Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Lily Tomlin

I didn't go to see Lily Tomlin at the Arnoff last night, but I did see the large crowd file in from my art gallery post. From the article I found this interesting:
The winner of six Emmys, a Grammy and two Tony Awards also did her homework. Her famous character, Ernestine the telephone operator - famous for her "One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy" line - held a fake conversation with City Councilman Jim Tarbell. Marge Schott, the Bengals, Reds and Bearcats were the butt of other jokes.
This is interesting to me because of a quick anecdote I heard while at the art gallery. It appears that like all great comedians, Lily Tomlin does her homework. I hope this does not sound like revealing a magician's tricks, but during the day I am told she spent quite a bit of time chatting with some of the Arnoff staff about Cincinnati, which is where I presume she got some of her references. Jim Tarbell if he was lucky maybe got to have dinner with Lily, but that is just a random guess.

This is just like a classic story from college days I was told during Freshman Orientation about Red Buttons. On his visit a year or two before my Freshman year (a long long time ago....) he spent the afternoon walking around Uptown Oxford talking to people, visting places, and getting a feel for the town before he went on stage for a Parents Weekend show that night. His show referenced local places and people that ads that special touch to the audience that makes the difference between just having an act and being a performer.

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