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Joan Rivers

Phyllis Diller was


8/20/2012 1:50 PM PDT BY TMZ STAFF

Phyllis Diller
was way ahead of her time -- so says Joan Rivers, who tells TMZ, Diller didn't get the appreciation she deserved in her prime ... because the 60s sucked for comedy.

Rivers -- whom Diller called her "protegee" -- tells us, "The only tragedy in [Diller's] entire life is that she was funny in an era when you had to look funny to be funny."

Rivers adds, "Her lines were so brilliant that all she had to do was stand on the stage and say 'em and you would have cracked up" ... but in the 60s, Diller's comedy was undermined by stupid outfits.

Rivers says she and Diller were BFFs 'til the end -- in fact, the two grabbed brunch just last month.

Fun fact: Rivers says Diller was dating into her 90s, and even had a boyfriend at the time of her death.

Rivers says Diller "was the most generous of comedians" -- supporting Joan from the very beginning of her career. Rivers adds, "I adored her."


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but the ridiculous outfits were part of the reason that i loved her! u just never knew what u were going to get from diller. she was fantastically funny...w or w out the crazy outfits.

761 days ago


Phillis Diller was a true comedian. Her shows were funny, clean, brilliant,and gracious. She was famous without the filthy mouth that you have Joan Rivers. You are not funny


761 days ago


Ms Diller was 100 times the comedienne than Joan Rivers will ever be.

760 days ago

Ratings Needed    

Phyllis wasn't a 'mean' comedian, she was brillant, NOT VULGAR & very, very funny!! So unlike comedians of today & that includes Rivers. I can't stand to listen or watch her, my preference.

760 days ago


Phyllis must not have been a very good mentor for Joan because Phyllis was not a mean-spirited comic like Joan.

760 days ago


Ms.Diller was funny, classy and respected. Everything that Joan is not. Joan should stop trying to horn in and get herself attention for Ms. Diller's death. Joan, STFU.

759 days ago
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