Saturday, March 12, 2005

Like a Lampshade in a whorehouse

My Life in Comedy.
By Phyllis Diller with Richard Buskin.
Illustrated. 266 pp. Jeremy P. Tarcher/Penguin. $24.99


"PYLLIS DILLER was first thought to be a tumor. Upon discovering that the mass in her mother's uterus was a fetus, the doctor declared her an ''ugly-looking little thing!'' Her father said, ''Leave it in,'' and on July 17, 1917, she was born at home on newspapers. Growing up, she never got hugs or kisses from her parents, who were so old that her memories of family life are attending aunts' and uncles' funerals. She felt wanted only by her dolls. Decades later, she would joke onstage: ''My parents had to tie a pork chop around my neck to make the dog play with me. . . . When I was kidnapped they wouldn't pay the ransom -- they didn't want to break a ten.''

Wow, now I know where so much of my childhood humor came from! I had no idea... You have to hand it to Diller, she made a career out of mocking herself, so it might not be surprising that she might end up literally cutting herself up... But funny.

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