Wolf Files: The Mother of All Jokes

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"My mom keeps telling me she should get residuals."

Mother's Day Thought: "I call her every day because I need material." The Comic: Phyllis Diller

The Jokes: "My mother taught me to think of myself as a sex symbol for the men who don't give a damn." "Why do I have a poor self image? When I was a kid my mother always told me, 'If someone asks your name … don't tell them."

"My mother talks to herself and complains of hearing voices."

Mom's Reaction: "I never had to worry about what my mother thought of my stage act. By the time I made it, she was dead," says 85-year-old Diller, widely hailed as the first female comic to strike it big.

"Let's face it, if you tell the crowd about how sweet your mother is, they are going to want their money back," says Diller.

In reality, Diller says her mother was a smart, strong woman. When she was a child in Ohio, Diller says, it was her mother who gave her the confidence to be a trailblazer in stand-up comedy. "I wish she had a chance to see it," she says.

"Luckily, I don't believe in the afterlife," Diller says. "Or my mother could be looking down on me, criticizing my act."

Mother's Day Thought: "The biggest joke of all is death … For all the times I told my mother I love her, I wish I did it more."

The Comic: Bob Hope

The Jokes: "I was the youngest of five boys. After they had me, Mum and Daddy never spoke to each other again."

"I came from a very big family. Four of us slept in the same bed. When we got cold, mother threw on another brother."

"My mother had so much work to do that when one of us was being born she never used to go to the hospital until the last possible second. In fact, three of us were born on a bus … and after each one, Dad would go up and ask for a transfer."

Mom's Reaction: Hope had six brothers and his mother ran a boarding house because the family was so poor.

Hope never stopped doing jokes about being an unwanted child, even though his mother, Avis, died before he hit it big in Hollywood.