08/24/2012 10:45 am ET Updated Oct 24, 2012

Why Do So Many Pretty Female Comedians Pretend They're Ugly?

After Phyllis Diller died this week at the age of 95, many an obituary fondly remembered the comedienne for her big laugh, her ou­trageous hair, her cartoonishly hideous outfits, and the refreshing, unceremonious manner in which she brushed aside the expectations of what was previously off-limits for women to joke about.

But there's one superlative Diller earned that's only been hinted at in the days since she passed: She may be the only woman ever deemed too sexy for Playboy.

Yes, that's right. The comedienne posed for the lad mag--as a gag, she would later explain--in the late 1960s. Playboy's editors thought it would be funny, she said, and what better way to get a laugh than by sending out seductive centerfold photos of a hilariously tacky, impressively unsexy woman? It seemed like a foolproof plan.

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