Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Good as Gold: In Her New Book, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Lesbian Comic Judy Gold Laments That the Joke Is Ultimately on Her-She Too Is Turning into Her Mother

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

Good as Gold: In Her New Book, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother, Lesbian Comic Judy Gold Laments That the Joke Is Ultimately on Her-She Too Is Turning into Her Mother

Article excerpt

Judy Gold can go from zero ? 140 decibels in less time than it takes to jerk a phone away from your ear. Here s how I found out. Judy is walking into her New York City apartment after being away for several days, describing her collaboration with Kate Moira Ryan, coauthor of her new book: "Kate came at it from a very historical angle, and it was so interesting to have someone else look at my life through their own perspective because My fucking cat just fucking ... oh, my God, I fucking hate him! The fucking garbage pail is on the floor with fucking chewed-up Q-tips all over the place. Anyway, continue."

It's the way she was raised. Her mother routinely leaves her hysterical phone messages--"Why haven't you called in 10 minutes? Are you dead?"--always signing off with a nonchalant "So long." In her book Gold chronicles these inherited irrational neuroses, along with some nuggets of Judaic wisdom and stories from more than 50 other Jewish mothers, many culled from her hit off-Broadway show of the same name.

Why are the Jews so funny?

For me it was a coping mechanism. I was a six-foot-tall gay 13-year-old. And humor is how we communicated in my family. We couldn't talk about anything substantive, but we could tell a joke.

As you get older, do you see yourself becoming more like your mother?

Oh, great, I'm going to kill myself after this interview. Absolutely. I've picked up a lot of her habits. The other day I said to Henry [in wounded yenta voice], "I hope you treat your friends and teachers better than you treat me." I thought, Oh, my God. I'm Ruth Gold Jr.

You and your ex, Wendy, share custody.

Yeah, and we live in the same building.

So they can just go down to her place whenever they want?

Well, there are boundaries. It's about half the time at my place and half at hers. It's just so much easier, especially when you forgot the soccer shirt at her place and you don't have to get in a cab and go across to town to get it. …

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