Movie Mom

Movie Mom


Tribute: Phyllis Diller

posted by Nell Minow

Pioneering comedian Phyllis Diller died today at age 95.  My friend Jim Cheng wrote in USA Today about how Diller, who did not begin to perform until she was 37, paved the way for performers like Roseanne Barr and Joan Rivers.  Diller became a headliner in an era when almost all comics were male, and her raucous humor and wild wigs made her an immediate hit.

Diller’s comedy career was timed almost as perfectly as one of her jokes. In the heyday of comedy and variety shows, Diller was a guest with all the big names, from Jack Bennyand Dean Martin to Red Skelton and Ed Sullivan. But her 1966 ABC situation comedy,The Pruitts of Southhampton, later renamed The Phyllis Diller Show, lasted only one season.

In addition to blazing a trail as a woman in the male-dominated field of comedy, Diller spouted seemingly autobiographical one-liners and anecdotes that paved the way for Rivers’ and Barr’s riffs on similar themes; Diller told of domestic and marital strife with her long-suffering husband, “Fang,” and, of course, self-deprecating jokes about her often-outlandish appearance, which was part of her act.

Diller made three movies with her idol, Bob Hope and provided voice talent for animated films like “A Bug’s Life” and television’s “Family Guy.”  She made a lot of people laugh for more than five decades.  May her memory be a blessing.

 

 



Previous Posts

An R Rating for Being Gay?
"Love is Strange," a tender, beautifully written and performed love story about a three decade relationship, stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina.  The MPAA has given the movie an R rating even though there is nothing in the film that normally triggers an R in the categories of language, violence,

posted 10:00:58am Aug. 22, 2014 | read full post »

If I Stay
Hamlet asked it best. "To be, or not to be: That is the question." We struggle through, worrying about whether someone likes us or whether we will be accepted at the school of our choice

posted 6:00:09pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Sin City: A Dame to Kill For
If you want to not just see but hear an eyeball being pulverized, then see "Sin City: A Dame to Kill For."  If you want to see and hear it in the company of an audience who thinks that's

posted 5:59:27pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

When the Game Stands Tall
This dreary assemblage of every possible sports cliché has one thing in common with the game it portrays. Every time it seems to be going somewhere, it stops. More frustratingly, it wastes the opportunity to tell a good story by trying to squeeze in too many great ones. There are too many crises

posted 5:59:00pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »

Christian Indie Films of 2014
This year has already seen a remarkable and perhaps unprecedented number of Christian and Biblically-based films, from big-budget epics like "Noah" and "Son of God" to small faith-oriented films like "God's Not Dead."  There is an excellent summary of four Christian independent films of 2014 on In

posted 3:59:03pm Aug. 21, 2014 | read full post »




Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.