Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Phyllis Diller

Today Tuesday August 21, 2012 the AWOD is Phyllis Diller, Actress and comedian born in Lima, Ohio in 1917 and passed away yesterday 8-20-2012 at the ripe old age of 95.

I was lucky enough to have seen her perform in person when I was a kid. I am sure her act was completely inappropriate for 3 small children but I will never forget how grown up I felt for my dad taking us. I recall it was an outdoor venue, a fair of some kind perhaps. I vividly remember her wild hair, the amazingly loud muumuu she was wearing, the cigarette she was smoking through one of those extenders, the excessive amount of make-up she had on and that laugh, that distinctive infectious laugh of hers. I could not have been any more than 8 or 9 but I remember that day, I remember her, the incomparable Phyllis Diller. That is all anyone can ask for right? To have people remember you? She was memorable for so many reasons. Her son said that she died peacefully with a smile on her face. What a gift, to be at such peace in the end to know that you have lived your life well and to be happy when it is all over. I wish that for all of us.

Phyllis Diller came into the comedy business later in her life, at the age of 37. In 1955 she was working as a journalist and was a contestant on the Groucho Marx show "You bet your life", she was such a hit that she was offered a spot to do stand up comedy. She talked about being a mother, a housewife and about her fictitious husband “Fang”. She talked about things that women not dare talk about in public; she said what many women were thinking but wouldn’t dare say out loud. She was the original “Roseanne”. She was an instant hit and her long successful career was born.

“My cooking is so bad my kids thought Thanksgiving was to commemorate Pearl Harbor.” 
“We spend the first twelve months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk and the next twelve telling them to sit down and shut up.” 
"I still take the pill 'cause I don't want any more grandchildren." 
"The older I get, the funnier I get. Think what I'll save in not having my face lifted."
“My photographs don't do me justice - they just look like me.”
Thanks for the laughs Phyllis, R.I.P.

Here is a brief synopsis of her life, enjoy: