“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: December 2014

December 6, 2014

Laff Tracking

Laughter-emoticonWhen conservative people laugh:

They often actually make a hahaha sound, as if they’re expelling something caught in their esopahagus.

They will glance around, in a jolly manner, indicating to their fellow audience members, “That was a good one!”

If they disagree with a punchline, or its political content, they get very stern and will tell their spouse, “Not funny.”

If they’re drunk, they’ll laugh at anything, and even merrily slap their thighs. This can be endearing or annoying.

The most uptight right-wingers won’t laugh at all, but instead will announce, “That’s funny”, as if they’re the presiding Judge at Komedy Kourt.

When liberal people laugh:

Nervous white liberals will often check in with other audience members, to see if it’s permissible to laugh at something which might be offensive. They will glance beseechingly at any minority member, for guidance.

They will laugh especially loudly at anything which ridicules Republicans, while vigorously nodding their heads in agreement, as if they’re voting.

Liberal women will sometimes cover their mouths when they laugh, geisha-style, if they’re laughing at something naughty. In a similar situation, a conservative woman won’t laugh at all, but she will stare at whoever’s laughing, to shame them.

If they’re drunk, liberal males will laugh uproariously and high-five or fist-bump each other. This can be endearing or sad.

When white liberals laugh at African-American comedians, they feel better about America.


December 5, 2014

About Last Night


03346b7a74b44124bbccda2d3d5abd67-b216847b7984372f670f6a7067007711Last night, as I was trying to get some work done, I was also dipping into the live broadcast of Peter Pan. As this was happening, I heard the sound of a helicopter, coming from very close by, as if it was circling overhead. Then I heard chanting, so I ran to my window, which overlooks the West Side Highway. The street had been blocked off with at least three civilian vehicles at odd angles, and then row after row of police cars and vans, in both directions. Hundreds, if not thousands of protestors, many carrying placards, were gathered; some people were standing in place, while others headed around the police cars to continue along the pedestrian lanes beside the river. A large group of uniformed police officers had formed a circle around the parked vehicles. The protest wasn’t violent, but it was outraged, with the crowd yelling “I CAN’T BREATHE! I CAN’T BREATHE!”, which were the last words of Eric Garner, the man whose arrest and death, along with that of Michael Brown in Ferguson, had sparked all this.

The situation reminded me, in an odd way, of 9/11, because on both days, I was torn between heading outside to watch the live event, and checking in with my computer and TV, which could supply more information. On 9/11, my partner John had called me and told me to go up to the roof, where I watched the second plane fly into the tower, and then I saw the towers collapse.

Meanwhile, because I’m a hopelessly shallow person, I kept checking in with Peter Pan, and with the continuing online commentary on the broadcast, which was every bit as vehement as the highway protest.

Two nights ago, right after the announcement that the arresting officer in the Garner case wouldn’t be indicted, protests took place all over town, and right across Fifth Avenue from the annual tree-lighting ceremony at Rockefeller Center. That night, the online conflagration had centered on both the lack of an indictment, and Mariah Carey’s troubled vocal performance of “All I Want For Christmas” at the tree-lighting.

It’s a helluva town.

December 4, 2014

You’re Out!



Dale Scott, the 55 year old Major League umpire in the photo above, has just come out in the media. He seems like a terrific guy, and in 2013 he married his partner, whom he’s been with for decades. I know nothing about baseball, but since I’m gay, that entitles me to have an opinion about everything; in fact, many of the gay men I know often behave like umpires, as they announce their judgements on restaurants, toggle coats, and the live broadcast of Peter Pan. So if Dale is busy, here are some of the calls I might make, during a World Series:

“The sun was in my eyes and I was trying to decide if I want to see that new Reese Witherspoon movie, so could you do whatever that was again?”

“You got to second base! And you didn’t even have to buy him dinner! Bada boom!”

“I know it’s an important position, but calling someone a shortstop sounds hurtful. Especially in bed.”

“If he’s the pitcher, which one is the sugar bowl? And if you’re the catcher, here’s my number. Bada bing!”

“Fine, you slid into home plate. But now your uniform is filthy.”

“Strike one! And yes, I’m talking about your mullet.”

“Before I decide about that foul ball, is everyone wearing sunscreen?”

“Batter up! I sound like Betty Crocker!”

“Strike two! Because if you keep chewing tobacco, no one will ever want to kiss you.Think about it, Jimmy Ray Earl Whoever You Are.”

“Does anyone remember Field of Dreams? Are all of you ghosts?”

