Naked Beneath My Clothes
Naked Beneath My Clothes
Tales of a Revealing Nature
Dust Jacket Hardcover
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The book is best described as a collection of funny essays on a variety of subjects. It appeared on several bestseller lists when originally published.

When in Doubt, Make It Up

I’m ashamed to say I’ve always loved makeup.  I know that a woman’s self-worth isn’t wrapped up in how she looks, but even cavewomen rubbed berry juice on their cheeks.  They must have known something.  I walk into a department store, and the acres of overpriced items and women who know how to use them are somehow comforting to me.  I am confident that every product I buy is going to totally transform me into the girl in the picture, and even though it doesn’t, the momentary fantasy is worth the money.  It must be, otherwise we would sue.  Imagine millions of women showing up in court saying, “I spent three hundred dollars on this stuff and not one person stopped me on the street and said, ‘Excuse me, are you Isabella Rossellini?’  I want my money back.”

I do get a little upset when I’m walking through a store and a lab-coated “beauty expert” says, “Makeover for you today?”  I usually spend a good fifteen minutes in the morning using my potions, preparations, and concoctions with great care and skill, and here is a total stranger practically screaming at me in public, “You look horrible!”

For a Christmas gift one year, a friend gave me a certificate for a facial and makeover in an exclusive salon.  I didn’t know whether to thank her or demand an explanation.  I thanked her and made the appointment.  I sat in the waiting room with lots of women who had more money than I did.  You can always tell if people are rich by looking at their shoes.  If they’re rich, their shoes look like they’ve been worn maybe two or three times and polished in between each wearing.  My shoes always look like I have been doing farm work.

When my turn came I was ushered into a small dark room by a woman from a Slavic country.  I lay down and Svetallaninintanova shone a bright light in my face and inspected my pores.

“Oh, dear,” she said.  “You have never had a facial before, have you?”

“No, I’ve been busy trying to earn a living,” I wanted to say, but didn’t.

“This looks very bad.  This will take a few treatments,” she warned.

She then stuck my face over a pot of boiling water and left me in the room for twenty minutes.  When Svetallaninintanova returned, she hosed me down and smeared my face with thick white paste and left me to harden.  When it felt like I was wearing a hockey mask, she reappeared.

“How you doing?” she asked brightly.

“I’m having fun now, you bitch,” I answered, knowing that since I could not move my mouth she would be unable to decipher my words.  She removed the plaster by dunking my head in warm water.  I lay back down.

“Now the bitch go to work on your pores,” she said.

I was in big trouble.  She pinched and poked me for an hour.  And what did I do at the end of it all to get even?  I tipped her.  I slammed five dollars in her hand and said, “Take that!”

I was then shuffled to the makeover room and was forced to look into a mirror to see what Svetallaninintanova had done to me.  I looked like I had walked into a wasp nest.

The makeup lady said, “I see you had Svetallaninintanova.  She does a very deep cleaning.  Don’t worry, we’ll cover all that up.”

She then proceeded to fill in all the pores that had been so thoroughly purified.  Because I was partially in a state of shock and I didn’t understand what they were saying, I agreed to buy every product they had used on me.  My certificate was for one hundred and twenty-five dollars; I owed them two hundred and fifty.

When I came home I asked my husband, “Notice anything different about me?”

He said, “Did you walk into a wasp nest?”

He always knows how to make me feel better

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 it 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 standing 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 punchlines . . . when she was in therapy she forgot to ask.

David Letterman, Johnny Carson, Bill Maher, Jay Leno, Bob Hope, George Burns, Tom Snyder, Conan O’Brien, Dennis Miller, Martin Short, Oprah Winfrey, Regis Philbin and Kathie Lee Gifford have all found Rita amusing, and she has appeared on all of their respective shows respectively.

Rita's first 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 specials for HBO, "Born to Be Mild" and "Married Without Children," were ratings standouts and many viewers liked her dresses.

Rita has written two books: 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 produced script. It starred Emma Thompson and Kenneth Branagh and it won the Peter Seller's award for best comedy film of the year.

A Weekend in the Country was another script the couple created together and it was also Martin's directorial debut. It premiered on the USA network and starred Jack Lemmon, Dudley Moore, Christine Lahti, and Richard Lewis. Rita accidentally wrote a part for herself and memorized the lines so she could be in it too.

In between live appearances around the world and in Las Vegas (which Rita prefers because it's closer and she can bring her dog) Martin and Rita continue to write and sell movie and television scripts in Hollywood. She is currently a regular on Hollywood Squares and is running out of interesting blouses.

The couple's most recent project is a half-hour film called Unfunny Girl, directed by Martin. It premieres on the E! Network in the summer of 2000. It stars Rita, Frank Gorshin, Gene Barry, Phyllis Diller, Shecky Greene, and Jack Carter. Rita plays the least funny woman in America. She hopes she's not overly convincing.


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