“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

September 18, 2015

Worst Kinds of Waiting

waiting-21. Waiting for medical test results
2. Waiting behind a person who’s decided to discuss a purchase from three months ago with the cashier
3. Waiting for someone who still hasn’t started packing when you’re already late for your flight
4. Waiting for the light to change
5. Waiting for a college acceptance notification
6. Waiting while the salesperson checks to see if they have your desired item “in the back” when you know the salesperson is actually making a personal call about where to meet Andrea later tonight
7. Waiting for the check
8. Waiting for the bathroom
9. Waiting for the bathroom WHEN IT’S AN EMERGENCY
10. Waiting for the subway to start moving again after the lights and air conditioning have gone out
11. Waiting for someone at a restaurant or on a streetcorner and wondering if you’ve been stood up or if the other person has been in a terrible acccident – then you start hoping they were
12. Waiting for a repair person to arrive after the “four hour window” has long passed
13. Waiting on the wrong line
14. Waiting for someone after the show or movie has already started, and you know they’re still primping
15. Waiting for the brownies to have cooled down enough to eat without burning your mouth
16. Waiting for your turn to speak in any conversation

September 12, 2015

Tweeting

twitter1-2200x800I’m sorry I haven’t posted anything for a bit, but I’ve been working away at a batch of projects and, God help me, I now have a Twitter account – @PaulRudnickNY. I’m pretty sure I’m the very last person on earth to begin tweeting. My observations:

– Rachel Griffiths, my glorious editor at Scholastic, encouraged me to join Twitter. By this I mean she came to my apartment and with the help of the brilliant and invaluable Jeffrey and Jeremy West, set up my account, showed me how to tweet and everyone barely suppressed their laughter at my incompetence. I am in their debt.

– Tweeting is fun and maddening. It’s a social and mathematical challenge. It’s like jumping up and down in a crowd of millions and trying to grab everyone’s attention. Without owning a gun.

– Some people are brilliant and funny on Twitter and others are not. It’s like a cocktail party where you learn who to avoid and who seems entertaining.

– I have a weakness for following celebrities who pay someone, or a team of someones, to tweet for them. You can feel the employees’ anxiety and terror, as they attempt to make the celeb come across as friendly and down-to-earth, while promoting the celeb’s latest projects and ignoring the celeb’s latest arrest for manslaughter.

– Like so much of the internet, Twitter is a variation on passing notes in class. It doesn’t accomplish all that much, but it sure beats Algebra.

September 3, 2015

God to Kim

Kentucky-clerk-Kim-Davis-contKim Davis, the Kentucky clerk who’s refused to issue marriage licenses to gay couples, claims that God has instructed her to behave this way. Here are some other things God’s whispered to Kim:

“Get married again. Fifth time’s the charm!”

“Every day is Casual Friday in Kentucky!”

“Keep saying that you don’t hate anyone. Then giggle to yourself.”

“Accept huge amounts of cash and legal advice from scary evangelical groups and individuals.Use the money to buy more barettes.”

“Think about also denying drivers licenses to gay people, because what if they drive to their demonic churches and get married?”

“Check to make sure that none of your Beanie Babies are gay. Make the gay Beanie Babies sleep outside.”

August 31, 2015

First Lady

1430785592_kim-kardashian-kanye-west-zoomLast night at the VMAs, Kanye West announced that he was running for President in 2020. While this was thrilling news, what really excited me was the prospect of First Lady Kim Kardashian. Here’s what we can expect:

– Instead of literacy or fighting childhood obesity, Kim will champion universal brow-shaping.

– Kim will stand proudly beside President West at his Inaugural, with her butt facing the camera.

– Kris Jenner will urge Kim to re-model the White House and add a mother-in-law apartment, granite countertops in the Oval Office, and she’ll push for turning the Lincoln Bedroom into a shoe closet.

– Kim’s official portrait will be a nude, although she’ll be holding a bottle of her latest fragrance.

– Kim’s sisters Khloe and Kourtney will open a boutique in the Rose Garden, selling leggings, fun tops and invitations to official dinners.

– Kim will demand that during Kanye’s presidency, the other branches of government will be spelled the Supreme Kort and Kongress.

August 25, 2015

Things the Internet Is Making Me Worry About

Flo_from_Progressive_Insurance1. The morality of a Caitlyn Jenner Halloween costume.

2. Is Joe Biden serious about running for president? Why?

3. Taylor Swift is now routinely bringing celebrities onstage during her concert tour, including Julia Roberts, Joan Baez and Alanis Morissette. Where are Ruth Ginsburg, Sheryl Sandberg and Flo from the insurance ads?

4. The wonderful and essential website D-Listed posted a real-life TV ad by a San Antonio mortician named Dick Tips. Is the name Dick Tips better or worse than Deez Nuts?

5. Can Youtube stars with millions of followers become legitimate movie or TV stars? Isn’t this something only the Youtube stars’ parents should worry about?

August 25, 2015

Ignorance 101

Fun HomeTowards the end of Tony Kushner’s magnificent Angels In America, a character predicts a brighter future, claiming, “the world only spins forwards.” I’ve always loved that moment, even though the world keeps providing evidence to the contrary.

There’s currently a particularly dimwitted freshman at Duke, who’s refused to read Alison Bechdel’s classic graphic memoir Fun Home (the book is part of a voluntary reading list.) Brian Grasso has said that, “I still hold that personally it would be dishonoring to God for me to read it and view it.” Naturally, Grasso claims that any objections to his idiocy are the result of discrimination. He says, “The purpose of the university is for people to come and hear different perspectives, and I thought I was consistent with that in my decision not to read the book.”

