Roseanne Raises the Bar for New Comics

Roseanne Barr, who tonight debuts as a judge on NBC’s Last Comic Standing, would rather be at home on her Hawaii macadamia nut farm, eating food from her garden and seeing her grandkids off to school. Now there‘s a sentence you would never have expected to read back in the days when Barr was the hell-raising, tabloid-dominating, reigning queen of the TV sitcom. But here she is, after taking a red-eye flight back to LA to promote the new show, already …

Not Your Everyday Grandma: A Toddler’s Memory of Phyllis Diller

This is a guest post by California-based writer Betsy Towner is a regular contributor to AARP Bulletin. Paul’s grandma wasn’t like ours. Whereas the other grandmothers of my first four years left impressions of intensified mothering-cozier, calmer, softer than Mommy-my neighbor Paul’s was an assault on the senses. A grand assault, mind you: Phyllis Diller would burst on the scene in a storm cloud of sparkle and shine, loudness and laughter. I watched her with equal parts fascination and intimidation …

Phyllis Diller: A Life Reimagined

Phyllis Diller was 37 when she did her first comedy gig. But despite her late start, when Diller died on Aug. 20 at age 95, she’d nevertheless enjoyed one of the longest uninterrupted careers in show biz history. She became famous as a brassy, bombastic loud mouth. At first, though, Diller wasn’t at all sure she should even try standing up in front of an audience. “I was on the diving board, but someone had to put a foot in …