Phyllis DIller Could Make a Belly Laugh Or Solons Snicker With Bodacious Throwaway Lines


She started slow. Bob Hope described Phyllis as a scented broom. "She laughs like a rockslide."

Small wonder Fawcett publishers made a book of "Phyllis Diller's Housekeeping Hints" which men fancied as well as the "little woman" -- the name they gave their missus because her real name was never spoken outside the house.

I was the first society scribe to put a woman's name before her husband's and his was in parentheses. I met these women, found out their first names and made a decision to let the world know their true identity. Other newspapers kept calling women Mrs. So-and-So.

Phyllis was possibly the first comic to bare the truth to combat Hope's line:
"Her kitchen is so poorly organized she keeps a mouse on a leash so she can find the cheese."

Her stories rattled the windows. Miss Diller, who looked like an exclamation mark standing on its head, was called a wild woman. She worked up nerve to tell, "If your kids write their names on the furniture, don't let them put the year."

Here's more: "Buy the biggest house you can find. So that when your children grow up and your husband says, 'Why don't you get a job?', you can say, "With this house?" And buy the house so far away from school that your kids can't come home to lunch.

During spring housecleaning time, put your arm in a sling. If some girlfriends drop in for a visit, stack a dozen get well cards on the piano. Hide your husband's golf shoes: he will clean up the cellar looking for them.

When someone points to a cobweb, say: "Oh, you mean Willie's science project?"

One of Phyllis' chapter headings was: "Remember, My Tranquilizers Are Coming Out of Your Allowance." Her husband told her she wouldn't know it was raining outside unless the phone leaked.

My favorite? "Put a drop of O'Cedar oil behind each ear. It makes you smell tired."