Monday, August 20, 2012

Phyllis Diller dead at age 95

Legendary funny woman Phyllis Diller dies today at age 95. The video below is of Phyllis Diller's last stand-up comedy performance a mere six years ago in 2006. Growing up, I remember her from what seemed like an endless parade of Bob Hope comedy specials on NBC -- that was likely in the 1980s. Being in elementary school, her comedy never struck a chord with me but looking back -- especially at her stand-up comedy, Phyllis Diller was a trend-setter. Having been a comic most of her life, she began her stand-up career in 1955 in her adoptive home of San Francisco, CA.

Her comedy, though, is what has stood the test of time. Her self-deprecating style is what works for me. An endless barrage of age jokes and poking fun at her own looks brought the comic down to earth and helped Phyllis Diller become instantly relatable to her fans.

Some of her more recent television work included appearances in at least three episodes between 1999–2003 on the long-running family drama 7th Heaven, in one of which she got drunk while cooking dinner for the household, and a 2002 episode of The Drew Carey Show, as Mimi Bobek's grandmother. She posed for Playboy, but the photos were never run in the magazine. Her voice can be heard in several animated TV shows, including The New Scooby-Doo Movies (1972) as herself, The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius (2002)] as Jimmy's grandmother, and on Family Guy in 2006 as Peter Griffin's mother, Thelma Griffin.

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