“Oh God…Well what does he think? That it’s going to run away or something? That he’s got to hold on to it? I don’t know. There’s something wrong with him. Nobody’s going to up and steal it from him.”
-Then-octogenarian Marie Rudisill in her “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno” segment, “Ask the Fruitcake Lady,” responding to a woman’s question about the best way to keep her boyfriend from sticking his hands down his pants when he watches television. Begining in 2000, Rudisill appeared regularly on the show to offer her Southern-sensible, profanity-laden advice to viewers in need.
Rudisill, Truman Capote’s aunt who helped raise him when he was a small boy, first caught Leno’s eye when she appeared on his program to talk about her book, Fruitcake: Memories of Truman Capote. She ended up scolding the host and guest Mel Gibson for making a mess when the three of them tried to bake one of her signature desserts.
Aunt Tiny, as Capote called her, is quoted as saying, “Truman always claimed that every story he ever wrote came out of his head. Well, that’s a damn lie. The stories that came out of Truman’s head were stories that were based on his childhood in Monroeville, Alabma.” If this clip is any indication, those formative years with Aunt Tiny should have provided him with plenty of raw material.