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May 4, 2018 / Posted by:

Phyllis Diller’s Philli Dilli Chili!

May 3, 2018 is the day I really began living in the world, because it’s the day that I found out that in the late 1980s, Phyllis Diller’s chili was sold in cans in grocery stores. How did I go through over 31 years of living without knowing about this extremely important historic American fact (and important historic international cuisine fact)? Every educator and adult in my life from then until now left this child behind. But now that I’ve been enlightened about Philli Dilli canned chili, I can begin living!

Besides her ability to bring the laughs and tickle retinas with her glamour, Phyllis Diller apparently knew her way around a ladle and could put together deliciousness, specifically her chili. People loved Phyllis’ chili so much that in 1987, it was put in cans and sold in grocery stores. From The Farm says that Philli Dilli Chili came in chicken, beef and veggie. I was going to make a joke about how it’s a travesty it didn’t come in CORN before I realized corn is Carol Channing’s thing. Not Phyllis Diller’s. I really need to go back to school.

Mr. Kurt Nielsen said that the original design of the Phyllis Diller chili label had a glamour shot of her. At around the 2:35 mark in this clip from Late Night with David Letterman, you can see the original can. (Side note: I want some of Jamie Farr’s beefy hot dog sauce.)

Now if I saw a can with a glamour shot of Phyllis Diller on it, I’d clear the shelf into my cart and ask the manager if they had more in the back. But I guess most shoppers aren’t like me, because the chili didn’t move. So the label was switched up and her glamour shot was replaced with a cartoon of her (see: above). That really didn’t work either, and America proved that they have shit taste in cuisine by not making Philli Dilli Chili the #1 canned chili in the game. It was gone after a few years. But Phyllis’ world famous chili recipe lives on around the internet.

It makes me sad knowing that I can’t buy a can of Philli Dilli Chili today, but it soothes my soul knowing that one day I will be able to buy a can since I’m sure it’s sold at every grocery store in heaven. And yes, I just realized that in order to buy Philli Dilli Chili in heaven, I’ll have to get into heaven. Fuck.

Pics: Scene Three, Take Six Hundred

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