Women in Comedy Festival
A house-filling favorite in Las Vegas since she opened as one of the hottest tickets in town in June 2000, Rudner is known for her epigrammatic one-liners. Over the course of a fourteen year run and 2,000 plus shows, she has sold one and a half million tickets and become the longest-running solo comedy show in the history of Las Vegas. She has been named Las Vegas’s “Comedian Of The Year” nine years in a row and in 2006 received The Nevada Ballet’s “Woman Of The Year” Award. She was delighted to renew her relationship with Harrah’s Casino in September 2014 after four years at The Venetian.
Rita’s first solo HBO special, Rita Rudner’s One Night Stand, was nominated for several awards, as was her eponymous English BBC television show that later appeared in the USA on A&E. Rudner’s two one-hour specials for HBO, Born To Be Mild and Married Without Children, were ratings standouts and she performed all over the country, filling Carnegie Hall in New York three times and the Universal Amphitheatre in Los Angeles twice. In 2008 Rita Rudner: Live From Las Vegas was PBS’s first ever stand-up comedy special.
Rita Rudner has written five books; her bestselling non-fiction titles, Naked Beneath My Clothes Rita Rudner’s Guide to Men and I Still Have It…I Just Can’t Remember Where I Put It, plus the novels Tickled Pink and Turning the Tables. The audio version of Naked Beneath My Clothes received a Grammy nomination.
In 2003, Rudner launched from Las Vegas her first syndicated daily TV show, Ask Rita, which featured a panel of celebrities lightheartedly attempting to solve personal problems submitted by members of the public; it ran for two years. For her work on the show, American Women In Radio and Television awarded Rudner a Gracie Allen Award for Best Program Host. Rita helped write the 2001 and 2003 Oscar shows with Steve Martin and the 2002 Oscar broadcast with Whoopi Goldberg.
Rita Rudner moved to New York at the age of fifteen to become a dancer on Broadway. She appeared in several shows, including the original productions of Follies and Mack and Mabel. It was while in Annie on Broadway that she began exploring the comedy clubs of Manhattan. In the early ‘80s, Rudner took a full-time leap from chorus lines to punch lines and was soon a regular guest on both Late Night with David Letterman and The Tonight Show.
Rudner is a frequent collaborator with her writer/producer husband of 26 years, Martin Bergman. The couple’s first produced film script was Peter’s Friends. The film, starring Emma Thompson, Hugh Laurie, Kenneth Branagh, Imelda Staunton, Stephen Fry, and Rita, won the Evening Standard Peter Sellers Award for Comedy and was nominated for the Goya Award for Best European Film of 1994. Bergman and Rudner’s latest film, Thanks, premiered at the 2011 Palm Springs International Film Festival, won several awards on the film festival circuit and then later bought and aired on Showtime.
The couple’s first play – Room 776 – ran as part of the 2008 season of the Las Vegas Little Theatre. Their second play, based on Rita’s first novel Tickled Pink, premiered at the Laguna Playhouse in April 2012. In 2016 Rita performed at the Playhouse in a new play, Act Three by David Ambrose.
In 2009, Rita, Bette Midler and Sheryl Crow joined forces to perform a fundraiser for President Obama and the Democratic leader of the Senate, Harry Reid.
In 2012, Rita and Martin wrote and performed The Rita Rudner Show for BBC radio in London. Rita also appeared in the Showtime comedy special Rita Rudner and Three Potential Ex-Husbands.
Rita Rudner lives in Las Vegas and Monarch Beach, California, with her husband and daughter, Molly.