On Monday, Hollywood lost one of its greatest icons. Phyllis Diller, accomplished stand-up comic and an actress with a career that spanned decades, was a true pioneer for women in comedy.
With a prop cigarette holder in hand and a litany of self-deprecating jokes about her looks and cooking, she paved the way for women to go up on stage and be seen as equal to, if not funnier than, male comedians. Tina Fey, Sarah Silverman and Chelsea Handler all owe something to the legendary Diller, as she cleared the way and the stage for their later success.
With numerous appearances on late night shows throughout the years, doling out one-liners punctuated by her signature laugh, she has immortalized herself in the comedic canon. What is your favorite Phyllis Diller moment? How can the effects of her legacy be seen today?
Mary McNamara, Los Angeles Times Television Critic