolf didn’t call her classic essay A Co-op Of One’s Own.

5. Some people imagine that talent, life experience and ambition are a writer’s fuel. This is incorrect. Snickers bars are a writer’s fuel.

6. The new way of lying about having read an author’s work is to tell them, “I just downloaded you onto my Kindle.”

7. Just as with grief, at the end of a working day a writer passes through several stages: Exhiliration, Exhaustion, Doubt and If I Have to Think About This Book for One More Second I’m Going to Kill Myself Or Even Better, I’m Going to Kill Anyone Who Answers the Phone at Time-Warner Tech Support.

8. Writers have their own cherished versions of urban legends, including:

The classic play that was written in a weekend.

The author who wrote his or her best work while drunk or high.

The notion that having had an abusive childhood will make you a great writer. Or a better parent.

The writer who was struck by inspiration at Starbucks, and instantly scribbled an outline for what would become their massive bestseller on a napkin.

The writer who was struck by inspiration at Starbucks, but didn’t write their idea down because they couldn’t find a pen or a napkin, and died in poverty and disgrace.

All of these legends are TRUE.

January 4, 2014



Yesterday the New York Times reported on a lengthy legal battle over the many strip clubs in Houston. A stripper named Jolie “said that lap-dancing was sensual but never crossed a legal line. Even the time she re-enacted one man’s favorite scene from a Peter Pan movie, she said it was purely theatrical. ‘I guess that would be considered bizarre,’ she said, ‘But there’s no harm in that.'”

I need to know: which scene from Peter Pan did that guy have in mind? “I’m Flying”? The part where Peter dresses up as a lady to fool Captain Hook? Something with Smee?

It’s a great tribute to a star when strippers use their name; I bet there are a lot of Jolies and Mileys and Taylors out there. It’s also a proud moment, when a porn film is released with a title based on a more mainstream flick, as in Jurassic Pork, Forrest Hump, or the transgendered title You’ve Got Male Genitalia. After I worked on Addams Family Values, I was thrilled to see, on the shelves of my local triple-X boutique, both Madam’s Family Values and Anus Family Values. But my dream was to combine both the higher and lower end markets in a single title, which I accomplished with In & Out.

January 3, 2014


I loved American Hustle and not just because Christian Bale, as the con man Irving Rosenfeld, is a dead ringer for my Uncle Morty, although instead of using toupee glue, Morty had something called a Hair System which was attached using metal snaps which had been surgically tucked into his scalp. Jennifer Lawrence, as Irving’s unstable wife Rosalyn, is also the twin of my cousin Arlene, except that Arlene always had some lipstick on her teeth and an adhesive beauty mark which looked like those dots on the spines of library books. The movie is very loosely based on the Abscam scandal, but thanks to the hair, makeup and the extensive use of tinted aviators worn indoors, it’s like a fabulous mini-series starring Lee Horsley, Connie Selleca and Linda Blair.

American Hustle doesn’t take itself too seriously, and it doesn’t try to make any huge statements about the American soul, because it’s having too much fun letting Bradley Cooper and Amy Adams boogie down with some major Dance Fever moves at a disco. Bradley is a federal agent, and he’s always great at playing guys who think they’re smarter and sexier than they actually are; when he’s thinking really hard, you can practically smell the English Leather. Amy Adams, as Irving’s ex-stripper mistress, seems a little tentative at first, maybe because Amy’s specialty is playing giddy, blue-eyed innocence in movies like Enchanted. But when she faces off with Jennifer, Amy crimps her hair and sets her jaw for battle, and she gets much harder-edged, maybe because she’s got such a worthy opponent.

I just have to say it: Jennifer Lawrence is a movie star. Whenever she shows up, the audience practically explodes with happiness. Real stars only come along every decade or so, and watching Jennifer is like seeing Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman or Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine; these ladies are all terrific actresses, but they’d be totally justified in scribbling “Movie Star” under Occupation on their tax returns. Jennifer is even great on talk shows, where she seems smart and funny and just a teeny bit loony, which is the ideal movie star cocktail.

American Hustle also doesn’t consider government corruption to be a very big deal, because after all, it’s focusing on corruption in New Jersey, where the state bird is a naugahyde attache case filled with unmarked twenties. Politicians in New Jersey are almost endearing, because they’re always selling out for the high four figures. Maybe Chris Christie would stop seeming like such a bully if he just internalized a simple fact: sooner or later he’s going to jail.

I know that some people are having trouble accepting American Hustle as a great movie, so maybe they should just think of it as a great movie about New Jersey. American Hustle is about what would happen if Dynasty had been filmed in Passaic, at a mid-level mall, if you ask me.

January 2, 2014

Snow Job

Last night I saw another one of those Coca-Cola commercials featuring a family of polar bears, galloping and sliding and hugging through the snow. As they sip from bottles of Coke, they build a snowman, and give him a bottle of Coke. I find these ads deeply disturbing: where do the polar bears get their bottles of Coke? Have they mauled a team of arctic researchers? How do the bears recycle the bottles? In real life, wouldn’t drinking Coke be unhealthy for polar bears? Why isn’t there at least one unmarried or recently divorced, weight-conscious polar bear sipping Diet Coke?

Here’s a polar bear being introduced to Coke, by an unscrupulous penguin:


Here’s the bear drinking alone, while his family hibernates:


The bear is now hooked, and no longer himself:


The whole family gets involved, in what is clearly polar crack:


A threat, to bears who won’t drink Coke:


Coked out of his mind:


Why aren’t the younger bears in school?


Yeah, that’s right:


This bear is down to his last bottle, and getting desperate:


He’s hit bottom, and is finally ready to fix his life:


His first meeting, to get off the stuff:




A blizzard is about to hit much of the US, so just like the bears, be careful out there!

January 1, 2014

Oh No

kitten eyes anxiety

Every year there’s a trending illness: remember hypoglycemia? Or fibromyalgia? Remember the years when everyone had Adult ADD, or decided that they were bipolar? Last year Daryl Hannah announced that as a child, she’d been diagnosed with autism, and Susan Boyle revealed that she had Asperger’s. Psychiatrists have said that recently, many of their patients have been complaining of Generalized Anxiety, and in this spirit, I’d like everyone to start worrying about the following things:

1. Have you ever wondered if your spouse might be a secret sleeper agent for a terrorist organization? Wouldn’t this explain a lot of things, like their odd, prolonged absences, their strange internet habits and the terrible state of their underwear?

2. What if your flu shot was actually filled with radioactive isotopes which have allowed your Mom to track your movements every second of the day, and to know when you’re not wearing enough layers?

3. What if after a few more years of research, it turns out that gluten, peanuts and whole milk are the most powerful cancer-fighting agents ever?

4. What if you’re absolutely right, and late at night, after you’ve fallen asleep, someone does break into your apartment not to steal anything, but to move your keys?

5. What if your parents never told you that you were adopted, and your real parents were warm and loving billionaires who spent their entire lives searching for you, until they died and left all of their money to Unicef? Is there any way you could sue Unicef?

6. What if you don’t just need a great haircut, but you actually have bad hair?

7. What if your favorite color doesn’t look good on you?

8. What if no one will ever love you enough to buy you a private jet?