Phyllis Gabor, better known by her stage name Pizzazz, is the frontwoman, occasional guitarist, and all around public face of The Misfits. Unfortunately for the rest of her band, however, her face is one that can often be found screaming in the faces of others. Loud, abrasive, and short tempered, Pizzazz is an extremely driven musician who strives for perfection in her music and doesn't take kindly to anyone or anything she perceives as a threat to The Misfits' success. Though she can be incredibly rude and hurtful towards her bandmates, deep down she does harbor a deep affection for them, seeing them as a second family of sorts to replace her distant father.
Rise to fame
Phyllis Gabor was born to the wealthy Harvey Gabor and his wife. Having had a passion for music from a very young age, Phyllis competed in various child beauty pageants where she'd showcase her singing ability, though at the time she only sang country songs.
As she grew into her teen years, Phyllis began to take on a more sullen personality resulting in part from the neglect of both her parents. On one particularly neglectful incident, Phyllis was left alone in the office of her father's lawyer as she was read the terms of her parents' divorce as they related to her, both of them having chosen to do all the necessary paperwork ahead of time so they wouldn't have to show up. Once she left, ignoring the lawyer's attempts to comfort her, she ordered her limo driver to take her down Sunset Boulevard and stop in front of Rocky's. Though the driver wouldn't allow her to go in, she still one day dreamed of being able to play there.
Eight years on from that incident, Phyllis had taken to calling herself "Pizzazz" The Misfits. She first scouted Mary Phillips, who she took notice of as the only talented member of her band. Together, Pizzazz and the woman who'd become known as Stormer approached Roxanne Pelligrini after she'd just gotten off stage, Pizzazz noticing that her current group seemed to be holding back her drumming talents. After Roxy passed along an impressive demo tape to her, Phyllis let her newest band member take her on a search for Jetta and found her chasing off a former bandmate of hers. Upon seeing this, Pizzazz immediately offered her place in the nascent Misfits. With her band now complete, Pizzazz and The Misfits began their new careers. During an early concert of theirs, Pizzazz jumped into the crowd to beat an audience member who was insulting Stormer for her weight and was arrested for the incident. When Stormer posted her bail, she thanked Pizzazz but told her she couldn't fight off everyone who was mean to her, something Pizzazz believed she was plenty capable of.and began the process of assembling her new band, which she had chosen to dub
Within a year, The Misfits had risen to such fame that Pizzazz felt the need to disguise herself in public. However, a barista by the name of Constance Montgomery was quickly able to recognize her and began fangirling out over her. Impressed with her coffee brewing skills, Pizzazz immediately extended a job offer to her as an assistant and put her to work clearing away the crowd her excitement had caused gather.
Two years later, Pizzazz was interviewed by Lin-Z after The Misfits gave a live performance on her show and was asked about the Misfits VS! competition their label was putting on, seeming rather unconcerned about the odds of them losing the battle of the bands. Later, as she watched the various music videos that had been submitted for the competition, an impressive submission from a band called Jem and the Holograms was brought to her attention by Stormer. Since they were the first band who she perceived as legitimate competition, Pizzazz began to fly into a rage, throwing Rio out of the room when he joked about them being screwed. She'd later throw the rest of her bandmates out of the room as well when they wouldn't stop giving compliments to The Holograms, agreeing that Rio might be right to think they may have some competition. Once she was alone, however, she did begrudgingly admit that they might be in trouble.
Later that day, The Misfits had a signing at a local record store which Pizzazz, Roxy, and Jetta all bailed on early. While the three of them were out and about, they passed a coffee shop and saw Stormer sitting inside with Kimber Benton, keytarist for The Holograms. Flying into a rage, Pizzazz burst into the coffee shop and broke up the two of them, causing a scene when she smacked away a fan who was trying to get her autograph. As they watched a news report on the scene she caused, Pizzazz chewed out Stormer for spending time with the enemy. At the filming The Misfits' new music video, Pizzazz felt they sounded off and demanded to know what they were doing wrong. While her bandmates all began blaming one another, Pizzazz took a break and sat down next to Clash, who was reading an article about The Holograms' upcoming benefit concert for the Starlight Foundation. Enraged at what she saw as them using their contest to launch their careers, Pizzazz smashed her guitar before flipping over their catering table, stating that Jem and the Holograms needed to be stopped.
