20 Steps To Living Your Life Like Lily Tomlin

Lily, show us the way.

Do you ever wake up and ask yourself, “How can I be more like comedic genius Lily Tomlin?” It’s okay. We all do.

Randi Lynn Beach / Getty Images

Growing up in 1950s Detroit, Tomlin fell in love with film while working as an usherette in a local movie theater.


Little did she realize, her own career would eventually stretch over the worlds of film, television, Broadway, and comedy.

As a comedian, her cast of characters (Ernestine, Edith Anne, and Lucille the Rubber Freak) became famous in their own right. Now a Tony Award winner and Academy Award nominated household name, Tomlin shows no signs of slowing down. She just wrapped up the series Web Therapy and has television film in the works.

Here are a few simple steps to get you going towards that Tomlin lifestyle.

1. Have hair that is as beautiful and feathered as John Travolta’s, if not more so.

Universal Pictures / Via

2. Once you find that signature look, remember it will never truly go out of style.

Ethan Miller / Getty Images


3. Master the art of making an entrance…

4. … as well as a proper exit.


5. Always be unapologetically your unique self.

6. Remember that life doesn’t always work out the way you intend it to.

7. But don’t stress, because in the end it’s going to work out the way it should.



8. Always carry yourself with poise and elegance. / Via Buena Vista Pictures

9. When you finally land a big magazine cover, try to make it memorable.

If and when you can be best friends with Meryl Streep…

10. … be friends with Meryl Streep.

Kevin Winter / Getty Images


11. Understand the endless power of a solid pair of sunglasses.

Vince Bucci / Getty Images

12. Always keep at least one smooth pick-up line in your back pocket.

Just in case.

13. You never want to lose that flirtatious edge.

14. Preserve your childlike sense of curiosity, wonder, and imagination.

15. And when life gets you down… / Via 20th Century Fox

…let your friends pick you right back up.

20th Century Fox

16. When you find friends like that, under no circumstances are you to let them go.

Kevin Winter / Getty


17. If you can’t have your friends by your side, at least have a loyal companion. / Via Buena Vista Pictures

18. Never let anyone make you feel small or insignificant.

19. When you find that very special person in your life…

… don’t let them get away.

Tomlin and her partner Jane Wagner met in 1971 and have been together for over 40 years. They recently made it official by tying the knot on New Year’s Eve.

Hulton Archive / Getty Images / Via

20. And, obviously, never lose your sense of humor.

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Sarah Karlan is the Deputy LGBT Editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Sarah Karlan at
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