One Ringy Dingy by Thea McElvy
Acrylic on on gallery wrapped canvas, 24″ x 24″
“Ernestine” was a brash, tough and uncompromising telephone operator who generally treated customers with little sympathy. Ernestine often snorted when she let loose a barbed response or heard something salacious; she also wore her hair in a 1940s hairstyle with a hairnet, although the character was contemporary. Her opening lines were often the comical “one ringy dingy… two ringy dingy”, and, “Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?” In the sketches, Ernestine was usually at her switchboard taking calls. She occasionally called her boyfriend, Vito, a telephone repair man, or her pal Phenicia, another operator.
Lily Tomlin (according to Wikipedia)
In 1969, after a stint as a hostess on the ABC series Music Scene, Lily Tomlin joined NBC’s sketch comedy show Rowan and Martin’s Laugh-In. Signed as a replacement for the departing Judy Carne, Tomlin was an instant success on the already established program, in which in addition to appearing in general sketches and delivering comic gags, she began appearing as the regular characters she created; they became well known and she portrayed them outside of the show in later recordings and television specials:
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