“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

February 9, 2014



The easiest way to get viciously attacked online is to say something even mildly critical about anything relating to Star Wars, Star Trek or The Lord of the Rings. The fans of these works are not only passionate but they also have plenty of free time to savage their enemies, especially anyone who misspells the name of a Klingon warship, or who forgets the correct recipe for Elvish porridge.
I finally caught up with The Desolation of Smaug, which is the latest installment in The Hobbit series, and I have so many questions:

How does an actor prepare to say a line like “Slay the she-Elf!” or “Have you lost your taste for dwarf blood?” And when he leaves his underwear on the floor, why have I started referring to my husband as “Elvish filth”?

Is the Dwarf King a person or a new mattress size?

Is it my imagination, or are the dwarves wearing Uggs? Since the really nasty Tolkien creatures are called Orcs, couldn’t they battle the Uggs?

In all of the Tolkien movies, the characters always set out on a journey. Then they travel across a plain, through a forest, across a lake and finally up a mountain. Why can’t at least one dwarf say, “You know, guys, this time out, can we at least think about Paris?”

Lee Pace plays the arrogant Elf King, with Joan Crawford eyebrows and a crafts-project crown. Is he supposed to look like a wrathful priestess in a Martha Graham dance piece?

Why isn’t there a character named Elvish Presley?

When Bilbo Baggins enters an enormous subterranean hall filled with acres of gold, there are avalanches of gold coins, golden platters, golden goblets and cheesey golden figurines. Just like in pirate movies, why does
everything look like it’s been sprayed with cheap radiator paint? Why did I keep expecting to see my cousin Amy descend the grand staircase along with her twelve bridesmaids, for some wedding photos, at Bilbo’s of Great Neck?

The Elves are all gorgeous, with miles of stick-straight, shining hair with no split ends. Orlando Bloom, as the elf warrior Legolas, is the Marcia Brady of Middle Earth. So why can’t there be a scene where we see the elves ironing each other’s tresses, and picking out cashmere sweaters and berets?

When Smaug the dragon finally flies into view, is he supposed to look like something which was embroidered on the back of a hot pink satin bomber jacket, at a roller disco in 1978?

Richard Armitage, who plays Thorin, the dwarf king, is always smoldering and angry. Is he irate because he knows that his wig makes him look like a sexy bobblehead? And are real-life little people understandably upset, because the Tolkien movies use special effects to make tall actors seem like dwarves? Will there someday be a more politically correct movie called Twelve Years A Hobbit?

When the dwarves built their massive palace, why did they need such high ceilings?

Why does every fantastical city in the Tolkien movies have many levels connected by impossibly winding stairways and footbridges without railings? Why do these cities always end up looking like M.C.Escher placemats?

Is Ian McKellan, as Gandalf, starting to look like a more even-tempered Elaine Stritch?

The first two Hobbit movies are both equally fun and endless, and I’ve completely forgotten what Bilbo and all of those dwarves are seeking. I do know that Bilbo is still carrying around a golden ring, but it doesn’t even have a diamond chip, so he’s certainly not looking for a decent fiancee, if you ask me.