“The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."
Totie Fields was one of the funniest women of Las Vegas as well as daytime TV talk and game shows but she's been largely forgotten by the modern generation. That's too bad, with a lightning quick wit Totie always had them rolling in the aisles, not just for her routine but her off the cuff remarks that cut to the quick.
This is an early Totie on The Ed Sullivan Show in the 1960s where she made her national TV debut. Sullivan had her back often and this jumpstarted her Las Vegas career. She became a big draw in Sin City after routines like this in primetime and on the Carson Tonight show.
Here's another Sullivan show appearance.
Here is Totie Fields on the Dean Martin Roast of Lucille Ball reading prepared material but her delivery was one of a kind.
Totie Fields gets Punked on Tattletales, a daytime game show from the mid-1970s where stars appeared with their spouses. But you can't prank Totie, she's too fast.
Say what you will about how cheesy those 70s game shows were there was some astonishingly good entertainment at times.
Totie especially always had a new or mostly new set when she made one of her frequent appearances on The Mike Douglas Show, Dinah and The Merv Griffin Show. It appeared the sky was the limit for this comedy dynamo as the seventies unfolded but tragedy struck.
In 1976 Totie had her left leg amputated and lost a breast to cancer but she took this in stride, publicly at least. She roared back with material funnier than ever, talking openly about her maladies and mishaps. She was one of the first, if not the first, entertainers to talk about losing a breast.
Sadly Totie passed away in 1978 shortly before she was supposed to go onstage in Las Vegas. She was only 48 years old.
YOUR GO-GO HOST: Billy Ingram