Rita Rudner is the only child of witty parents. Much to their dismay, Rita displayed a complete lack of witty until the age of twenty-five, whereupon she refused to say anything unless I was laced with wit.
Up until twenty-five Rita preferred to talk with her feet and danced in six Broadway shows that she no longer likes to name because readers will be compelled to go back and try to figure out how old she is.
Rita decided to be a comic by stganding in front of inebriated strangers late at night, talking into a microphone and leaving in the bits where people laughed. She has no idea why she leaped from chorus lines to punch lines…when she was in therapy she forgot to ask.
David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Bill Mahr, Jay Leno, Bob Hope, George Burns, Tom Snyder, Conan O’Brien, Dennis Miller, Martin Short, Oprah Winfrey, Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa have all found Rita amusing and she has appeared on all of their respective shows respectively.
Rita’s fir solo HBO special, “Rita Rudner’s One Night Stand”, was nominated for two Ace Awards, as was her English television show which later appeared on A&E. Rita’s two one hour special for HBO, “Born to Be Mild” and “Married Without Children”, were ratings standouts and many viewers liked her dresses.
Rita has written three books: her first fiction novel, “Tickled Pink” which was published in the fall of 2001, the best selling “Naked Beneath My Clothes” and “Rita Rudner’s Guide to Men”, which continues to be quoted extensively on the internet in English and in languages she will never understand.
Speaking of men, in 1989 Rita married Englishman Martin Bergman. The two have collaborated in more ways than one. The movie “Peter’s Friends” was their first production script. It starred Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh and in England it won the Peter Sellers’ award for best comedy film of the year.
“A Weekend in the Country” was another script the couple creted together. The film premiered on the USA network and starred Jack Lemon, Dudley Moore, Christine Lahti and Richard Lewis. Rita accidentally wrote a part for herself and memorized the lines so she would be in it, too.
A couple of years ago, the couple collaborated again for an episode of “Hollywood Off Ramp” on E! called “Unfunny Girl”. Martin directed and Rita starred.
On January 27, 2003, Rita launched her first syndicated daily TV show Ask Rita in key markets across the country.
In between live appearances, Martin and Rita continue to write and sell movie and television scripts in Hollywood. Rita also found time to help write the 2001 & 2003 Oscar’s with Whoopi Goldberg. Rita’s new novel set in Las Vegas is due to be published in 2006.
Rita signed a long term contract in 2002 to perform exclusively at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. In a city of cabarets and production shows, Rudner is one of the few female headliners who has achieved success by keeping her clothes on. What began as a one-month booking at the MGM Grand I 2000 led to a permanent at New York-New York’s $1.2 million Cabaret Theatre built exclusively for her. Rita recently sold her 500,000th ticket at New York-New York.