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Phyllis Diller - An Evening With Phyllis Diller At The 92nd Street Y 1992

On: Saturday, February 22, 2014

Phyllis Diller
Phyllis Ada Driver
Jul 17 1917 - Aug 20 2012 age 95
Official Site

Phyllis Diller used to joke that she had had so much plastic surgery that God wouldn't recognize her at the pearly gates. The groundbreaking female comic never met a nip and tuck she didn't like, but surely she would've been known in heaven as on earth for her wicked drawling jokes and her cackle of a laugh. And that's just the way she wanted it. She called herself ugly, and backed that up with a closet full of fright wigs, garish makeup and shapeless dresses. But the truth was that she was so good-looking that Playboy canceled her 1960s gag centerfold when the photos came back. She said the editors found her too sexy for the feature to work. And when Diller died earlier this year at age 95, Joan Rivers tweeted that "The only tragedy is that Phyllis Diller was the last from an era that insisted a woman had to look funny in order to be funny." Diller went to work as a comic at her first husband's urging, hoping that comedy would relieve the strain on their household finances. She started by performing at PTA meetings, local civic clubs, veterans hospitals and local radio programs. She sang a little, played the piano and told a few jokes. She said later that she mined the Dear Abby column for material. Her trademark laugh arose during her early comedy club gigs, as a sign of nerves that she couldn't suppress. In 1992, she spoke about her life in comedy at New York City's 92nd St. Y, in a rollicking "lecture" that interspersed joke sets with her own views on death, religion, aging and happiness. Not exactly the topics that you think might trigger 12 laughs a minute (as was her serious goal on stage), but these weighty themes always found a place in Diller's act. "My definition of comedy," she told her audience, "is tragedy revisited."
01 An Evening With Phyllis Diller At The 92nd Street Y

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Beautiful Phyllis Diller 1967
Great Moments Of Comedy 1964
Great Moments Of Comedy 1964
What's Left Of Phyllis Diller 1967


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