Recently I read an article by Joan Rivers in the Washington Post. It discussed the life o Phyllis Diller and how she was an inspiration to others. In the weeks leading up to Capital Dancesport we had been chatting about Phylliss a lot. Roxi and I were driving around DC with my cousin Lindsay, and discussing Phyllis when it was announced over the radio that she died.
It was a shocking coincidence to say the least, to learn of her death as we were chatting about her, which we do often. We often joke about Phyllis Diller when describing bad ballroom dresses that we see on the dance floor. A lot of Phyllis's act was based on her appearance,which included funny boots and necklaces, outrageous dresses and wild frazzled wigs... If you take the boots out of the equation, we see a lot of Phyllis Dillers on the competitive dance floor. We also see many Phyllis Diller inspired gowns on the racks of many ballroom dress vendors.
But joking aside, when Phyllis died in August, Joan Rivers wrote a really inspiring column about her, and it's definitely worth reading "how Phyllis paved the way for the rest of us". She went on to say in the column, that when Phyllis started performing, female comedians had to look funny to be considered funny... And that she picked a look that was expected and dressed ridiculously. I guess that was her angle, but she later went on to perform in the way that her male contemporaries did, breaking the mold.