Arguing with Grasso is pointless, although he might at least acknowledge that if he doesn’t read books he might disagree with, how will he ever experience his beloved “different perspectives”?

Grasso is also nervous because he’s been told that the book contains sexual imagery. I’m assuming that Grasso has never seen any TV shows, movies, billboards or other people. My fondest hope is that someday, Grasso will be found trembling and twitching, unable to form words, with Fun Home open by his side.

August 24, 2015

Update

I’m working on I Shudder, a pilot for TV Land, with the wonderful producer Dan Jinks. With the help of the superb casting director Bernie Telsey and his associate Conrad Woolfe, we’ve been assembling a sensational cast, including Hamish Linklater, Megan Hilty, Geneva Carr, John Behlmann and ten-year-old Brooklyn Shuck. I’ve been feeling very spoiled, as you can tell by all the superlatives in the previous sentences.

The show is inspired by the Elyot Vionnet stories from my collection also called I Shudder. Elyot is a very special guy, who lives in what he calls his “perfect studio apartment which almost overlooks Gramercy Park.” Elyot is apalled by indecent behavior and he resolves to help the world become a better, more compassionate and more stylish place. As he does this, through no fault of Elyot’s, people occasionally die. Elyot has perfect taste and he’s not afraid to use it.

The pilot will be shot in New York in October.

CBS Summer Press Tour Party - Arrivals

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August 24, 2015

Giant Red Ball

This has been everywhere, but it’s still fun to watch on a Monday morning. It’s from an art installation in Toledo:

August 22, 2015

Ashley Madison

ashley-madisonBoth Josh Duggar and Sam Rader, a creep with a Christian vlog, have been caught with accounts on Ashley Madison, the website designed to promote extra-marital affairs. Both Josh and Sam have manfully admitted their transgressions, claimed that everyone’s a sinner, and they’ve asked the Lord’s forgiveness. The wives of both of these men have reportedly forgiven them. Here’s my question: what wouldn’t these decent Christian ladies forgive?

If their husbands cheated with women from a Jewish website called Rachel Melissa.

If their husbands publicly stated, “I hate my wife’s bangs.”

If their husbands cheated with men from a gay website called Chad Brice.

If their husbands publicly stated, “I love online porn much more than my wife’s mac and cheese.”

If their husbands not only cheated, but forgot to walk the dog and the dog peed on the wife’s favorite ribbed, slimming polyester cardigan, the one she likes to wear in the videos where the couple talks about how gay marriage threatens their freedom of religion.

If the wife suddenly realized why their 15th baby was named Ashley Madison.

August 21, 2015

Possible New Superpowers

superheroThe ability to re-open subway doors, with my mind.

The ability to remember that George Pataki is still a possible presidential candidate.

The ability to fly, in business class.

The ability to always get a window seat, in any vehicle, and to repel strangers from sitting next to me.

The ability to eat the pillow-size bags of trail mix, without gaining weight or getting stomach cramps.

The ability to finish reading, and understand, any article on the Greek financial crisis.

The ability to believably pretend to listen.

August 17, 2015

Difficult People

hulu-difficult-people-trailerI’ve been watching the new show Difficult People on Hulu, and it’s completely wonderful. It was created by Julie Klausner, and stars Julie and the terrific Billy Eichner as two frustrated, opinionated show business obsessives, lurking around the fringes of fame. In the course of the early episodes, the pair has managed to gloriously insult child understudies, Blue Ivy, PBS and so many other worthy targets. The cast is packed with people like Andrea Martin, Cole Escola, James Urbaniak, Gabourey Sidibe, Martin Short and Andy Cohen, all having a blast. The show is smart, fearless and always goes just a bit farther than you think it will. The first three episodes are now available, but I’m kind of glad that Hulu didn’t air the entire series all at once, so now I have something to look forward to every week. I’ve also watched and adored the full first season of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Both of these shows are addictively pleasureable.

August 13, 2015

It Has A Name!

2974dd2233ecbaa73e6daaf448c978eaEver since I was little, I’ve never been able to instantly remember which was my left foot and which was my right. In gym class I’d sometimes use a Bic pen to scrawl a large R and L on the tips of my sneakers. If someone said, “Raise your right hand”, I’d have to think about it, and try to recall which hand I wrote with, and I’d often second-guess myself. Don’t get me started on trying to figure out stage-right and stage-left.

According to the NY Times, “roughly 15 percent of the population suffer from profound left-right confusion.” The Times also notes that this syndrome doesn’t matter very much, unless you’re, for example, a surgeon who has to decide which leg or arm of a patient to operate on. Mistakes have occured in these situations, which is why most hospitals now require the doctor to clearly mark the limb in question, by writing THIS LEG, IF YOU WANT TO AVOID A MAJOR LAWSUIT on the patient with a thick magic marker.

I feel much better now that my condition has been named, which will make it easier to hold Profound Left-Right Confusion fund-raising events, including triathalons where half the competitors will run in the wrong direction. I also want to develop a line of merchandise, with gloves knitted with R and L, which of course I’ll try to shove onto the wrong hands, and t-shirts reading NO, YOUR OTHER RIGHT HAND. I’m also pleased to suffer from a profound disorder, rather than something more shallow.

I will file this entire post under More Good Reasons Why I Don’t Drive.

Paul Rudnick Blognick