August 21st, 2012
05:38 PM ET

Zooey Deschanel, Amy Poehler, and more remember Phyllis Diller

As "New Girl's" Zooey Deschanel and "Parks and Recreation's" Amy Poehler joined their fellow Emmy nominees at a cocktail reception on Monday, the two comic talents couldn't help but reflect on how the late, great Phyllis Diller paved the way.

Comedian Phyllis Diller dies 'with a smile on her face'

Diller, known for her riotously funny stand-up that led the charge for future generations of women in comedy, died peacefully at 95 on Monday.

Poehler, who's also proved her comedic chops on NBC's sketch comedy series, "Saturday Night Live," told CNN at the Beverly Hills event that Diller was "a real pioneer."

"I had the pleasure of getting to know her," Poehler continued. "I interviewed her once for a magazine. She was lovely and very generous and very supportive of women in comedy and she just seemed like she worked really hard to get what she got, and she deserved all of her success."

Gilbert Gottfried: Above all, Phyllis Diller was hysterical

Deschanel added that female comedians, such as herself, "owe [Diller] our careers."

Others in attendance, such as Florence Henderson and Lily Tomlin, reflected on how amazing it was that Diller stayed on top of her game well into her older years.

"Having known Phyllis so well for so many years and having been close friends, she will be so sorely missed," Henderson told us. "But to be able to work until you're in your 90s, and then be so good at your life and living it and dealing with it and then to pass so peacefully with your family around at age 95 ... I'm happy for Phyllis, but sad that she won't be here anymore but I will cherish the things she's given me over the years."

Tomlin concurred, remembering how Diller was still "vivacious and funny and sharp" later in life.

"The last time I was at her house - and I bought a bunch of her paintings, which I am really glad I have now - and she was just unbelievable then," Tomlin said. "And she was well into her 90s and she just never stopped."

Maya Rudolph, perhaps, put it most succinctly: "I just loved her like everybody else," she said. "What a cool lady."


soundoff (22 Responses)
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    September 17, 2012 at 11:52 pm | Report abuse |
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    September 17, 2012 at 3:34 am | Report abuse |
  4. Bob

    Zooey Deschanel is a comedian? Then I'm a doctor.

    August 22, 2012 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  5. M-minor correction-

    my grandmother told me years ago bob hope discovered her in a bar lounge...i remember her as a child and remember my grandmother thought she was hysterical with her crazy mini dress, teased up hair and that silly cigarette in her hand and of course her famous crazy laugh. Carl Reiner is now playing Betty White's boyfriend in hot in cleveland. LOL

    RIP Phyllis

    August 22, 2012 at 10:52 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mar

    i think my grandmother told me years ago bob hope discovered her in a bar lounge...i remember her as a child and remember my grandmother thought she was hysterical with her crazy mini dress, teased up hair and that silly cigarette in her hand and of course her famous crazy laugh.

    rip my dear.

    August 22, 2012 at 10:49 am | Report abuse |
  7. Peter Klinger

    Carl Reiner is 98.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  8. Stuart Roberts

    Kirk Douglas is 95, we love him.

    August 22, 2012 at 9:24 am | Report abuse |
  9. Paul Andrews

    Cameron Douglas must man-up!

    August 22, 2012 at 9:23 am | Report abuse |
  10. Gabriel Berk

    We saw her at the Latin Casino, some years ago.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  11. Leon Peris

    She was really a wonderful comedian and star.

    August 22, 2012 at 8:56 am | Report abuse |
  12. that

    I didn't know people could live to be 1500 years old.

    August 22, 2012 at 12:36 am | Report abuse |
  13. Jack

    Greetings folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com

    August 21, 2012 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Electra

    I haven't had the privilege to really see/heard her work. I heard she was great thou. R.I.P.

    August 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Chocolate Covered.

    great comedian...funny as heck..she was the last of the originals from that era.
    rest in peace.

    August 21, 2012 at 6:23 pm | Report abuse |

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