|Phyllis Diller and Nat Schmulowitz at the San Francisco Public Library, circa 1962*|
The queen of comedy, Phyllis Diller, died yesterday at the grand age of 95. We are saddened by her passing, but we celebrate her gift of comedy greatness. With fondness we remember her gift to us: over fifty years of laughter, in which she demonstrated that it's best not to take ourselves too seriously. She exploded the image of a frumpy housewife; she used props of dressy gloves, cigarette holder, ankle boots, and one fabulously zany wig after another. Her signature was her memorable laugh.
Phyllis Diller showed us the way by being herself, rebelling against the cult of beauty (a brilliant comedic tactic), and demonstrating that there was more to women's life than housework. She was a role model for all of us. We loved her for so many reasons, not the least of which was her generosity to our library in the last years of her life.
Visit the Schmulowitz Collection of Wit & Humor for more about our friend Phyllis Diller.
|Phyllis Diller in checks, circa 1960s*|
|Phyllis Diller kicks up her heels, circa 1960s*|