I am in love

With 88-year-old Gladys from Austin, TX. The video is longish, but so worth watching. The internet has not gotten this many genuine LOLs out of me in a long damned time.

Oh, and I got it from Shakesville, but don’t click over there until you’ve watched it yourself, if you can, because Liss gives away the best line in the whole thing (which comes around the 4-minute mark, with the set-up beginning at 3:53). (ETA: OK, just realized the caption does, too, but watch it anyway.) I’ll also second Liss’s request for a transcript, if anyone knows where to find one or has the time to transcribe. 

ETA again: People at Shakes are saying there’s speculation that Gladys is a hoax. Sure, ruin my fun. Even if she is, though, kudos to the hoaxers for actually being hilarious instead of mean-spirited and unfunny. How often does that happen?

39 thoughts on “I am in love”

  1. Oh man, god bless Gladys. I was laughing riotously at That One Line and once she moved on the QVC brooch I managed to choke out to Dan, “this is your mom! This is your mom when she’s 88!” (I totally love my mother in law, in case that’s not obvious.)

    I want Gladys to be my pen pal! Her and Obama.

  2. Oh god, I wish my grandma were still around because she and Gladys would be best friends. This is so wonderful. I especially love Ellen’s looks of sheer delight when she realizes what she’s hearing.

  3. ROFL.. ok I laughed so hard I might have peed a little.. been watching it over and over and forcing all my friend to watch l… thank you for posting this it made a really crappy day a bit more enjoyable!!

  4. Aw I remember when that first aired, back when my schedule allowed me time to watch Ellen every day.
    There are a few other televised Ellen-Gladys convos.
    Lots of lols :-D

  5. She sounds like my mom’s mom who I love dearly. Hopefully Ellen will be able to make Phonecalls with Gladys a regular part of her show.

  6. This is an old clip. Gladys made this original call back in 2007, but it never gets old.

    I live in Austin, TX, and this was a big story when Gladys first appeared a few years ago. She’s not a real person, and alot of people think it’s a local actor named Joe Sears, though it’s never been proven. What is pretty clear is that Ellen DID actually believe that she was a real person when the original calls were made, so Sears (if it’s really him) was either acting alone or was in cahoots with Ellen’s staff.

    Incidentally, I really hope it is Joe Sears. He’s part of a two man show called Greater Tuna, a send up of small, ultraconservative, rural Texas towns. He’s a big man, and he plays his fat characters (both male and female–the show features alot of cross dressing) with joy.

  7. So ladysquires, is it for sure that she’s not a real person? Someone on Shakesville linked to an article but it was a two-year-old article saying “dunno, we’re not sure, seems like she might be a hoax.” Her website says “this is our grandma and it’s not a hoax,” which is of course just their word for it… but the article didn’t really have any stronger proof the other way. I looked on Snopes, but no dice!

    That said, I’m familiar with Joe Sears and if it’s him that’s A-OK by me.

  8. Woooo Ellen’s reaction to That Line is wonderful. I don’t know if Gladys is a hoax but I’m going to pretend that she isn’t because I don’t want her to be.

  9. The local newspaper did a story on Gladys and turned up the following info (I would link it but the URL is hella long):

    1) No one by the name of Gladys Hardy was listed in the phone book in Austin or the surrounding areas at the time of the original call.

    2) Gladys has a website complete with Gladys merch and had one around the time of the original call to Ellen (suggesting someone with quite a bit of media/business savvy–she was also doing commercials for a local BBQ joint just after the Ellen debut).

    3) Gladys was a regular caller to a local morning radio show prior to the appearances on Ellen.

    Others have suggested that the comedic timing is just a little “too good.” People have named a couple other local comedians as possibilities, but the Joe Sears theory is the most popular. Nothing has been confirmed beyond a shadow of a doubt. If it’s truly a hoax, then it’s a perfectly charming, harmless one, and the hoaxer is keeping his/her secret very well.

  10. He’s part of a two man show called Greater Tuna, a send up of small, ultraconservative, rural Texas towns.

    Ha! I had a script from Greater Tuna in high school, and the more dramatic side of our speech and debate team used to use it all the time. I forget where I found it, must have been the used book store, but two of my teammates did this bit where they were talking about how a Baby Ruth looks kind of like a turd, and it killed. every. time. (Part of that may have been the way these two were a total Mutt and Jeff mismatch, one was 6’6″, the other was about 5’5″.)

    I can believe that the same person came up with that and Gladys.

