Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Phyllis Diller - Not Just Another Pretty Face (2007)

Director: ???

Writers: Joe Bigelow, Jay Burton

Music Direction: Mitchell Ayres

Starring: Phyllis Diller, Frankie Avalon, Joe Besser, Annette Funicello, Phil Harris, The King Family, Kirk Kirkham, Dean Martin, Don Rickles, Terry-Thomas

More info: Amazon

Plot: Highlights from Diller's hosting appearances on THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE (1964-1970).

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again? Nah.

It took me a while but I finally found out this was from a variety show called THE HOLLYWOOD PALACE that ran from '64 to '70 and it was guest hosted weekly on Saturday nights by people like Sammy Davis Jr., Don Adams, Jimmy Durante, Judy Garland, Bing Crosby and other child beaters.  This DVD runs about an hour and is just clips of Diller's monologues along with some skits with Don Rickles and others.  The best ones were with her, Rickles and Terry-Thomas (from 1969) who kept flubbing his lines and laughing hysterically.  The canned laughter is is an assault on the ears but that's what you got with TV comedy for decades and there's no avoiding that.  Whoever put this brief compilation together didn't pay close enough attention.  Diller's monologues repeat jokes.  It's bad enough that it happened at all but at least you had a few weeks, months or years between hearing them as they originally aired.  You've got to be Leonard from MEMENTO (2000) to not notice it while watching this DVD.  I like Diller but in small doses.  She laughs a lot during her monologues and you get more than you can handle when they're strung together for long stretches at a time.  I still love her but that canned laughter added to the mix bugs the bejesus out of me.  You could say she's the female Bob Hope with a mix of Rodney Dangerfield.  She's very much a self-deprecating comic.  Her best joke on this release is when she's talking about being old, "My G-string is clear on down to D flat."  Now THAT'S funny!  The MPI DVD has a couple of extras, a soap commercial with Diller and a 7-minute segment from a 1963 episode of WHAT'S MY LINE? that has as panelists Shelley Berman, Arlene Francis, Dorothy Kilgallen, Bennett Cerf, host John Daly and announcer Johnny Olson.  That was fun.

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