Sunday, April 26, 2009


I know by now most of you have heard that Bea Arthur passed away. I thought it would be a nice tribute to Bea to look at comediennes over the years and the sort of roles they took to entertain us. To the left, of course, is Bea Arthur herself. Bea is best known for her staring roles in Maud and Golden Girls.

"Women Who Can Hold Their Own"

Bea and the two next pictured comediennes; Rose Marie and a personal favorite of mine, Betty White were among those first comediennes who played women capable of holding their own with men.

If you're old enough, you'll recall Rose Marie as Sally Rogers, one of the team of writers on the Dick Van Dyke Show. A working woman in a man's field.

Hulu - The Dick Van Dyke Show

Betty White plays the old woman I'd like to be. Sort of a sweet faced saber toothed tiger. Razor tongued, needle wit and always smiling. She played Sue-Ann Nivens on the Mary Tyler Moore Show.Hulu - The Mary Tyler Moore Show

Betty ends the category of "Women who can hold their own."

"Feather-Headed Ditz Brains"

Despite the fact that Mary Tyler Moore would eventually star in The Mary Tyler Moore Show and play a woman determined to be accepted as an equal, she began as a typical "Feather Headed Ditz Brain." On the Dick Van Dyke Show.

Lucy is probably the most famous of the Ditzes. I was not that fond of Lucy. I tended to think of her as the fourth female Stooge. I had trouble believing that anyone could be that dumb or inept. Of course I have proved to be able in that way myself, so who am I to talk. ha. Lucy is popular and much adored.

This category would not be complete without Jean Stapleton as Edith Bunker. Archie's beloved "dingbat". I also enjoyed her in the movie
Michael (1996) starring John Travolta. Jean plays the angle, Posey.
Here is a scene from Michael where John dances with women in "heat". This video does not have the song in the sound track that was in the movie. Does anyone know what was the original song that John punches into the jukebox?

The last category of comediennes is one I call "Character Portrayers". It includes
Imogene Coca - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia , Carol Burnett - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Gilda Radner - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Tracey Ullman - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia and last but never least, Lily Tomlin - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. These gals dressed up in some pretty wacky outfits to make us laugh. You never knew what you'd see or what accent you might hear.

Any comments on comediennes or comedians, the movie Michael or anything else are welcome. Who did you like, who did you not like?

I hope that you have a happy evening filled with laughter and good company. Here is a video to help you down that path... Enjoy!

Don't forget the Great Turtle Race! Visit billy pilgrim at anubis, anubis, anubis to ride his link to the race.


  1. i like all the people in it's a mad mad mad world.

  2. billy--Me too! That movie makes me laugh no matter how many times I see it. I love the part in the begining where he kicks the bucket. Great flick.

  3. glad you mentioned my personal favorites of carol burnett and gilda radner. geniuses. i love them.

  4. Lime--Well, I forgot some for sure. I was going to make a point of mentioning Phillis Diller and have a "laundro-mat laides" section that included Rosie O'Donnel and Roseann Barr. But ran out of space. So I kept to the oldies.
    Gilda I miss!

  5. I've always love Gilda Radner. All her characters were so funny.

  6. Churlita-- Roseann Rosanna Danna was my favorite of hers, though Emmily Latilla was pretty darned funny. We say "Let's make Cuba a steak!" often at my house.

  7. Loved all those funny women. I would add French and Saunders from the UK.

    BTW I often tell my daughters about Radner's skits and I know from their reaction, they'd love her work as much as I did.

  8. Cube-- Also good choices!

    Another more recent one is Molly Shannon... Her Mary Katherine Gallagher and I are twins. ha.