She called her husband Fang. She made fun of her appearance and her aversion to housework. We call her talented. We call her Phyllis Diller.
To those under the age of 40 the first response is probably “Who?”
Who indeed. Phyllis Diller created a stand-up act that was the model for other female comedians from the 1960s to today. She didn’t start her entertainment career until she was in her mid-30s, but she carved out a career for herself that shone bright right through 2012.
Although a natural beauty Diller played down those attributes and appeared on stage or on televison as a lumpy, frumpy housewife; it was her schtick and it worked for her.
She was the Queen of the One Liners and was best performing in nightclubs and on TV talk shows like Johnny Carson, where she really built her audience.
She entertained men and women equally. Her lines proved that.
For women: “Housework can’t kill you, but why take the chance?”
For men: “Fang drops so much food on his ties we keep them in the refrigerator.”
Diller appeared in all venues: nightclubs television, movies, and stage. She is gone but her zingy oneliners should be remembered as well as herself.Print