Phyllis Diller, 1917-2012
Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:22 PM
From the "New York Times":
Rest in peace, Ms. Diller.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 04:38 PM
I didn't recall that Diller's national tv debut was on Jack Paar in 1958. I do remember her early appearances a couple of years later on the Ed Sullivan Show -- with routines about things like preparing a disastrous Thanksgiving dinner. Publicity at the time played up the fact that she was a "real" housewife and that her comedy was a wild elaboration based on actual experience. This background story was, I think, a big part of her popularity at a time when Americans were beginning to question the assumption that all women were natural "homemakers."
Posted 20 August 2012 - 08:58 PM
Interesting that Diller's mother and sister-in-law brought suit against her to prevent her from using them as material in her act. Woody Allen's first wife did the same thing.
Posted 20 August 2012 - 11:32 PM
The veterans playing opposite her exactly captured the spirit of the whole goofy episode...They seemed as bemused/amused as I felt. She had some other short gigs on the show at least some of which I saw...in one of them I believe she helped disguise one of the show's most beautiful characters as homely etc.--sort of riffing on her gags about her own looks much earlier in her career. So, in B&B, she was a kind of wierd fairy godmother figure in different plots...but it's the last time I actually remember. Kind of delightful not just that she lived into her 90's but that she was still working into her 90's.
Edited to add: I do realize the Bold and the Beautiful is not what Phyllis Diller was famous for...
Posted 21 August 2012 - 08:33 AM
Yes, but she was one of the generation of entertainers who rarely said "no" to an opportunity -- I never saw her live, but grew up with her on my radar, from her appearances on variety television, talk shows and game shows. Is there a contemporary equivalent to Hollywood Squares?
Posted 21 August 2012 - 09:48 AM
Posted 21 August 2012 - 01:51 PM
The Bold and the Beautiful -- which I do watch now and then depending on what plots are being rehashed -- does not set the bar particularly high.
(Seriously off topic, but...when it comes to people who don't know when to leave the stage--and this even when the stage involves getting struck in the head--I believe there are few entertainers who can compete with aging boxers...)
Posted 21 August 2012 - 03:48 PM
Yes, the "when to quit" problem afflicts athletes as well as performers.The categories have some overlap when you think about it.
Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:40 AM
"You clean the damn house, and six months later you have to do it all over again!"
Loved her. RIP
Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:04 PM
I remember when Fang handed her a ton of steel wool and told her to knit him a Volkswagen.
[There were Volkswagen jokes in those days.]
Explosively funny woman.
Posted 22 August 2012 - 10:46 PM
Oh, I remember that one -- I laughed and laughed.
Posted 23 August 2012 - 03:47 AM
Phyllis Diller and Her Comic Craft
Subtitle is: "Her flamboyance lives on in Lady Gaga; her laugh in Eddie Murphy."
Paul, the article includes an interesting comparison with Joan Rivers.
Posted 24 August 2012 - 08:21 PM
Yes, fascinating seeing the photos of her out of character. Without the crazy wings and costumes, she was a lovely woman.
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