Phyllis Diller Dead: First Lady of Comedy Passes On at Age 95

Comedy legend Phyllis Diller is dead at age 95.

It’s hard to know where to begin when it comes to Phyllis Diller. She’s the Lenny Bruce of female comedians. She changed what it meant to do comedy and what it meant to do comedy as a woman. She paved the way for every female comic who came after her. Diller was and remains comedy royalty, deserving to be talked about in hushed tones, the way we talk about the likes of Carlin and Pryor.

She rose to fame through her work with Bob Hope which included 23 television specials and three movies. She was a staple at roasts such as those thrown by Dean Martin.

She had a variety of trademarks to her act: From her wild hair to her long cigarette holder to her laugh. That laugh is probably more well known today that she is. That laugh was one of the most distinctive of all time.

She could play family friendly and raunchy as hell as proved by two of her later career entries Disney/Pixar’s A Bug’s Life and the incredibly dirty documentary The Aristocrats. But whichever way she went, she was always funny.

And her legacy will live on in every comedian:

The world could use more like her, but I’m not sure there are any more like her.

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