- Liz Publika
When Women of The Night Hosted The Love Goddess Judy Tenuta
No! You cannot possess her.
Judy Lynn Tenuta — also known as The Love Goddess, The Petite Flower, Aphrodite of the Accordion, etc. — is the first woman in history to win in the Best Female StandUp Comic category at The American Comedy Awards. The two-time Grammy-nominated comedy musician, actor, and author, is known for her mad-hatter performance style and her ability to use humor to make serious points and thoughtful social commentary.
Born in Oak Park, and educated at the University of Illinois at Chicago, her interest in comedy piqued when she took a class with the notorious improv school The Second City. She began performing in comedy clubs around the metropolis during the late 1970s and, due to her ability to fuse observational humor with insult comedy while channeling one or all of her eccentric personas, attained a passionate and dedicated fan base.
As The Love Goddess, Tenuta opens her shows with her signature “Hi Pigs!” and subsequently diving into her routine, which is usually chaotic, surreal, and full of refined lunacy. She is frequently accompanied by her trusty accordion, which is heavily featured in her routines, and enjoys performing wearing fantastical costumes, usually made up of a Greek-inspired toga, DIY cape, and feather boots.
One of her more memorable performances is captured in the 1987 HBO special, Women of the Night, filmed during the peak during the decade's comedy boom. Hosted by Martin Short, it starred Ellen DeGeneres, Paula Poundstone, Rita Rudner, Lizz Winstead, and Judy Tenuta. And you can check it out below!