When Lily Tomlin calls, your mind says, “One ringy-dingy.” You can’t help it. And part of you really, really wants Ernestine to be on the other end of the line.
Fortunately, better judgment kicks in before you make the clichéd joke, even as you marvel at the fact that Tomlin’s characters are so ingrained in pop culture that the ringing of a phone brings to mind a whole slate of inspired comedy. The woman is, quite simply, an icon.
She also actively supports causes she believes in. On April 17, Tomlin and comedian Kate Clinton will perform “Back 2 Back” at the historic St. George Theater on Staten Island to benefit the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation for breast cancer and Community Health Action of Staten Island.
Tomlin talked to AfterEllen.com about the event and caught us up on some of her other projects. She also shared her thoughts on how things have changed for the LGBT community during her 40 years in public life.
AfterEllen.com: How did the idea come up for you and Kate to do this benefit?
AE: So you two haven’t really worked together very often?