“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

January 10, 2014

Embarrassing Moments in Gayness


I once saw a mini-van with the license plate MISS DAD. This probably meant that the family who owned the van had a father in the military, or maybe even a dead father. I immediately thought it was the father’s drag name.

When I was 12 years old, my parents allowed me to choose the wallpaper for my bedroom. I selected an oversize, high-gloss neon yellow and orange houndstooth check, with coordinated orange shag carpeting. This decision combined an embarrassing moment of gayness with proof that I was born in New Jersey.

I was once all by myself in a house on Fire Island. Where I compared the original cast recordings of two different versions of The Wild Party. A helicopter should have descended and taken me away to a gay penal colony. But of course, I was already there.

I went with a friend to Radio City to see a touring production of The Music of Andrew Lloyd Weber, starring Michael Crawford, who didn’t make his grand entrance until the end of the first half. My friend and I could not stop dissecting the entire event in detail, until an usher came over and rightly told us that if we didn’t shut up we would be thrown out.

One summer I worked as an assistant to the genius costume designer William Ivey Long. I was so incompetent that eventually William wouldn’t let me do anything, and I had to sit in the corner and make pillows for my apartment.

I once wrote a paper for a college seminar in which I insisted that Bette Davis should have made a movie of Hedda Gabler.

When I saw a recent announcement of a new play called Camp David, I instantly assumed it was about a gay teenager being bullied over the summer. It’s about Jimmy Carter.

A dear friend once asked me to help him choose between two shirts, as he put it, “The teal? Or the slate?” When I chose the teal, he stared at me and declared, “You obviously don’t know a thing about my coloring.” A modified version of this moment later found its way into my play Jeffrey.

I actually love the people in the photo above, and I think they look great, although it took me a moment to realize that they were dressed as crayons. I also love the folks in the photo below, because it couldn’t have been easy or cheap to assemble all of those scooters.