The Comedy Performance of the Year

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Marisa Tomei responds to Rudy Giuliani’s viral ‘My Cousin Vinny’ moment

Ethan Alter·Senior Writer, Yahoo EntertainmentFri, November 20, 2020, 8:54 AM PST·2 min read

Rudy Giuliani’s rambling press conference in which he alleged election fraud and other unfounded conspiracy theories about the results of the 2020 presidential election has already drawn negative reviews across the political spectrum, not to mention makeup artists. Now, his performance has received a thumbs down from an Oscar-winning actress as well.

Marisa Tomei in her Oscar-winning role as Mona Lisa Vito in 'My Cousin Vinny' (Photo: 20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection)
Marisa Tomei in her Oscar-winning role as Mona Lisa Vito in ‘My Cousin Vinny’ (Photo: 20th Century Fox/courtesy Everett Collection)

While jousting with reporters, the former New York City mayor and President Trump’s personal lawyer, made a reference to the 1992 comedy favorite, My Cousin Vinny, starring Joe Pesci and Marisa Tomei. “Did you all watch My Cousin Vinny?” Giuliani said. “It’s one of my favorite law movies because he comes from Brooklyn.”

Giuliani went on to compare one famous scene from that film — where Pesci’s fish-out-of-water lawyer, Vinny Gambini, tests a witness’s eyesight from the stand — to the restrictions he insisted Republican poll watchers faced during vote counts. “These people were further away than [Vinny] was from the witness,” he alleged. “They couldn’t see a thing.”

Hours after the press conference ended, Tomei responded to Giuliani’s wild pop culture pull on Twitter.

It’s a joke that’s more than worthy of her hilarious onscreen counterpart, Mona Lisa Vito, Vinny’s fiancée and the movie’s scene stealer-in-chief. Tomei memorably won a Best Supporting Actress for the role, one of the few broadly comic performances to receive a statue. (Although rumors persisted for years that Tomei’s win was a mistake, the fallout over the infamous La La Land vs. Moonlight mix-up at the 2017 Oscars put that myth to rest.) My Cousin Vinny fans applauded her one-Tweet takedown of Giuliani.

While the reclusive Pesci hasn’t chimed in about Giuliani invoking Vinny’s name, the movie’s director, Jonathan Lynn, did join Tomei in issuing a response. “Vinny may have been argumentative and belligerent but he was good-hearted and honest,” he told USA Today in a statement. “Rudy, not so much.” And in a separate interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Lynn remarked: “I regard Giuliani’s praise of My Cousin Vinny as generous from the man who is currently giving the Comedy Performance of the Year.”

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