Lily Tomlin Ross Wetzsteon - Essay

Ross Wetzsteon

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

[Lily Tomlin's] cult says she identifies so deeply with her characters she becomes them, but I feel she identifies so deeply with her characters she ignores us. She appears to adopt a persona not so much to bring herself closer as to distance herself from her audience. I've never seen a stage persona so armored, so well defended….

Again and again, Tomlin has been characterized as a chameleon, but if a chameleon were surrounded by mirrors, what color would it take to blend in with its surroundings?

In one of Tomlin's bits, Glenna, "a child of the '60s," is talking about her parents: "I learned all about fascism from my father." Is she making a joke about our parents? Or is...

(The entire section is 895 words.)