Though not as influential as Ellen DeGeneres or as political as Margaret Cho, Judy Gold has a high profile in the GLBT community. Here she headlines the Human Rights Campaign's seventh annual Laughing Out Loud, which also features Sabrina Matthews and Andre Kelley. Born and raised in New Jersey, Gold says she felt like an outsider in high school, but not because she was a lesbian: "Six-foot-three plus marching band equals unpopular." Her stand-up career took off in the early 90s, and while she was writing and producing for The Rosie O'Donnell Show in the late 90s, it won two Emmys. With her size, heavy sarcasm, and no-nonsense demeanor, she's an imposing presence; her hilarious "hard-core smoker" impression is shockingly gruff. But she's quick to mock herself and, like Cho, loves to talk about her mother, whom she caught "trick-or-treating" for complimentary soaps and shampoos in a Vegas hotel hallway. On Mother's Day this year, Gold will release a book based on her off-Broadway one-woman show, 25 Questions for a Jewish Mother. a Sat 4/14, 8 PM, Park West, 322 W. Armitage, 773-929-5959 or 312-559-1212, $25-$125.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Judy Gold photo.