Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Phyllis Diller Is Not a Dead Woman; She Just Plays One on TV

Whats not to like about Phyllis Diller? The legendary comedienne is 90 years old and tries to stay active in show business as best she can. But unfortunately the roles offered aren't the most attractive ones:

"When they need a 90-year-old woman they always come and ask me," she says over the phone. "I've played two dead ladies and it's so easy to do — lie there and open your mouth." Indeed, she says, "I've been offered some things that, oh, I wish I'd been offered when I had the strength and energy to do them."

She had been offered three episodes of "Nip/Tuck," for example. It would have been a good fit for her since she was one of the first comics to talk about plastic surgery as part of her act. "It's a funny show," Diller says, "but I can't do a real movie role or a real television role." In July, she had to cancel some appearances due to a back fracture. "I simply don't have the energy," she says. "I have to save the little bit of energy I have to go out to dinner every night."
The good news? She's been active in the animated genre, lending her voice in recent years to "Animaniacs," "The Wild Thornberrys," "Hey Arnold," "Family Guy, ""Jimmy Neutron," "King of the Hill," "The Powerpuff Girls" and "Robot Chicken." On the big screen, she was the voice of the Queen in "A Bug's Life."

She also relates an anecdote relevant to our purposes here:
It finally culminated in her first gig, at a Red Cross hospital. "There were four people in the audience — all four of them in bed," she says. "Nobody laughed. One guy re-enlisted. Two of them died."
Now that's comedy.

[Hartford Courant]

No comments: