Cut-to-the-bone humor has served standup comedian Judy Gold well. It will get her through the current administration. She hopes.
“I think people need to laugh,” she says in a telephone interview from her home in New York. “That’s the greatest thing since [Trump] got in office. People come up to me and thank me, saying, ‘I haven’t laughed in a long time, because I’m just so anxious all the time.’ ”
Gold will probably wrestle with what she calls “the elephant in the room” when she brings her act to the Boca Black Box Center for the Performing Arts for two shows Sept. 23-24.
“For me, it took so long to write a joke about him, simply because of the fact that’s it’s so scary,” Gold says. “He’s incompetent. He obviously has emotional issues and intellectual issues. It’s so hard to write when you are in fear. I felt afraid. And it hasn’t gone away. Now, we’re talking nuclear war. I mean, how can you deny climate change? Oh, my God, just shut up. I think most comics would give up the material to not wake up in fear every morning.”
Gold has channeled those feelings and frustrations into a popular podcast titled “Kill Me Now.” The two-time Emmy winner (for writing and producing “The Rosie O'Donnell Show'”) can be seen on Showtime’s “I’m Dying Up Here” and Pop TV’s “Nightcap.” She is a regular on the talk-show circuit. Gold also wrote and starred in off-Broadway shows “The Judy Show — My Life as a Sitcom” and “25 Questions for a Jewish Mother.” She has also starred in stage productions of “Clinton the Musical,” “Love, Loss and What I Wore” and “The Vagina Monologues.”
Here’s more about Gold, her life and what’s pissing her off now.
Conversion therapy: “Mike Pence, he’s worse. And if someone is so adamant that recovery therapy works or is so adamant that it’s a choice, you know what I would say to him? If you are so convinced that it’s a choice, then you made that choice. If you believe it is a choice, then you have made the choice. So when did you choose, Mr. Pence?”
Social media: “With Bush, we got a lot of material on how dumb he was. Even his supporters made jokes. But Trump’s people have no sense of humor. You read what they say online or they’re responding to something on Twitter or on my Facebook page, and they don’t come back with anything funny. It’s just mean. It’s not funny or thoughtful. It’s just name-calling. It’s just ridiculous. It’s interesting because people speak now they way they are. They have no boundaries. They say whatever they think. [President Trump] made people less kind. And he’s making it OK to be less kind, or sexist, or racist, or homophobic. I still can’t believe it.”
“Kill Me Now” podcast: “Well, I do my form of an interview. I want to know everything about everyone, what makes them tick and what pisses them off. Because, as you know, I’m always pissed off about something. Even though they may be the most reticent people, the most calm, it’s just interesting, because I want people to talk about something that they are passionate about. And something that aggravates you really brings out the passion in people. There’s always something that gets people freaked out. I just love it.”
“Nightcap,” on Pop TV cable network. “It’s about a nighttime talk show, like ‘The Tonight Show’ or something like that. It’s Ali Wentworth’s show, and it is hilarious. It’s very celebrity-heavy. You see celebrities doing stuff that you would never expect them to do.”
“The Other F Word,” streaming on Amazon Prime. “It’s a web series about women over 40, which I know is shocking, that I’m over 40. And it’s really fun. We’re so underrepresented on TV that it’s a joke.”
Balancing family and career: “Yeah, one [son] is in college, and the other is a junior in high school. I don’t know, you do it. I feel like it’s nothing compared to [being] a single mother with kids. Or maybe someone struggling on welfare. There are so many people who work hard and don’t get to be on TV, you know. My ex takes on half of the responsibility, and my partner now does a lot. But it’s funny, when I hear some single people comment on how tired they are, I’m like, ‘Shut the f— up. You have no idea.’ I’m out later at night doing a set and get up at 7 and make a lunch for school. You really don’t know what tired is until you have children.”
Judy Gold will perform Sept. 23-24 at Boca Black Box, 8221 Glades Road, in Boca Raton. Showtimes are 8 p.m. Saturday and 7 p.m. Sunday. Tickets cost $30 and $40. To order, call 561-483-9036 or go to BocaBlackBox.com.