The world of stand up comics recently lost an icon: Phyllis Diller. She was a pioneer in the field of stand up comedy. She is widely attributed to paving the way for all female comedians, and after raising 5 children, began her comedic career at the age of 37. Her husband, whom she lovingly referred to as “fang”, was the butt of many of her jokes. She was a doozy, with outrageous feather trimmed costumes and wild and goofy hair. Always self-deprecating, she made a career from topics like her own horrible cooking. Her laugh was distinct and classic. A cigarette holder for a prop; punctuating every line to every joke (though I read she actually never smoked cigarettes). Her first television appearance was on the Jack Parr Show in the 50s. But her many appearances with Bob Hope on T.V. , and on his famous USO Tours brought much national attention. Phyllis and Bob Hope apparently were close friends. He taunted her relentlessly, and the two played off each other well. I came across this fantastic photo of them together at a Bob Hope Classic. Note the fringe around the roof, obviously customized for Phyllis. I also came across this wonderful golf joke from the great Phyllis Dillar:
“The reason why golf pros are always telling you to keep your head down, is so you can’t see them laughing at you.”
Some say a sense of humor is the key to a long and happy life….Phyllis lived to be 95 years young.