ARBOR, Mich. -- "One ringy-dingy, Two-ringy-dingies."
Sound familiar? Yes, that's Lily Tomlin, who performed her classic
comedy at the Hill Auditorium in Ann Arbor. "I gave the best
years of my life to AT&T. My fingers hurt from plugging and
unplugging. I got carpal tunnel from dialing. Perhaps you've been
charged for a call you didn't make. We don't care. We're the phone
company," she continued. Then there was a hilarious video
about the phone company.
this is Ernestine Tomlin, what is your gripe du jour?" she
joked. "So you were shot in a subway? Next time eat at Quiznos.
Your health is our business, not our concern," she continued.
Ernestine often snorted during her skits.
I lived in Detroit, I always wanted to go to Hollywood and be
a big star, and go on the road to Ann Arbor, Michigan!" says
Lily. The audience laughed. Her mother and dad came from Kentucky,
then came to Detroit so he could work. She says, "my dad
could never afford to buy a car. He didn't want my mother to work;
he was from the South. So my mother threw Tupperware parties.
My dad would sit around all weekend and drink.....and I thought
the Tupperware party was weird." My mother started a group,
which didn't take off, it was called Mother's Against Stand-up
Comics. My brother sawed my mother's couch into three pieces,
so we would have sectional furniture.
told a story about how after college, she wanted to be a waitress.
Then she headed for New York. She landed on Broadway. She wore
this white shirt uniform with blue and orange on the collar and
went to Howard Johnson's and sat at the counter, waiting to be
discovered. After that, she worked three years on Laugh In. "Guess
I'll have to settle for success!," as the audience laughed.
was also a video on Stay Put hairspray. She was sitting
in a chair as she was going through a car wash. Her hair got soaped
and rinsed, then her body got patted down. The slogan was Stay
Put--gives you the fashion finish.
talked about her Cass Tech days. "Someone told me I resembled
Natalie Wood. I was wearing a two-piece bathing suit. There was
nothing I would have changed. When I was in my teens, there was
everything I would have changed. But I have changed. My skin is
somewhat sagging. My fingers are bent. I better stop, I see that
I am turning some of you on," she joked. "Even words
changed. When you swiped something, you're stealing. Now if you
swipe something, you're paying for it," says Tomlin.
did a skit about Edith Ann. "I am six years old. I wanted
to tell time all my life, and as soon as I did, I was arriving
late all the time," says Tomlin. She found the best reason
to like second grade. Miss Sweeney. Miss Sweeney let us sit where
we wanted. She was taller than me--about three feet. When I was
asked to read aloud in school, I read out LOUD. I asked Miss Sweeney
if her first name was Margaret Ann? She said 'Yes. But you better
call me Miss Sweeney.' I said, "OK, Margaret."
a question-and-answer session from the audience. One question
was, How did you come up with Ernestine? "I wanted to do
something with the telephone company. She just became a phenomenon."
Another was, What advice do you have for a women turning 50? "Wear
the show immensely. I think Lily Tomlin is a very talented actress,
comedian, writer and producer. She has been on Broadway, in film
and on several TV shows. I'm glad she came back Michigan for this
more information about other shows and events at the Ann Arbor
Summer Festival, visit www.a2sf.org.
Tomlin talks Wayne State, Ann Arbor Summer Festival and 'Grace
Tomlin, Jane Wagner receive 345th Golden Star in Palm Springs,