But Diller was a comedian...(Ahem. Diller lives. Born in 1917 and alive.)
... and so are her spiritual descendants, people like Kathy Griffin and Margaret Cho, women sharp enough and shrewd enough to wade into the cultural scrapheap that is gender and recycle all the trashy signifiers they find there for laughs.Williams is different, Trebay says, because she's a talk show host.
Like a kooky media divinity, a god in a comic book myth, Williams, 45, is permeable, superpotent and with no observable boundaries. She performs tricks on the air that involve her surgically amplified bosom. She suggests to guests like Omarosa Manigault Stallworth, the confrontational star of “The Apprentice,” that she look into facial fillers to correct the marionette lines that frame her stiff, practiced smile. She vows to keep her audience up to date on her vaginal toning. She cries, but then on television lately it’s hard to shut off the waterworks.Nice. But I'm more interested in the general idea of the female female impersonator. The first person who sprang to mind for me is Dolly Parton. And Marilyn Monroe. And then Courtney Love, Madonna, Lady Gaga.
“You just have the audacity and the unmitigated gall to say what you think and let the chips fall where they may,” Williams said.
And as long as I'm in YouTube, here's the great Phyllis Diller:
And here she is with Groucho Marx — and she's the one with the drawn-on eyebrows — and here she is with Liberace.
Anyway, the topic for discussion is female female impersonators. And Phyllis Diller. And eyebrows...