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From the Archives: Comedians Diller and Lewis.

Interviews with comics Phyllis Diller and Richard Lewis. For more than 40 years, Phyllis Diller has made a career out of her own poor looks, and the exploits of her bumbling, imaginary, husband, Fang. Diller paved the way for an entire generation of female comics. Terry's interview with Phyllis Diller first aired on the weekly version of Fresh Air on 7/1/86.

Richard Lewis portrays a spastic, tortured, self-deprecating man living a life of unrelieved pain. He says of his standup comedy that after he's finished his act "people throw prescription drugs and the names of their therapists instead of roses. I'm the wreck they can't be." Lewis has appeared roughly 35 times on the "Late Night with David Letterman" show and has had his own comedy specials on HBO. (Lewis appeared on Fresh Air on June 16, 1988).

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Other segments from the episode on December 29, 1989

Fresh Air with Terry Gross, December 29, 1989: Interviews with Phyllis Diller and Richard Lewis; Interviews with Richard Belzer and Robert Townsend; Interview with Al Franken.

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Transcripts are created on a rush deadline, and accuracy and availability may vary. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Please be aware that the authoritative record of Fresh Air interviews and reviews are the audio recordings of each segment.

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