Gladys Ormphby

On the comedy variety series ROWAN & MARTIN’S LAUGH-IN/NBC/1968-73, comedienne Ruth Buzzi created a frumpy, unattractive old maid character known as Gladys Ormphby who wore a hair net and sweater.


When Gladys sat on a bench in the park she was usually approached by an elderly white haired dirty old man with a mustache named Tyrone (Arte Johnson) who dressed in a long overcoat, bowler hat and carried a cane.

When he asked her a question or offered her something (usually a piece of walnetto candy) she smashed him over the head with her purse for being so fresh. A typical encounter would go something like this:

Tyrone: Would you call my face ruggedly handsome?
Gladys: [Gladys bashes him over the head with purse]
Tyrone: Would you call my body sensuously attractive?
Gladys: [Again Gladys hits him with her purse]
Tyrone: Would you call my next of kin? [Tyrone falls off bench]

Note: Both Gladys and Tyrone later appeared on the Saturday morning animated series BAGGY PANTS AND THE NITWITS/NBC/1977-79, where Tyrone was a semi-retired superhero.


Born in Philadelphia, Jerome Alphonse Holst worked 30 years as a librarian. He has since retired and lives in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Holst is also the author of the children’s books “Norman the Troll,” "Norman the Troll and the Haunted House," and "Gretchen and the Gremlins." In addition, he penned the fantasy novel “The Adventures of Glinda Gale,” a retelling of “The Wizard of Oz" and the reference text “The Encyclopedia of Movie and TV Insults.” .

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Posted in Showbiz Nicknames

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