“To make it in standup, you need a bucket of guts and a lot of know-how.” – Phyllis Diller
I just finished reading Phyllis Diller’s autobiography LIKE A LAMPSHADE IN A WHOREHOUSE: MY LIFE IN COMEDY. Still kicking at the age of 94, Diller has accomplished so much in her life and career. Not only is she a trailblazing female standup comic, but also a classically trained pianist and a painter. The book focuses mostly on her personal life, but includes some stories from her incredible career. She focuses a lot on her two miserable marriages and her all too brief marriage to the true love of her life later in life. It’s fascinating to read how she was able to go from being a housewife to a successful standup comedienne. I would have enjoyed the book better, however, if she had a better mix of the personal and the professional. I really love to read behind-the-scenes stories about standup and sitcom experiences and there wasn’t as much of that as I would have liked. Still, it was worth the read. Below is the lovely autograph I received from her when I wrote to her a few months ago. As with my other autograph requests, I simply sent my Wannabe flyer and asked her to autograph it with an inspirational, “don’t give ” kind of message. Instead of sending back my cheap flyer, she sent this great picture of her with Sid Caesar and Dean Martin. Beautiful!!