Comedy icon Rita Rudner chats return to OC with stand-up show

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Segerstrom Center for the Arts - Rita Rudner

By Jackie Moe

For over three decades, the “queen of one-liners” comedian Rita Rudner has charmed stages throughout the world, including holding the title of the longest-running, one-person comedy show in Las Vegas.

In addition, Rudner is a best-selling author, “I Still Have It…I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It: Confessions of a Fiftysomething,” “Naked Beneath My Clothes,” as well as the novels “Tickled Pink,” and “Turning The Tables.”

The Laguna Beach resident divides her time in her second home in Las Vegas during her residency. She often performs her one-woman stand-up throughout Orange County, including making a stop at Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 7.

At what moment did you realize you belong in comedy? 

The first time somebody paid me money. Previously I’d been paid in food. Being on TV for the first time was very validating; my first TV appearance was on HBO, alongside Robin Williams, Billy Crystal, Andy Kaufman, Richard Belzer & Pat Benatar.

What advice would you give female comedians today? 

Be yourself, tell the truth, and try to avoid performing in front of Will Smith.

What was a pivotal moment in your comedy career? How did that change you? 

Deciding to leave Hollywood and move to Las Vegas. It allowed me to stop traveling and start a family, plus performing regularly in my own theater made me a better and wealthier comedian!

What’s next for Rita?

Next, I’m going to sleep. Oh, you mean professionally. My autobiography comes out in August. I’m performing in a funny play at the Laguna Playhouse next January.

Rita Rudner  

Segerstrom Center for the Arts — Samueli Theater

600 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626

7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 7

Tickets: $59

(714) 556-2787

Online SCFTA.org

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