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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Intelligent life in the universe

The gifted actress and comedian Lily Tomlin turns 70 today. I think the hardest I have ever laughed was when I watched her do a certain routine on a late-night TV show (probably Johnny Carson) years ago. Tomlin had been a cheerleader at Detroit's Cass Tech in real life, and her portrayal of a "soul" high school cheerleader cracked me up. If anyone knows where I can find that clip, please let me know. I'd love to see how well it held up.

Comments (11)

Whenever you come across a brilliant insight in a hilarious package, it's an even bet that she said it first.

Like "Man invented language because of our deep inner need to complain."

A lot of her later material has been written by Jane Wagner, Tomlin's life partner.

One of my favorite phrases to use in dire situations these days comes from her delivery of it on The West Wing - getting screwed with your pants on.

Aaron Sorkin is a great writer, but in that particular show he had great actors to deliver the writing.

Okay, here's my Lily Tomlin anecdote: I was working as a banquet houseman and she came to speak at a political rally at my hotel.
She arrived after several politicians had talked, took one look at the stage, and said it wasn't high enough.
So the announcer introduced her with something like, "Ladies and Gentlemen, Lily Tomlin." The crowd erupted but all they got was me and another houseman carrying out a riser. We set it up - it took a couple of minutes - and then she came out, and scolded the politicians for not realizing the importance of being seen.

The crowd was around 1,000 people so while we were setting up the stage, I remember feeling a little awkward about not being whom they wanted to see, especially after being introduced as her and everything. Oh well. That's show business.

One of my favorite things Lily Tomlin did lately was Prairie Home Companion. It's a cozy movie.

Hi Jack. I couldn't find the clip, but here's an old newspaper article where she talks about the soul cheerleader.


Talk about a severely under-rated talent. Tomlin's great.

That's enough, touch-dy touch, touch-dy touch.

Ernestine, LIVES!!!

One of my all-time favorite "Edith Anne" lines is:

"My friends all say that I'm a bully --- but I'm not!
It's just that my ideas are better than theirs."


"One ringy dingy, two ringy dingies.... we're the phone company, we don't care, we don't have to." Sadly still true after the ATT/Bell monopoly ended.


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