I was disappointed to learn that Phyliss Diller had passed away last week so I devoted my recent Movie Morlocks post to her titled, Goodnight Phyllis, We Love You. Here’s a brief excerpt from my post:
The wife, mother and career woman who started life as Phyllis Ada Driver on July 17, 1917 didn’t share much in common with the funny character she created on stage. Diller didn’t smoke and the cigarette holder she always carried was merely a prop. Her husband ‘Fang’ was a fictional creation that didn’t resemble either of her two very real husbands. And while she enjoyed mocking domesticity, Diller actually enjoyed being a mother. She also loved to cook and by all accounts was a terrific chef who referred to her kitchen as the “favorite room” in her house. She liked to come across as an uncultured and unsuccessful housewife but she was actually a whip smart classically trained pianist, a jazz enthusiast, an acclaimed artist and a brilliant gag writer who wrote all of her own material. When she was performing Diller appeared to be utterly confident and self-assured even while she was cracking jokes at her own expense but she was actually deeply insecure about her appearance. She eventually resorted to countless plastic surgery procedures in an effort to transform her face and body. Simply put, Phyllis Diller was a bundle of contradictions if you believed her stage persona was actually self-referential. Much like Lucille Ball who created the ditzy character of Lucy, Phyllis Diller created an imaginary stage character that acted as a filter for her jokes and had little in common with the real woman hidden behind the carefully constructed costumes and wigs. But Diller the woman and Diller the stand-up comic both had a generous sense of humor and I’m grateful that she was able to share that with us.
To read more just follow the link . . .
- Goodnight Phyllis, We Love You @ TCM’s Movie Morlocks blog
Further reading . . .
- Party Tips From Phyllis Diller