Monday, August 20, 2012

Rest in peace, Phyllis Diller

The Cackling One died today at age 95.

You'll be hard-pressed to find an obituary notice that doesn't use phrases like “ground-breaking,” “trail-blazing,” or some such. La Diller used self-deprecating humor as the thin edge of the wedge, with which she worked her way into the overwhelmingly-male field of stand-up comedy.

Here's her first TV appearance, on Groucho Marx's “You Bet Your Life” on January 30, 1958. (Then, as now, utterly implausible game shows were a standard route to a showbiz career.)

If your browser won't display the embedded version, click here

(Groucho, by the way, died 35 years ago yesterday, but it was his bad luck that Elvis had died a couple of days earlier, so not many people noticed. I'm sure he'd have had something to say about that.)

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