Aug 21, 2012

By Scott Walker

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Women comics who were inspired by Phyllis Diller are paying tribute after learning of her death yesterday at the age of 95.

Ellen DeGeneres tweeted online that Diller was a “comedy legend” and a “pioneer.”

And Whoopi Goldberg calls her a “true original.”

Diller was a nearly 40-year-old housewife when she began doing standup in 1956. Women comics weren’t widely accepted then. However, Diller told reporters in 1998 that she thought being a woman actually helped her. She said she was never made to feel like she was “a girl” among men. But, her relatives were appalled that she was working in nightclubs.

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