Veteran funny lady Phyllis Diller says all those jokes she made over the years about her inept husband "Fang" weren't that far removed from life with her actual first hubby.

The 82-year-old comic says the over-the-top jokes masked the sadness of life with Sherwood Diller, an agoraphobic who never held a steady job during their 26-year marriage. Amazingly, according to Diller's upcoming A&E Biography (April 14, 8 pm/ET), her ex-hubby was actually amused by the Fang connection!

"Sherwood loved the idea of people saying that he was Fang and thinking he was Fang," she says. "In fact, he had stationary printed with nothing but 'Fang' on it."

The comedienne says the Fang jokes helped propel her to stardom while also helping her mental well-being. "I realized that all these years was great therapy, the Fang character, because here I was ranting and raving about a husband. I didn't have time or money to go to a psychiatrist."

Diller also reveals problems with her failed second marriage, to actor Warde Donovan in 1965. She says their 10-year union fell apart as her career began to take off and his floundered. "He didn't handle it well," says Diller. "He would get inebriated and tell people off."

Diller eventually met her perfect match in attorney Robert Hastings, a union that lasted until his death in 1995 at age 86. "We had the most wonderful time for 10 years," she says. As far as we can tell, guys, she's currently single.