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Lily and All the Funny Women

Inspired by a Diary of Mary Jean Tomlin’s

Lily Tomlin

Lily Tomlin sits in an oversize chair as the character Edith Ann in her first television special 'Lily,' filmed October 22nd, 1973.

CBS Photo Archive/Getty

Characters (In Order Of Appearance)

Richard Pryor, an actor/comedian
Some Critics: John Wasserman, Lee Israel, Bruce Vilanch, Horace M. Newcomb, an old woman, Peggy Clifford, a CBS executive, W.P. of Detroit, a young woman
Kay Whitlock, an activities coordinator at Southern Colorado State College, Pueblo
Mary Jean Tomlin, a storyteller
A Groupie/Reporter
A Diary
Lily Tomlin, another actor/comedian
Toni, a city girl of the Fifties
A Rubber Freak
Edith Ann, a small child
Mrs. Earbore, a Grosse Pointe matron
Mildred, a waitress
Harry, her boss
The Party Lady
Mrs. Fitzgerald, a childhood mentor
Mrs. Judy Beasly, of Calumet City, Illinois
Bernice Mason, a movie mag writer
This Astrologist
Wanda V. Wilford, a C&W singer
Janice Lou Reid, one of her fans
Wanda V.’s Manager
Loretta Lynn
Control Room Monitor

Part One
If You Can’t Be Direct, Why Be?

(In his room on the 14th floor of the Hyatt Regency in San Francisco, Richard Pryor props his bare feet on top of a table of leftover afternoon breakfast dishes and confesses to a secret passion.)

Richard I love Lily. I have a thing about her, a little crush. She’s so good I get embarrassed, I get in. awe of her. I’d seen her on Laugh-In and shit, and something about her is very sensual, isn’t it. You know, when she works, I’d like to ball her in all them different characters she does sometimes. Wouldn’t you? I mean, have her around the house and have her do all that — be Ernestine one minute.

(He imitates Ernestine, Lily’s telephone operator, his voice nasal and officious, interrupted by snorts.) “Oh (snort, snort) just put it in the proper place. Thank you (snort, snort).”

(Several critics speak up from various locations — newspaper offices, shopping centers, network inner sanctums, street corners, backstage dressing rooms, airports, etc.)

John Wasserman of the, ‘San Francisco Chronicle’ I would venture that Lily Tomlin is the first comedienne in history subject to audience lust.

Ms. Lee Israel in ‘Ms.’ Much of the low-key documentary style of performing she is moving toward can no longer appropriately be called comedy. Increasingly, she is simply lifting pieces from the culture, imposing upon them her overview and her mammoth talent, and then gingerly putting them down again.

Bruce Vilanch of ‘Chicago Today’ She transforms the tiny stage into a gigantic circus of women. She is not just a comic, she’s a comic actress.

Horace M. Newcomb of the ‘Baltimore Sun’ Her ear is as accurate at times as that of Mark Twain.

An Old Woman During a Performance (Shaking her cane and yelling) Go home and put on a brassier