  11. The Youtube video title partially gives away the best line though.

    Anyhow, regardless of whether Gladys is real or not, this is still pretty great. I wish she was real though. She’s my new role model for living. XD

  12. I loved it, was laughing out loud at my desk. :-)

    And just before I watched the video I came over from Helen & Margaret’s blog where I read the latest hilarious and acerbic post from Helen. If you don’t know these two – please, please check out their blog. They’re two 80-something women with very definite ideas on everything.


  13. The Jonathan Winters theory is an interesting one. Winters would have been 82 years old at the time, and this certainly sounds like a character who would be right up his alley. (He’s also someone who’s never really gotten his due; Robin Williams considers Winters to be a huge influence on him — it was his idea to use him in Mork and Mindy — but he’s more or less been a cult figure despite his incredible talent.) So if I did find out it was him, it wouldn’t surprise me at all.

    Yeah, the title of the YouTube video did kind of blunt the impact of the line when it came up. Still funny stuff, though.

  14. Ishtar – thanks for posting the link to Margaret and Helen’s blog. It’s great and I love the most recent series of posts, in which Helen gives an extremely acerbic Cliff Notes review of Ann Coulter’s book Guilty.

  15. I came over from Helen & Margaret’s blog

    I thought Helen and Margaret actually had been conclusively proven to be fakes. When I first saw that site, I found a lot of stuff that didn’t pass the sniff test for me, which made it hard for me to enjoy the rest of the funny. (Primarily their endless back and forth at the beginning about how confused they were by this newfangled internet stuff.)

    I think that’s the great achievement of “Gladys” right there (unless, of course, she is a real person) — the character is over-the-top, but not so much that you can automatically hear the actor/writer shining through. (At least, I couldn’t.) This actually sounds like a sharp, funny, hammy older person, as opposed to a young person trying to get laughs at least partially at the expense of older people (and/or women). So it’s either a woman I would really love to have a drink with, or it’s an actor I respect for pulling this off with no meanness and way fewer seams showing than usual.
    Either way, I laughed my ass off.

  16. @ Kate Harding

    I hadn’t come across proof that Helen and Margaret were fake (not that I actually looked hard) so I’d be very interested to find out more. It would be a pity if they were fake because I genuinely enjoy the blog posts and I love the idea of women of their generation saying their say on the net.

    I’ll do a google search for more info. Thanks for the heads-up.

  17. This actually sounds like a sharp, funny, hammy older person, as opposed to a young person trying to get laughs at least partially at the expense of older people (and/or women).

    Right — if it’s a character, it’s a character that still sounds exactly like what my mother in law will sound like when she’s 88, only maybe a greatest-hits version. :)

  18. That was hilarious, thank you.

    I totally hear her on the icicle thing. Hubby and I are stationed in southern Oklahoma, but we’re from Nebraska, so when people panic down here over 2 inches of snow, it’s insane to us. Seriously, people! lol

  19. Gladys reminded me of Margaret and Helen’s blog, too, which got me thinking. Even if all three of these fabulous senior citizens are the product of someone’s imagination and not real solid poeple, does it matter? Is it possible to separate the value of the content from the authenticity of the source? Gladys was absolutely hilarious and Helen Philpot is brilliant. If she’s made up, she’s just doubly brilliant.

  20. Sigh. Why is it that people take someone not being listed in the phone book as irrefutable proof that a person does not exist?

    Two seconds: Check Intellius.com. One Gladys Newquist Hardy, age 91 (sounds about right if she was 88 in early 07), Elgin, Texas. (Right outside of Austin).

    There Kate. Hope you feel better!

  21. You know what? People who don’t think that this lady could be real, could be THAT glib and yet THAT batty, DO NOT KNOW OLD WOMEN FROM TEXAS.

    My grandmother was so much like Gladys, it’s uncanny. That is exactly how funny she was.

  22. Unfortunately, though, Elgin is not just outside of Austin. It’s far enough away, that I can’t conceive of anyone claiming to be from Austin if they lived in Elgin. I live here in Austin, also. Sounds just like Joe Sears to me. I’ve seen some productions of Greater Tuna, and it seems practically identical to some of his other characters.

    Still very entertaining, though.

  23. ladysquires, it’s not Joe Sears. It’s Scott Hardy, an Austin area comedian who does voice work for commercials. He also called KLBJ as Gladys before calling Ellen. Weekend America solved this one a while back. Do a search for “Weekend America, March 10, 2007”. Scroll down to the Gladys Hardy link & listen to the audio of the report. A number of people in our area suspected it was Scott, since he does that sort of thing very well. He claims to “live with” Gladys Hardy, who is never seen…by anyone. He’s listed as a “friend” on Gladys’ my space. I’m only distantly acquainted with him, but he seems like a nice guy. He does the southern old lady very well, but most of us Texans could probably work out the dialogue ourselves. He just performs it so well. Very funny.

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