My friend, Shawn, having helped me set up a facebook account said, “Have you seen the clip of Phyllis playing the piano with Liberace?” I am a technology dweeb and was fascinated when he zipped through You Tube and clicked on a video. We watched it and were both laughing.
(I’m still a dweeb because I still can’t make this a link, but you can copy it into your browser. It’s about a 3 minute clip.)
When I saw this, I was startled at the shortness of her dress. I came to work for her less than two years later and by then she had changed that look to mid-knee length, partly to make her look awkward. That and the ankle-high boots gave a choppy appearance that worked well with her short, choppy joke delivery.
But I digress …
Many people don’t know that Phyllis Diller studied piano and even composed several small, lovely pieces. She was no slouch. She was smart enough, though, to know that she would never make her living as a concert pianist. Her forte was comedy and she did it well enough to earn a living — a very handsome living at that!
In the 70s, she was the top paid comedienne in Las Vegas, doing two shows a night, 7 days a week for two weeks at a stretch at the Riviera Hotel. I later found out that Liberace had been paid as much many years earlier. I remember when I picked up her check from the casino cage the end of her first week. $50,000! I could not conceive! You could buy a house — a nice house — for that much money. It would take me years to earn that, and she was raking that in all in one week. Wow! There was no doubt that the casinos thought paying top dollar for top entertainment was good for business.
I hope if you watch this clip it will make you laugh. Laughter is good for the soul — and I’m convinced that’s why comedians live so long.
Laugh more and maybe you’ll live longer, too.