Metro Weekly

The Goddess of Gay Days

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


Judy Tenuta

Judy Tenuta

MW: Do you have kids?

TENUTA: No, just the men I date.

MW: What are you doing with your show these days? What are you talking about? Still playing accordion?

TENUTA: But of course I still have to punish people with the accordion! It’s so funny, I just did this show, taped it for this cable thing. They said, ”We want to mike your accordion.” Please, haven’t people been punished enough? It’s not like I’m a full-fledged musician. Anyway, this is for you. [Performs her song, ”Party in Your Pants,” over the phone, playing accordion.]

MW: Oh, my God. You just did that for me!

TENUTA: I did it for you!

MW: You just made my week, Judy Tenuta.

TENUTA: [Laughs.] Aw, sweet. It’s the funniest thing. You don’t realize how people are kind of such great fans. I was in Hawaii doing a show a few years back, at a Westin. They had this big hall I was performing in. Before I went onstage, I was in this kitchen – a beautiful kitchen, almost like a ballroom itself. So, I’m back there with the manager, one other person, and the chef comes right up to me. He kneels down and he says, ”May I kiss your accordion?” I said, ”Oh, my God, you’re awesome! You are messed up!”

MW: And you let him kiss it?

TENUTA: Of course! Oh, my God, are you kidding me? It was hysterical. You would’ve cracked up.

MW: Are they still dating?

TENUTA: Believe me, he would’ve been in his glory if I’d left it there. [Laughs.] As I said, I was heading to stage and couldn’t give it to him. But I’ve gifted certain places with accordions. One is in Michigan. One is in Cleveland. There’s one in Orlando – my prom gown and my accordion at Universal Studios.

MW: When you’re traveling, how do you pack the accordion? Do you buy it a seat?

TENUTA: No. I’ve downsized. I have a petite accordion. We don’t want to hurt the goddess back. Actually, it fits into my suitcase, which I usually try to put in the overhead. I still try to bring it onboard with me, because they goof it up when I check it. They bang everything around.

Please Support Metro Weekly

As a free LGBTQ publication, Metro Weekly relies on advertising in order to bring you unique, high quality journalism, both online and in our weekly edition. The ongoing coronavirus pandemic has forced many of our incredible advertisers to temporarily close their doors to protect staff and customers, and so we’re asking you, our readers, to help support Metro Weekly during this trying period. We appreciate anything you can do, and please keep reading us on the website and our new Digital Edition, released every Thursday and available for online reading or download.

Follow Will O'Bryan on Twitter @wobryan.

Leave a Comment: