Like many of my fellow Baby Boomers, I grew up watching Phyllis Diller on TV and in movies. She was one of America’s first female stand-up comedians, inspiring the likes of Joan Rivers, Roseanne Barr, and Ellen DeGeneres, among others.
Diller was known for her wild outfits, her even wilder hair, her self-deprecating humor, a cigarette always in a long holder, and her jokes about her long-suffering husband whom she nicknamed Fang.
Phyllis Diller wrote a memoir in 2005. She was too frail at that point, in her late 80s, to go on a book tour, so I interviewed her by phone.
So here now, from 2005, Phyllis Diller:
Phyllis Diller died in 2012. She was 95.