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NY comic Judy Gold headlines City Winery on Christmas Day

Posted Thursday, December 21, 2017 by RODNEY HO/ on his myAJC Radio & TV Talk blog

Judy Gold is ready to make you laugh on Christmas Day at the City Winery in Atlanta, a day that very few artists tend to book since it's, well, Christmas.

"Hello? How else am I going to make a living?" Gold said. "First of all, no one loves Christmas more than the Jews. The notion, of course, is we go to movies and have Chinese food on Christmas Day. Why not go to a comedy club, then have Chinese food?"

And she figures her audience won't just be Jews. "A lot of people will be happy to get the f*** away from their families!"

Gold, 55, is a veteran New York stand-up comic who wrote for the "Rosie O'Donnell Show" back in the day and acts as well, appearing recently on shows ranging from TBS's "Search Party" to Netflix's "Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt" to Comedy Central's "Broad City." She herself has never quite gotten that big break to elevate her into mainstream success, but she has stuck with stand-up, her go-to place, doing 250-plus shows a year.

"I've always been about the work," Gold said, "about being a great comic. Ask any of my peers. I never was about anything except being a great comic."

Over the years, she said she's been told no for projects because she's too gay, too Jewish, too brash. "People would always come up with reasons why things don't work," she said. "I'm not being Hillary Clinton and blaming everyone else. I'm sure moving back to New York from L.A. to raise a child didn't help me. Maybe I've made some bad decisions but you can't say I don't have the talent or the work ethic."

Gold last performed her one-woman stage show in 2009 in Atlanta and thought the crowds were great unlike her memories of coming to a Marietta comedy club in the early 1990s and being called a kike and dyke. ("At least they rhyme!" she said.) She recalled someone yelling at her that Jews have all the money and she retorted, "That's why I'm working here this week! I'm loaded!"

She doesn't expect to ever retirement from doing stand up. She said it was a big blow to lose Joan Rivers, who was still going strong at age 81 when she died in surgery. To Gold, she was a true pioneer. "I could put on a television as a child and see a Jewish woman with a big mouth who was f**king hilarious," Gold said.

In the interview, she couldn't avoid Donald Trump, who lost his own borough of Manhattan by more than 78 points. "We already live with him, we get him and we hate him," she said. And while Trump haters enjoy a good Trump joke every now and then, she said Trump supporters "don't have the capacity to even appreciate the comedy in it."

She said part of her show is about identity politics and how people of all stripes get caught up in it. "I'm a member of the LGBT community," she said. "I fought for the rights of all these people. I'm a feminist. I believe in equality in everyone. Cut the s*** with this minutia! We got to stop being offended by every little thing."

Gold reminisced about the glories of travel back in the days before cell phones and Starbucks when she used to carry a suitcase with its own two-cup coffeemaker in it with books and magazines. One time, she even brought a menorah and would get stopped at the airport. "What is this? A weapon with a big star of David on it?"

She has also showed upon a few reality shows. She did a "Celebrity Wife Swap" three years ago with magician Penn Jillette. She said her partner at the time enjoyed getting the hair and makeup treatment, but her son found it annoying. "He learned as a teenager there is nothing real about reality TV," she said. She said they engineered him not to show up to something to create fake conflict.

She has also participated in "Chopped All Stars" and "Rachel vs. Guy." "I love doing stuff for charity," she said, "though I wish the charity were my banking account."


Judy Gold

8 p.m. Monday, Christmas Day


City Winery Atlanta

650 North Avenue, Ponce City Market, Atlanta

Buy tickets here

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About the Author

Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.