“Wait a minute, this is nothing like Damn Yankees. Where’s the locker room number?”

“Strike three! Because I just don’t like your attitude, Mister I’m-Going-To-Keep-Everyone-Waiting-While-I-Put-On-My-Ugly-Plastic-Hat.”

“If you scratch your balls one more time, I’m going to have to hug you.”





December 2, 2014

Libby Gelman-Waxner: Kopy Katniss

2014_09_Jennifer-Lawrence-The-Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Movie-1600x1000I’m not going to sue or start a Twitter war, but anyone with half a brain will totally agree, that Jennifer Lawrence has based her performance in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, entirely on me. Over the years many people have mistaken me for Jennifer, but I always tell them, excuse me, but I was blonde and super-talented and had problems growing out my Mia Farrow pixie cut years before Jennifer. In the gracefully titled THG:M-P1, Jennifer has returned as the brave, heartsick Katniss Everdeen, who’s still deeply traumatized after being forced to slaughter other children with a bow and arrow in the earlier two movies, while wrangling a high-degree-of-difficulty side-braid, just the way I was traumatized by having to watch her do it.

In this latest installment, Katniss awakens in a secret underground bunker, where the rebel forces ask her to lead the districts in fighting the evil rulers of Panem. While Katniss is concerned about all of the bloodshed and injustice, her first reaction is pure Libby, because all she wants to know is “But where’s my cute boyfriend?” Katniss is still being pursued by Peeta and Gale, two yearning dreamboats, and Jennifer is forced to constantly demand, “Where’s Peeta?” as if she’s ordering bread in a Greek restaurant. Jennifer pretty much spends the entire movie sulking, which of course made me think: Libby, sophomore year at Massapequa High School, while I was still waiting for my new nose to heal.

THG:M-P1 is more than a little padded, in order to justify splitting the final book of The Hunger Games trilogy into two separate movies, so Jennifer is always curled up on her bunk or snacking in the cafeteria, until a military underling comes to fetch her; the movie could be subtitled either “What now?” or “Excuse me, I’m eating.” On several occasions Katniss also stumbles across various rubble-strewn battlefields, registering shock and allowing a single photogenic tear to cascade down her flawless cheek, and I was reminded of my own experience when, due to a stomach flu, I arrived at the Barneys Warehouse Sale at least 48 hours after all of the good stuff was gone, and I had to keep fingering the same polyblend salmon-colored Escada cardigan, in Extra-Small. Here’s Katniss, in something from one of Donna Karan’s Urban Zen collections:


Julianne Moore is introduced in THG:M-P1, as the stern leader of the Resistance, in a drab jumpsuit and serious silver hair, as if she’s about to teach a prison self-defense workshop on Orange Is The New Black.

mockingjay1Julianne attempts to comfort Jennifer, and I think she murmured, under her breath, “Remember, after you finish the last Hunger Games blockbuster, you can make another indie.” Thankfully, Elizabeth Banks is also on hand, as Effie Trinket, Panem’s foremost style consultant, who really hates the whole jumpsuit vibe, and compensates by wearing delightfully off-center military-issue turbans. Elizabeth is one of the few characters who’s allowed to have a sense of humor, which is a great blessing, because the Hunger Games movies remain faithful to the novels, which refuse to glorify even a righteous war. This is a noble sentiment, but the movies can get a little grim.

Effie replaces Fulvia in Mockingjay

Jennifer not only has to cope with terrorist atrocities, a center part and Peeta’s disappearance, but she’s also saddled with a beaming, helpless kid sister named Prim, who only exists to do stupid things, so Katniss can rescue her. Trying to make us care about someone named Prim is already dicey, but it’s short for Primrose, which is so much worse. In THG:M-P 1,  Katniss, who’s always hunted, goes vegan, and I have the feeling that in the final movie she may either become a midwife or make her own sandals out of recycled inner tubes.

But still, as my perfect teenage daughter Jennifer reminded me, “You don’t understand anything, because The Hunger Games movies are about how grownups ruin everything, so teenagers have to fix the whole world, until they can finally be free to kiss each other.” And then we both said, “While wearing their favorite fitted leather jackets.”

Hunger-Games-Mockingjay-Movie-Set-PicturesJennifer may have a point, but when Katniss was once again in the cafeteria, and then got summoned to address the rebels on TV, as she stood up, she dabbed at her mouth with a napkin, and all I could think was: she’s doing Libby, and I’m sure she’s about to check her reflection in the back of a spoon, to see if she’s got any kale caught in her gumline. Because even Joan of Arc wore Spanx under her armor, if you ask me.