The Goddess of Gay Days

Perennial gay favorite, Judy Tenuta brings comedy -- and accordion -- to Florida fete

MW: Do you like being on the road?

TENUTA: Only if I have a band of gay men to help adore me.

MW: Have you performed on any gay cruises?

TENUTA: I had so much fun! I love ‘em! I was invited on a gay cruise [RSVP's Caribbean cruise on Holland America Line's Zuiderdam] in 2008 and they said, ”You can bring your mom.” Isn’t that great? I performed the very first night and it was so fantastic. I loved it, loved it, loved it. Then, the next several nights, I just enjoyed myself. They had different shows, different things going on. The third night, the boat was really rocky, but I thought it was kinda fun. [Laughs.] And they gave my mom a separate suite. Isn’t that great? We just had the best time. I loved it. And the different ports? ”Hey, Judy, wanna come spelunking?” It was so much fun.

MW: You weren’t trapped with any stalker fan?

TENUTA: Oh, no, no, no. They were sweethearts. They were so sweet and so respectful of my mom. They would take her arm. You know how the gay men are, they’re fantastic. And the gay women, too.

MW: Is that your idea of a perfect vacation, a cruise?

TENUTA: I do enjoy a nice cruise. I love Paris – but only in beautiful weather, not in the winter. Even though the French are rude, it’s beautiful there. [Laughs.] And it’s always great to go to Hawaii.

MW: So, window or aisle?

TENUTA: I’ve got to have the aisle. I have to have a quick exit to the bathroom. It’s not so much that I go, but I don’t want to climb over big, fat hoarders. I don’t want to be climbing over people.

Oh! The last flight I took, I had a lady, I’d say 40-something, with like a 7-year-old. It was late at night, you’re trying to sleep, and this cow decides to read aloud to her son – who was playing on his iPad and not even listening to her. And she’s going, ”And then the cow….” And I go, ”Excuse me. First of all, it’s late and everyone’s trying to sleep. And your son isn’t even paying attention.”

MW: How did she react?

TENUTA: She was a bitch! ”Are you trying to restrict my son’s education?” He’s trying to do it! Your son already hates you. Can you blame him?

Judy Tenuta performs as part of Gay Days Orlando on Saturday, June 1, at the host hotel, Doubletree by Hilton Orlando at SeaWorld. General admission tickets are $25, VIP $60, available at gaydays.com.

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