Book Review: Naked Beneath My Clothes by Rita Rudner (1992)

I paid $3.95 for this book at Downtown Books in Milwaukee, and it’s worth every penny. Of course, I bought it used, scavenging upon an already-paid royalty as far as the author’s concerned, and I’m sorry, Ms. Rudner. However, rest assured, upon the weight of this book, I have added some of your other, more readily-available material to my Amazon wish list so my ungrateful readers can browse it if they want but not buy anything.

For those of you damn kids out there who don’t know Rita Rudner is, she’s a very funny comedienne from back in the old days of cablized standup, which is to say the late 1980s. Ah, the old days. When Richard Jeni, Rita Rudner, Dennis Wolfowitz, and their kind first started getting HBO specials and when Rosie O’Donnell was a an obscure unfunny stand-up comic who MCed VH-1s stand-up spotlight, and nobody knew who she was. The good old days. This book was written probably at Rita Rudner’s zenith, back in the administration of the first Bush presidency, before the Internet bubble, and before blogs. Remember those days?

I digress, of course. This book collects some of Ms. Rudner’s comedic musings. She’s witty with the pen as well as the microphone, and she turns some nifty phrases. She’s no P.J. O’Rourke or Dennis Miller, but she’s far above say, Andy Rooney (several of whose books I purchased in the same little humor alcove of Downtown Books as I bought this volume). Rudner’s 45 chapters (brief, in 162 pages) capture some of the truisms of life and relationships, and they’re quite funny. I read this particular bit to my esteemed spouse because it accurately captures the tension between a husband and wife when it comes to clothes shopping:

We always have the same argument. I choose clothes that make me look like a nun (see essay number 19), and my husband chooses clothes that make me look like a hooker. We compromise, and that’s why on television I usually look like a flamboyant nun.

I mean, there’s nothing wrong with shopping for casual, lounging-around-the-house comfortable clothes from Frederick’s of Hollywood, is there?

Based upon the weight of that and the first chapter which she sneaked a read of while it sat beside the computer awaiting review, Heather will snatch this book from my read shelves and will read it herself. So if you don’t believe me, believe her, or you will anger Heather and she will crush you.

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