This was 2009 or 2010. Ingrid took this picture of us in the foyer. You can see the front door behind us looking out into the front yard.
This morning I was at the Y doing the treadmill — dreadfully boring but now that summer’s here it’s too hot to walk outside even early in the morning. And of course at the Y they have the bank of TV screens to distract from the plodding — or even trotting — along the moving belt. Usually the screens are full of talking heads solemnly pontificating about the meaning of the latest (fill in the blank) …, but this morning the screen in front of me was showing a Dean Martin Roast. Well, more accurately, a promo for the roasts — snippets of various stars saying funny things about the guest “roastee.” I suppose Saturday is not a big news day. There were the cream of the crop of funny men and women — Bob Hope, George Burns, Don Rickles, Rich Little, Lucille Ball, Johnny Carson, and many others. As I… Read More »
“Thank you for coming to speak to us.” After my most recent book talk a lady came up to chat. “I always loved Phyllis Diller. I saw her when she appeared here in Las Vegas back in the 70s.” “Wow! I was with her then. You saw her at the Riviera?” “Yes. Back when it was the classy hotel. That and the Desert Inn.” “Oh yes, I remember them well — the DI was the place for high rollers. It was beautiful.” We reminisced a bit, she bought a book and left, leafing through the first few pages as she headed for the door. It made me happy to connect with one of Phyllis’s fans. One of the things I like best about giving talks about Phyllis is that everyone seems to have loved her. I’ve not had a single person say anything like, “well, she was okay …” No. 100% of… Read More »
Yesterday I was engaged in one of my favorite past-times: trolling the thrift store in search of bargains. And I found something I loved but truly do not need: champagne glasses. These were lovely tulip glasses that emitted a lovely ringing tone when I tapped them. The lady in the next aisle turned at the sound. “Pretty, huh?” I asked. “Yes. Are they crystal?” “Yup.” “Are you going to get them?” Well, if I hadn’t committed to it already, that made up my mind. “Absolutely.” She turned away. I thought maybe she was disappointed. I checked the price: $1.99 and it was senior day which is 30% off so that made them, um, $1.34. Couldn’t resist. I do love crystal. There were a couple of drawbacks: I’m not much of a champagne drinker, but of course it’s always good for celebrations. And can you drink champagne out of regular… Read More »
“Joan Rivers paid $10 a joke.” I was speaking to a writer’s group in Summerlin which was sort of intimidating since many of them were highly accomplished people in many different fields, including a joke writer. He had sold material to Joan Rivers. When I worked for her, Phyllis paid $5 a joke, back in the early 70s. Five dollars would fill your gas tank and still leave you enough to buy a sandwich at the deli. (According to the Consumer Price Index, $5 had the buying power of just under $30 in today’s economy.) After I had finished my talk and we were socializing, I had a chance to question him a bit about his writing. I asked him to tell me one of the jokes he’d written for her and it had to do with her being so frigid that her gynecologist had to use an ice pick. I’m not sure… Read More »