- Hardcover: 288 pages
- Publisher: Tarcher; First Edition edition (February 17, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1585423963
- ISBN-13: 978-1585423965
- Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 70 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,307,266 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Like a Lampshade in a Whorehouse Hardcover – February 17, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Brash comedy and a surprising bitterness fuel this unsparing account of Diller's drive to make it big. Born to elderly parents in Lima, Ohio, in 1917, Phyllis Ada Driver was blessed with neither beauty nor wealth. At 20--and already pregnant--she married Sherwood Diller, a handsome, selfish ne'er-do-well who became the "Fang" in her comic monologues of domestic life; the couple had five children. Nearly 40 when she began her performing career, Diller turned a knack for relentless self-deprecation into a nightclub act. She performed in The Poets' Follies of 1955 with poet/painter/composer Weldon Kees and Beat writer Lawrence Ferlinghetti. But women were a novelty in the bar-based world of stand-up comedy, and plenty of humiliating club engagements ensued. Diller persisted, though, and while her male colleagues (Milton Berle, Don Rickles, Lenny Bruce) were pioneering 1950s "insult comedy," she turned the venom on herself and reaped its rewards. Eventually shedding her dud husband, Diller became a superstar--and the first one to go public about her plastic surgery ("I was a walking billboard for plastic surgery," she observes wryly). Retired from show business since 2002, Diller retains a dedicated fan base and an enormous interest in the world that spawned her. And considering she's the original "He's just not into me" girl, a pioneering desperate housewife, might this be the time to launch a comeback?
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About the Author
Phyllis Diller, the world's first and foremost successful female stand-up comic, has been at the top of her game for five decades.
Richard Buskin has written more than a dozen books, including biographies of Princess Diana, Marilyn Monroe, and Sheryl Crow. He makes his home in Chicago.
Top customer reviews
"I love my job, of course this isn't it!"
This book goes to the beginning of her life, talks about home life and moves on to how she got into show business.
"Why do I call him FANG? What do you call a man that has one tooth that is 2 inches long!"
She talks about the ups and downs, the people she met, who took advantage of her, who helped her and just talks about how it all happened.
"I do have this one small problem......Sometimes I want to just push them together and make one good one!"
I had followed Phyllis from the time she was on her first show with Groucho Marx until her death. She talks about EVERYTHING in her own style.
"The green cheese -- So I put it in the refrigerator, and forgot about it. Every now and then I'd open the door and throw it some food. And it was getting crosser and meaner!"
You may like the book and you may not like the book but you will never forget about the lady that wrote the book, Phyllis Diller.
I do recommend this book if you have a spot in your heart for Phyllis
I really do recommend it - just like a lot of groundbreaking and outspoken female comediennes, for instance the late Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller is so brutally honest and has a wonderful, scatological sense of humor that makes for a wonderfully entertaining read.