The Inevitable Phyllis Diller-Apple Anecdote

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Phyllis Diller in 1960

When I heard that Phyllis Diller had died at the age of 95 — here’s a tribute by my colleague Richard Zoglin — I mourned the loss of one of stand-up comedy’s few true legends. But I also thought back to the conversation I had a couple of weeks ago at the Computer History Museum with Ken Segall, an architect of some of Apple’s memorable ad campaigns and the author of Insanely Simple: The Obsession That Drives Apple’s Success.

You see, Phyllis Diller — oh, wait a minute, I’ll let tell Ken tell the story.

This embedded YouTube should start playing as he discusses “Here’s to the Crazy Ones,” the 1997 TV ad which helped establish that long-beleaguered Apple was back. As is well known, Steve Jobs himself recorded a test version of the voiceover which was eventually provided by Richard Dreyfuss.

Turns out that Jobs wasn’t the only one who auditioned before Dreyfuss got the gig…

Ken also tells this story in a post at his blog. If there’s any justice in this world, the Diller soundtrack will resurface someday.

Rest in peace, Phyllis — and thanks for thinking different.