1 9 6 6 – 1 9 6 7 (USA)
30 x 30 minute episodes
The Pruitts of Southampton were just like the Rockefellers or the Vanderbilts, except for two things: they were broke and Mrs Pruitt looked, dressed and acted like Phyllis Diller.
For reasons that don’t matter very much, the Pruitts were obliged to keep up appearances of wealth in their Long Island mansion while trying to reconcile themselves to the squalid life of a family with only eight rooms, one butler and one car.
Phyllis had to do the cooking, which gave her an opportunity to stuff a turkey while wearing full-length gloves, then put it into the washer to cook.
Each episode involved Phyllis trying a new harebrained scheme to raise money and keep it from the IRS, while Diller clowned her way through the role of the tapped-out society matron with all the delicacy of a bulldozer.
Ned (Reginald Gardiner) was her octogenarian uncle; Harvey (Paul Lynde) was her brother; Stephanie (Pam Freeman, pictured below right) her 22-year-old daughter; Regina Wentworth (Gypsy Rose Lee, pictured below left) her nosy neighbour and arch-rival; Sturgis the butler (Grady Sutton); and Baldwin (Richard Deacon) the IRS Agent.
In midseason, the format changed somewhat to depict Phyllis’s adventures as a landlady when she began an elegant boarding house in an attempt to pay off her debt. Boarders included Norman Krump (Marty Ingels) and Vernon Bradley (Billy DeWolfe).
Guest stars included Ann B Davis, Arte Johnson, Ted Cassidy and Bob Hope.
Uncle Ned Pruitt
Gypsy Rose Lee