Monday, August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller [1917-2012]

Artist: Phyllis Diller
LP: Phyllis Diller Laughs
Track: "Driving Downtown"
[ listen ]

Last week I called Phyllis and told her that I had one of her LPs I'd been wanting to post here, and she said was dying to be featured on my blog. Phyllis first came to public attention when she appeared on Groucho Marx's televised quiz show "You Bet Your Life," after which she paved the way...well, it's hard to imagine Phyllis Diller paving anything. Phyllis blazed the trail, shall we say, for women in standup comedy for generations to come. (Phyllis was nothing if not a blazer.) Ten interesting facts about Phyllis Diller: 1.) She was born in Lima, Ohio. (I've been there!) 2.) She was an accomplished concert pianist and played with over 100 orchestras throughout the country in the 1970s and early '80s. 3.) She also played the saxophone. 4.) In 1967 she starred with her friend Bob Hope in a terrible, terrible movie called EIGHT ON THE LAM. 5.) In 1979 she auditioned for director Blake Edwards in hopes of starring in his new movie, but the part went to Bo Derek instead. 6.) For some reason this guy shows up when you Google images of "Phyllis Diller pianist." 7.) Diller went under the knife for plastic surgery fifteen times during her life. 8.) She was born 3 months and 11 days after the United States of America declared war on Germany in WWI. 9.) Her "Phyllis Diller Laughs" LP was recorded at the Bon Soir nightclub in NYC's Greenwich Village 52 years ago, in March of 1961. 10.) Phyllis used to joke that she never made it on "Who's Who," but she did end up on "What's That." You can read all about Phyllis Diller's brilliant career on Wikipedia here and go here to find a nice obituary for her in the New York Times.

Phyllis Diller
[July 17, 1917 — August 20, 2012]
We will miss you, Phyllis...probably even more than we'll miss Kitty or Chavela.

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