7 pieces of comic wisdom from Phyllis Diller

Phyllis Diller was interviewed for the Archive of American Television in 2000 about her long career in comedy, both on TV and the stage. Her trademark cigarette, fright wig, and of course, that iconic laugh were all discussed during her three-hour interview by Fred Wostbrock. We’ve selected some short clips from Phyllis about her tricks of the trade, and advice to young comics (not “comediennes”, she prefers “comic”!) and just how the heck to be funny after all these years.

Phyllis Diller’s advice to aspiring comics:

On her iconic laugh:

On the difference between being a comedic actress and a “COMIC”:

On why she always held a prop cigarette:

On why she picked on “Fang” and how he became a standard bit in her act:

On her iconic “look”- the wig, the theatrics:

On the importance of TV to a comic’s career:

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