Backstage Pass: Lily Tomlin


Every character Lily Tomlin invents feels like a force of nature, whether it’s nosy switchboard operator Ernestine on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, feisty secretary Violet in Nine to Five, or brawling Tammy Powers on Eastbound & Down. The 72-year-old comedian reflects on her creative process and TV career at this wide-ranging discussion. People still ask her to do their favorite characters, and, for the record, she loves it. “Someone like Ernestine is a big character, yet there’s a reality to her. In fact, she is always a bit ticked off at me because I’m exploiting her personality and her charisma by imitating her.” 

She’s Making Media: Lily Tomlin // Paley Center // Jun 4