I was going through my Big Book of Stuff for July 17 and noticed Phyllis Diller was born on this date in 1917.  She passed away August 20, 2012 at the age of 95.

That, in turn, got me thinking back to when I saw her perform at the Coliseum here in Sioux Falls back in the early 90's.

That was, without a doubt, one of the greatest comedic performances I've ever seen (the other being Jerry Seinfeld).  The way she stood up there on stage and entertained the audience was simply amazing.

To this day I rank (in no particular order) Phyllis Diller, Lucille Ball and Carol Burnett as the three funniest female comedians of all time.

Diller was actually a housewife before turning humorist.  When Diller first broke into the business, women were a rarity in the world of stand-up comedy.

She would later go on to become a staple on television from the 1950s until her retirement in 2002. She was most famous for, not only her distinctive laugh, but portraying herself as a "bizarre" housewife and having a husband by the name of Fang.

After stumbling across the anniversary of her birth, I decided to go back and find some of her most famous lines.


  • Housework can't kill you, but why take a chance?
  • Cleaning your house while your kids are still growing up is like shoveling the walk before it stops snowing.
  • Tranquilizers work only if you follow the advice on the bottle - keep away from children.
  • I want my children to have all the things I couldn't afford.  Then I want to move in with them.
  • Most children threaten at times to run away from home.  This is the only thing that keeps some parents going.
  • We spend the first 12 months of our children's lives teaching them to walk and talk - and the next 12 years telling them to sit down and shut up.
  • I'm 18 years behind in my ironing.
  • The only time I ever enjoyed ironing was when I accidentally got gin in the steam iron.
  • Any time three New Yorkers get into a cab without an argument, a bank has just been robbed.
  • There's so little money in my bank account, my scenic checks show a ghetto.
  • What I don't like about office Christmas parties is looking for a job the next day.
  • The reason women don't play football is because 11 of them would never wear the same outfit in public.
  • The best way to get rid of kitchen odors - eat out.
  • I asked the waiter, "Is this milk fresh?"  He said, "Lady, three hours ago it was grass."
  • Burt Reynolds once asked me out - I was in his room.
  • Aim high - and you won't shoot your foot off.
  • My photographs don't do me justice - they just look like me.
  • Old age is when your age spots show through your gloves.
  • You know you're old when your walker has an air bag.
  • My mother in law had a pain beneath her left breast - turned out to be a trick knee.
  • I've been asked to say a couple of words about my husband, Fang.  How about "short" and "cheap?"
  • His finest hour lasted a minute and a half.
  • I admit I have a tremendous sex drive - my boyfriend lives 40 miles away.
  • A bachelor is a guy who never made the same mistake once.
  • Whatever you may look like, make sure you marry a man your own age.  That way, as your beauty fades, so will his eyesight.
  • A smile is a curve that sets everything straight (ONE OF MY ALL TIME FAVORITE QUOTES).

Thanks for making us laugh - rest in peace Phyllis Diller!