PHYLLIS DILLER Still Strutting Like a Peacock

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Thanks so much, Pamela!

Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In

Smiling can alleviate pain and suffering. Have you tried smiling to a stranger before? I made an experiment and surprisingly, all strangers responded positively. Thanks for your comment, Connie! Love the quotes — what a happy post! Who would have known that Phyllis Diller was a sage? But Barbra obviously wanted it.

Two house seats were reserved for the closing night, but when Barbra and Schulenberg showed up only moments before the curtain went up, they discovered their seats had been given away. Later, when Dennen asked his friends what they thought of his performance, they told him they had missed it. By poking fun at herself—onstage she typically wore a fright wig, a psychedelic print smock, white plastic boots, and dangling glitter-ball earrings the size of tennis balls—Diller won over audiences like no other female comic had before.

But she also knew what it meant to be unattractive in the conventional sense, and that at some point Barbra would be asked to have plastic surgery. You need eggs in your milk to make your voice stronger. His name was Woody Allen. One member of the audience who did take notice was personal manager Ted Rozar, who was there with his most important client at the time, Orson Bean. After the show, the tall, impeccably dressed Rozar approached Barbra backstage and planted a kiss on her lips. Moments later, Barbra called Dennen from the kitchen of the Bon Soir and asked him to rush down to the club to meet the blond, blue-eyed Rozar.

No matter. Not long after, she also landed an agent. No sooner did he return to his seat than the crowd picked up where it had left off, drowning out every note. She still started off every night with the same sight gag—only now just pretending to take her gum out of her mouth, she stuck the imaginary wad on her microphone instead of under her stool.

She made up wild stories about herself, crossed her eyes, waved her arms wildly, giggled, mugged shamelessly, and delivered every syllable with her distinctive Brooklyn intonation. All was counterpoint to the celestial voice, the exquisite phrasing, the command of both words and music that belied her nineteen years.

Meatlocker: Dark Stories

It was around this time that Barry Dennen stepped into the elevator in his building and overheard another tenant, the comedienne and actress Kaye Ballard, talking about how much she wanted to play Fanny Brice in a new musical being planned by producer Ray Stark. When he rushed to tell Barbra, she made a face. How can she get away with that? Singing in a Yiddish accent!

But when she returned to their apartment from the club that night, there was no Barry in sight. What Dennen had neglected to tell Barbra was that he was simply enjoying himself too much in California. He extended his stay a few days, then an entire week. She did not tell him what trouble she had gone to to celebrate his homecoming, or how she had wrung her hands night after night wondering if he had simply disappeared from her life forever. While the rest of New York ushered in , Barbra returned home from the Bon Soir in hopes of celebrating with Barry.

She walked into the apartment and, to her surprise, encountered a strange black man in their bathroom. Barbra was chronically late and unwilling to accept any suggestions from the house musicians. But in her defense, she was just dirt-poor.

Some singers can get a song after hearing it once or twice, but it takes Barbra Streisand a long time to learn a song. Obviously, her instincts were correct. She always rehearsed in front of a mirror. I mean for hours.

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She was always changing things, over and over and over again, until everyone went nuts. Basically, Barbra was tremendously insecure—full of fear, really—and everybody paid for it. Musicians who were kept waiting each night grew to resent the brash, gum-snapping upstart. After she did the set, Barbra walked off the stage and sobbed. It was the only time I ever saw her cry. But she got over it quick. Barbra was just so aggressive—a very tough lady even then. My life was—is—too important for me to give it over to somebody else. Even at the beginning, when she was really a nobody, Barbra saw everyone else in the world as existing to do her bidding. Caucus Club owner Lester Gruber was so excited by the prospect of Streisand plugging his establishment on national television that he convinced several patrons to pitch in and pay for her airfare back to New York.

It was an incredible moment. All these people, and the cameras and the lights and people! God has given you this voice and this nose. But, understandably, she never tired of hearing other people tell her she was beautiful. She had her own agenda. She was a climber, and she socialized with a very wealthy Jewish crowd in Detroit. There was a guy who owned a steel company who was very fond of Barbra, and she spent a lot of time with him.

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To make herself seem more interesting, she had told Hirsch and other journalists that she had actually been born in Turkey. At the Crystal Palace in St. Louis, she made more than a friend out of Tommy Smothers, the endearingly dim-witted half of the Smothers Brothers comedy team. Whenever she sang the song, Barbra thought about Dennen. Barbra had taken a liking to Erlichman even before he offered to work for her gratis.

1) Puff Doggy

Now completely broke, Barbra was forced to seek part-time employment. Her brother, Sheldon, who had just become a new father, was gainfully employed in the art department of a leading Manhattan ad agency, Ben Sakheim. Occasionally he took his little sister to lunch, although he was so embarrassed by her tattered thrift-shop wardrobe that he made her walk three feet behind him.

Having already had a taste of stardom, Barbra did not take her new job seriously. She tried out various accents whenever she answered the phone—French, Russian, Spanish, Yiddish, German— and made very little effort to actually take accurate messages or even put calls through.

Barbra- The Way She Is - PDF Free Download

Unable to afford dry cleaning, she appeared onstage in dresses that were stained and wrinkled. From Winnipeg, she returned to Detroit and the Caucus Club.

It's sooooo television

This time, the decidedly more worldly Barbra was letting male admirers buy her drinks and on occasion come up to her room. Barbra was not exactly enamored of Ted Rozar, either. Barbra had, in fact, tried out for a spot at the club with little success. She was something new, fresh, different. Barbra was hired, but her engagement would not start for another three months.

She would open for the comic Pat Harrington, later best known as the T-shirt-clad janitor in the long-running sitcom One Day at a Time. What continued to distinguish Barbra from her contemporaries as well as those who had gone before her was the unique quality of her voice, her cockeyed look, and her equally off-center persona. Keenly aware of the importance of television exposure, she hounded producers of talk shows on a more or less continuous basis. Local TV personality Joe Franklin grudgingly agreed to have her appear on his show. But, boy, could she sing. I should go out and buy a dress special for this show?

She understood the lyrics and she cared about the lyrics. It made me shiver. She railed against Zen Buddhism, fallout shelters, smoked foods, and milk. You kept asking him about his temper, so he showed you he had it.

2) Sad Little Mess

Show graduated from Andrews University with a B. J UTTclion W e i g h t , 7 pounds and 9 ounces. I didn't know whether to kick it or eat it. It is very good for stitch or pains in the sides coming of wind, if the place be fomented warm with the decoction in wine and the herb also, after boiling, be laid warm thereto. I have gained four pounds. People didnt make the time to be happy. Its snowy plumage and comfortable comportment make it a credit to the poultry-yard, while its broad and deep breast, and its ample back, convey the assurance that your satisfaction will not cease at its death.

Also working gratis, they continued to help her out with songs, arrangements, costumes, and makeup whenever they could. These were orders, and for some reason, you obeyed.

Phyllis Diller still strutting like a peacock

We went to see Brando in the movie OneEyed Jacks and she just kept talking about how beautiful he was. So what? Who cares?