A couple of years ago, my friend Shawna Franks (founder of Space 55, a phenomenal actress and an all-around amazing human being) asked me if I could write a bunch of Phyllis Diller jokes for her. She got asked to do a show with Jackie Fontaine at the Alwun House, where she had to impersonate Diller. Taking the ol’ improv adage of always saying yes, I took on the task (knowing nothing about P.D. at the time). A few hours after watching her on YouTube later, this is what I came up with.
JOKES FOR PHYLLIS DILLER
-My body’s in such bad shape Picasso couldn’t paint a picture of it.
-Could you believe I once entered a beauty contest? Well, I tried to enter. They wouldn’t let me past security! I had to use the doggy door.
-I haven’t given up on my looks, though: I’m a sucker for lost causes.
-I keep telling the Salvation Army that if they want to make more money, they should stick a photo of my face on their bell-ringers’ jars and tell folks they’re collecting donations to get me a face-lift.
-When I go to bed at night, I sweat so much I’ve got to wear floaties on my arms to keep from drowning in it. My old man Fang, he just rolls over and doggy-paddles through it. When it’s hot out, we just toss our mattress out on the lawn and let the neighborhood kids slip and slide on it.
-You know those how-to dance instructions, where they show those outlines of feet? So you know where to step? When I learnt how to dance, I thought those instructions were showing me which feet to step on.
-I’ve got feet so big, when people see pictures of Bigfoot in the tabloids, they think it’s a missing persons photo of my son.
-My cooking’s not good. I’m not ashamed to admit it. My old man Fang complains about it all the time. “Why couldn’t you do it the way Mamma makes it?” If I could do things her way and sit on a buffalo til it dies, I would. That old bag. HUGE broad. Last time we took her to New York, they had to send in airplanes to shoot her off of the Empire State Building.
-Fang boozes so much, when he cuts himself shaving, hobos line up in front of our house begging to lick his face.
-His breath is so bad they have him cough on coal mine canaries to put ‘em out of their misery.
-I got a face like an opera singer’s got a voice: both of ‘em shatter glass.