Comic legend Lily Tomlin took a few moments to speak with me recently in advance of her appearance at The Ellen Theater's 2015 Gala Fundraiser June 27.

As with any artist of Lily's stature, one never really knows where to start. I recommended some time out on the 'M' trail. We also covered her early days just starting out in show business, what it means to be a "female" comic and a possible future collaboration with Bob Newhart.

I hope you enjoy listening to the conversation as much as I did in having it.

Starting as a stand-up comic, Lily Tomlin became a must-see weekly staple on television’s Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In, with Ernestine the nosy telephone operator and child philosopher Edith Ann, dispensing advice from an over-sized rocking chair. Ms. Tomlin is the first woman to perform a solo show on Broadway, for which she won the first of two Tony Awards. Her records (she has a Grammy, too!) and books have sold millions.

In the 1970s, Time magazine honored Ms. Tomlin with a cover story, crowning her “The New Queen of Comedy.” Quirky and always entertaining, Tomlin characters have populated hit TV shows like Will and Grace, Sesame Street, Murphy Brown, The Magic School Bus, West Wing and Desperate Housewives, contributing to her Emmy collection of six in all.

On the big screen, Ms. Tomlin has sparkled for directors as varied as Robert Benton, Carl Reiner and Woody Allen. She’s plotted with Jane Fonda and Dolly Parton in 9 to 5, wrestled with Steve Martin in All of Me, and harmonized with Meryl Streep in Prairie Home Companion. For her very first movie role, in Robert Altman’s drama Nashville, she earned an Academy Award nomination. Now, 40 years later, Ms. Tomlin has garnered rave reviews and “Oscar buzz” for her work in the Sundance Film Festival hit Grandma, due out in 2015.

Each year, the Kennedy Center Honors recognize the lifelong accomplishments of America’s most extraordinary and talented artists. In 2014, Ms. Tomlin received this most prestigious award and it was noted, “She has touched a huge cross-section of people with her work, delighting us with her sophisticated wit and keen insight into human nature. Lily Tomlin makes us laugh louder and think harder.”

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