The McCallum Theatre welcomes the return of Lily Tomlin and “An Evening of Classic Lily Tomlin” on Saturday, January 12, at 8:00pm. Lily Tomlin has been delighting audiences since the first time she muttered “one ringy-dingy” on Rowan & Martin’s “Laugh-In.” In this hilarious one-woman show, Lily performs more than a dozen of her timeless characters, from Ernestine to Mrs. Beasley to Edith Ann. The Grammy, Tony, and Emmy winner uses a fantastic range of voices, gestures, and movements to conjure up a cast of characters “with all the apparent ease of a magician pulling a whole menagerie of animals from a single hat” (New York Daily News). This warm and affecting performance is filled with comic insights and wry, witty observations about the human condition.

Lily has received six Emmys; a Tony for her one woman Broadway show Appearing Nitely and a second Tony for Best Actress, a Drama Desk Award and an Outer Critics’ Circle Award for her one woman performance in Jane Wagner’s The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe; and a CableAce Award for executive producing the film adaptation of The Search. She received a Grammy for her comedy album This is a Recording and nominations for her subsequent albums. She received two Peabody Awards for the television special “Edith Ann’s Christmas: Just Say Noël,” and for narrating and executive producing the HBO film The Celluloid Closet. In 2003, she received the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor presented at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. In 2012, Lily and her partner Jane Wagner received a star on the Palm Springs Walk of Stars. In 2014, she was an honoree at the Kennedy Center Honors, and in 2017, she received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Screen Actors Guild.

Lily was born in Detroit and her comedy favorites included Lucille Ball, Bea Lillie, Imogene Coca and Jean Carroll, one of the first female stand-ups on The Ed Sullivan Show. Lily enrolled at Wayne State University to study medicine, but courses in theater arts compelled her to leave college to perform in local coffee houses. She moved to New York in 1965 where she built a following with her appearances at clubs such as The Improvisation, Cafe Au Go Go and Upstairs at the Downstairs.

Lily made her television debut in 1966 on “The Garry Moore Show” and made appearances on “The Merv Griffin Show” which led to a move to California where she became a regular on “Music Scene.” In 1969, Lily joined “Laugh-In” and rose to fame with her characterizations of Ernestine, the telephone operator, and Edith Ann, the devilish six year old. When “Laugh-In” left the air, Lily co-wrote, with Jane Wagner, and starred in six comedy television specials, including “Lily for President?” (1982) for which she won three Emmys and a Writers Guild of America Award. Lily starred in the HBO special about the AIDS epidemic “And the Band Played On” (1993). 
Lily has guest starred on television shows, including “Homicide,” “X-Files” and played the boss for two years on “Murphy Brown.”She had a recurring role as Will Truman’s boss on “Will & Grace,” for four seasons, played President Bartlett’s secretary on “The West Wing.” She currently stars on the Netflix series “Grace and Frankie” for which she has earned four Emmy nominations. She is the voice of the science teacher Ms. Frizzle on the children’s animated series “The Magic School Bus,” for which she won an Emmy.

Lily made her Broadway debut in Appearing Nitely (1977) which included favorites Ernestine, Edith Ann and Judith Beasley, the Calumet City housewife, and introduced Trudy the bag lady, Crystal the hang-gliding quadriplegic, Rick the singles bar cruiser, Glenna as a child of the sixties, and Sister Boogie Woman, a 77-year-old blues revivalist. Appearing Nitely was adapted as both an album and an HBO Special.  Lily appeared on Broadway in 1985 in a year-long run of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, followed by a 4½ year tour. Lily continued with a cross-country tour of The Search;a new production of The Search on Broadway; a six month run of the production in San Francisco; and a six week run in Los Angeles. In 2009, she premiered her one-woman show Not Playing with a Full Deck in Las Vegas.

On film, Lily made her debut as Linnea, a gospel singer in Nashville, earning an Academy Award nomination. Her starring film roles include The Late Show; Moment By Moment; 9 to 5; The Incredible Shrinking Woman; All of Me; Tea With Mussolini; I Heart Huckabees; and Prairie Home Companion. She starred in the film adaptation of The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, and portrayed Miss Jane Hathaway in The Beverly Hillbillies. She produced and narrated the HBO documentary An Apology to Elephants (2013). For her work in film, Lily received the Crystal Award from Women in Film.

Tickets for this performance are priced at $100, $90, $80 and $60. Tickets are available at the Theatre’s website at or by calling the McCallum Theatre Box Office at (760) 340-2787. The McCallum Theatre, located at 73000 Fred Waring Drive, Palm Desert CA 92260, accepts payment by cash, personal check, VISA, MasterCard, Discover and American Express.