Working for Phyllis Diller was an adventure-and-a-half.
“Robin, come downstairs and bring your pad,” was how she usually greeted me, via intercom, when I arrived for work in the morning. She dictated letters, told me about phone calls and appointments she wanted me to make and shuffled through her stacks of papers, pointing out what she wanted done with each. After I had been with her a few months, she would just hand me a stack of papers and say, “take care of these.”
One thing Phyllis insisted on was packing her own suitcases – and I was mighty glad! She often traveled with a dozen or more pieces of luggage. My job was to make sure they got where they were going – the hotel or the theater – and make sure that when we left they all came back with us and made it from the luggage carousel into the limo for the ride home. Only a couple of times did one go astray, but that’s a long story.
Phyllis was never idle. Her maiden name was Driver and she was surely driven to be the best, funniest, most active person she could be.
She did television shows, theaters, conventions and personal appearances for charities. I was always trailing behind with whatever she said we would need. Glamour? Uh, maybe not so much. Adventure? Absolutely!
When you order my book from Amazon and write a review, I will send you a video of the true story behind Phyllis Diller’s famous appearance on “You Bet Your Life,” A story that only 3 of us knew – Phyllis, her publicist, and me. And even though I was sworn to secrecy, it’s been 40 years, so I think the statute of limitations on promises has expired. (Besides, I’m the only one of the three left to tell it.)