The news that Phyllis Diller passed away today was a bit of a shock. Even at 95 I had assumed that she would go on living for eternity. I remember curling up on my grandmother’s sofa watching her appear on variety shows like The Muppets.
Many fans including the female comedians that owe her a debt for opening many doors to standup clubs and mainstream comedy shows will miss Diller’s versatility. Like many entertainers from her day, Diller had numerous talents. Here she is mixing her comedy routine, which she launched in her 30s, with her training as a touring concert pianist: