Thursday, August 23, 2012


Comedienne Phyllis Diller, age 95, died peacefully in her Los Angeles home Monday, August 20, 2012.  She had retired from performing, but her humorous one-liners will live on.  She paved the way for women stand-up comics today.   

On the occasion of her 90th birthday, July 17, 2007  I wrote a congratulatory greeting heralding her talents with many more particulars about her you can read by going to my archives for that date (for some reason Blogger won't allow me to provide a link on her birth date above.)  I described the circumstances when I had enjoyed having the opportunity to meet Ms Diller briefly a few times when I was employed at a television station.  Up date follows -- current info and  videos.

Phyllis Diller comment on her first-ever television appearance on "You Bet Your Life," with Groucho Marx.


A few years later Phyllis Diller arrived unaccompanied at our Columbus station.  After asking the  taxicab driver to wait until she competed her appearance she headed inside.   The receptionist immediately recognizing Ms Diller directed her down the hall toward the television studios.   We all knew of the small community Lima, Ohio home town gal who had become a celebrity making people laugh.   She always arrived like this, quite unassuming, without an entourage, unlike numerous guests much less well-known.   

Ms Diller invariably agreed to appear on our early morning talk show when she was booked into the most prominent night club in town, though likely her last show hadn't ended until the wee hours of that very morning.   I met her as she walked toward me past the station's broadcast talent pictures lining the hallway, and directed her into our smaller studio. 

She would not have long to await her entrance to the larger studio where the program was already being broadcast live as fifty plus audience members who had traveled in, some by bus, from around the state observed.  They soon learned Phyllis Diller would be the guest resulting in their high anticipation of actually seeing her in person.  The host would introduce her and the quintet would play rousing lively music that might be most recently associated with her, from a network TV appearance or movie.    Soon those famous one-liner jokes would have everyone, including control room engineers laughing uproariously like the home viewing audience was sure to be doing.

Many years later here's footage from Phyllis Diller's final stand-up performance - from "Goodnight, We Love You."

 Phyllis Diller's interview on "The View"

Phyllis Diller brought much laughter into the lives of many people, including me, as with  these one-liners:   

"Always be nice to your children because they are the ones who will choose your rest home."

"Old age is where the liver spots show through your gloves."






  1. Went back to your 2007 piece, and it was a worthwhile journey. It's always good to know one of the "greats" among us was just another good human being. I've met some big-time athletes who were good guys. I few others, unfortunately, couldn't seem to shake off the idea they had become some sort of superior beings.

  2. Thank you for the timely blog. I loved her, my mother loved her. My mother brought her to my attention years ago. Thanks again. Dianne

  3. Dear Joared, thanks for telling us about the 2007 piece. I was in the convent when Phyllis Diller began her stand-up and so I never really got attached to her or realized what she was doing for women. So I'm glad to learn these things from you and to watch the videos. She truly was a mentor to so many. Peace.

  4. Always loved Phyllis....Queen of the 'one-liners.' Nice post JoAnn...thanks for the videos. RIP dear lady... ~Joy

  5. I remember her remarkable change when she had a facelift. Though she looked a lot younger, it was sad that she felt she needed one.