STEVE ALLEN - TYPED LETTER SIGNED 07/21/1998 - HFSID 270130
Sale Price $234.00
STEVE ALLEN SENDS A JOKE TO PHYLLIS DILLER
STEVE ALLEN. Typed Letter Signed: "Steve", 1p, 8½x11. Van Nuys, California, 1998 July 21. On his imprinted letterhead to comedienne and actress Phyllis Diller. Begins: "Dear Phyllis". In full: "I've just written a crazy joke that might be suitable for you - although if you don't find it so, don't give the matter another thought. It's the same formula as your marvelous 'peek-a-boo blouse' line. Anyway, at the party I met this really crazy guy. He asked me if I liked slapstick humor. When I told him that yes, I do - he slapped me - and then he stuck me. Love". Diller, who wrote most of her own material, developed a rapid-fire delivery with which she could deliver 12 punch lines in one minute. In the year he wrote this letter, Allen composed a song, "Cool Yule", for the film, I'll Be Home for Christmas, and he appeared as himself in Lenny Bruce: Swear to Tell the Truth and in the made-for-TV film, Martian Mania: The True Story of The War of the Worlds. He also made guest appearances on the TV series Homicide: Life on the Street, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch and a Biography tribute to Ernie Kovacs. Breaking into showbiz as a radio disc jockey, the multitalented STEVE ALLEN (1921-2000) learned that inserting humor would draw a lot more attention to himself than merely announcing. In order to supply himself with an endless stream of material, he memorized every joke book and "college humor" magazine that he could get his hands on; the result was his uncanny ability to conjure up precisely the right wisecrack at the right time. Allen received his first network exposure in 1949, and was also featured in several films, including Down Memory Lane (1949) and I'll Get By (1950). In 1953, he was hired to host a local late-night program on New York's WNBC-TV, which later developed into the NBC network's Tonight Show. Allen was also an accomplished composer and piano player, and filled up his spare time by writing books, plays and magazine articles. Comedienne PHYLLIS DILLER (1917-2012), known for her outrageous appearance, zany outfits, distinctive laugh and a stand-up act that featured frequent references to her fictional husband, "Fang", and zingers about her sex appeal and numerous plastic surgeries, got her big break in March 1955 (at age 37), when she debuted at San Francisco's Purple Onion club. A subsequent appearance on The Tonight Show hosted by Jack Paar launched her national career, which got a big boost after Bob Hope saw Diller in a Washington, D.C. club. A favorite of the comedian, Diller would appear in three of Hope's films and 23 of his TV specials. Diller, who recorded her first comedy record album in 1959, took her groundbreaking "funny hausfrau" act to nightclubs and television variety shows and specials and she also appeared on the big screen. Her feature film credits include Splendor in the Grass (1961), The Fat Spy (1966), Boy, Did I Get a Wrong Number! (1966), The Sunshine Boys (1975) and The Silence of the Hams (1994), and she provided the voice of the Queen in A Bug's Life (1998). By 2000, the comedienne, who had trained as a concert pianist before her marriage (1939-1965) to Sherwood Anderson Diller, had appeared as a piano soloist with 100 symphony orchestras across the U.S. Despite retiring from nightclub/stage tours in May 2002 at the age of 84, Diller continued to make films (Motorcross Kids, 2004; Forget About It, 2005) and occasionally appear on TV programs, including two episodes of 7th Heaven (2002, 2003) and a guest shot on The Wayne Brady Show (2004). Lightly creased with folds, not at signature, else fine condition.
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