Costume worn by Phyllis Diller on Circus of the Stars

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Phyllis Diller wore this costume on Circus of the Stars in 1983. The costume consists of a hot pink dress with lime green polka dots, lime green bloomers, a hot pink headband, a handbag with a metal insert designed to hold fish, and two pairs of pantyhose. Diller also wore a lime green clown wig with the costume. During the 8th Circus of the Stars Phyllis Diller performed at Sea World with Clyde the seal and a 3,000 pound walrus named Schmedley.

Airing between 1977 and 1994, Circus of the Stars was an annual CBS television special that showcased celebrities performing circus acts. Phyllis Diller appeared on 3 episodes of the program—in 1983, 1985, and 1994. NMAH also has the costume she wore for Circus of the Stars Goes to Disneyland in 1994 (Catalog Number 2003.0289.07).

date made
ca 1983
Physical Description
synthetic fibers (overall material)
cotton (overall material)
metal (overall material)
plastic (overall material)
elastic (overall material)
nylon (overall material)
overall (dress): 34 in x 17 in; 86.36 cm x 43.18 cm
overall (bloomers): 28 in x 20 1/2 in; 71.12 cm x 52.07 cm
overall (headband): 2 3/4 in x 26 in; 6.985 cm x 66.04 cm
overall (handbag): 6 in x 9 1/2 in x 3 1/4 in; 15.24 cm x 24.13 cm x 8.255 cm
overall (pink pantyhose): 33 1/2 in x 9 in; 85.09 cm x 22.86 cm
overall (striped pantyhose): 36 1/2 in x 10 in; 92.71 cm x 25.4 cm
ID Number
accession number
catalog number
Credit Line
Gift of Phyllis Diller
See more items in
Culture and the Arts: Entertainment
Popular Entertainment
Phyllis Diller
Data Source
National Museum of American History


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