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If You Knew Judy

August 08, 1987

In his review of the HBO comedy special "Women of the Night" ("HBO 'Women'--Two Land the Laughs," July 11), Lawrence Christon noted certain stylistic resemblances between Roseanne Barr and one of the performers who appeared on the show, Chicago-based comic Judy Tenuta.

"It's unusual," Christon wrote, "for one talent to be derivative of another and still succeed on terms that seem its own. If Roseanne Barr had never happened, who knows what approach Judy Tenuta would use?"

As an entertainment critic for the Chicago Tribune, I have been familiar with Tenuta's work for almost a decade and can assure you that her current comedic approach is the same one she always has used--while Barr, I believe, was little known outside the Denver, Colo., area until she made her "Tonight Show" debut several years ago.

Couple that with the fact that Tenuta frequently performed in Denver in the early 1980s, well before Barr "happened," and it would seem more likely that Barr is the one whose talent is "derivative of another."

LARRY KART

Entertainment writer

Chicago Tribune

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