The next day, while backstage getting ready for a performance on Super Late with Rick Tenenbaum, Pizzazz loudly demanded to know where the missing Stormer and Clash were. When Stormer finally showed up just minutes before they were set to go on, Pizzazz angrily told her to get it together before storming out of the room. After their performance, when Rick Tenenbaum began talking about the Misfits VS! competition and The Holograms, Pizzazz flew into another uncontrollable rage.The next morning, Pizzazz was distressed to learn that there had been an incident with a falling light rigging at The Holograms' Starlight benefit concert, less because anything bad happened and more because the incident had given them more press. Noting that the authorities suspected foul play in the incident, Pizzazz expressed a desire to hurt whoever had accidentally raised The Holograms' profile, unaware that Clash had been the one responsible.
When the Misfits VS! competition finally rolled around, Pizzazz and The Misfits had their first run in with The Holograms at the carnival that was occurring as part of the show. Jerrica Benton, the Holograms' manager, extended her hand to Pizzazz, but she wasn't interested in talking to her, instead only demanding to know where Jem was. Clash then arrived with coffee for The Misfits, making things even more tense when Kimber recognized her from (literally) running into her at the Starlight benefit and seeing bolt cutters in her bag. Thinking that Clash must have sabotaged the show under orders from Pizzazz, Kimber threw a pie in Pizzazz's face, causing her to retaliate by throwing a slice of pizza that hit Aja. The food fight eventually escalated to include all eight of the women from both bands.
After this incident, both bands were brought before a trio of executives from 5x5 Records who disqualified The Holograms from the competition. Pizzazz tried to stop their expulsion, not wanting to be denied from beating them in the battle of the bands, but she was unable to change their decision. Later, once they were all cleaned up, Pizzazz told Clash that if she really did sabotage The Holograms, she better make sure it never comes anywhere near them again and told her to stay quiet about whether she actually did or not as she wanted The Misfits to be able to maintain some plausible deniability. She then turned her attention to Stormer, who had secretly been maintaining a relationship with Kimber, and threatened to kick her out if she didn't break things off with her.
That night, after soundly crushing all the remaining competitors in the battle of the bands, Pizzazz and The Misfits took the stage to play a full set to make up for Jem and the Holograms no longer being part of the competition. However, soon after they began playing, The Holograms began their playing their own show in an abandoned building across from where The Misfits were, stealing the audience away from them. Because of this, Pizzazz formally declared war on The Holograms.
Injuring her voice
With the Misfits VS! competition being seen as a total failure in the eyes of 5x5 Records, Pizzazz and the rest of her band were chewed out by Harcourt for their unprofessional behavior. Though Pizzazz was typically flippant to her concerns, the executive's threat to drop the band and hiring of a manager for them began to get a rise out of her. However, once she actually got to meet their new manager, Eric Raymond, and learned he was as dedicated to taking down The Holograms as she was, Pizzazz began to change her tune.
After The Misfits finished playing "Shades of Blue", a new song Stormer had written for them, Pizzazz told her songwriter that while she liked the song, it was a bit too ballad-y for her liking. Stormer felt that they should keep the song as is, but Pizzazz insisted that they either needed to speed it up and make it more aggressive or drop it from the album. Though the argument briefly got tense when Stormer complained about Pizzazz always trying to boss her bandmates around, Pizzazz surprisingly remained calm and the two women came to an agreement that they would try to find a place for the song as is on their next album. Shortly there after, The Misfits received a call from Harcourt informing them that they'd be sent on a short west coast tour.
At home, while Pizzazz was busy playing video games, she received an unexpected visit from Clash who'd just discovered that The Holograms were throwing a big Halloween party at their home where they'd debut their new music video. Techrat, who'd accompanied them to hack into The Holograms' computers) to go find other ways to stir up trouble. As she skulked around the house, Pizzazz spotted Jem sneakily moving around as well and followed her. While she waited outside the room the Holograms' front woman had ducked into, waiting for her to come back out so she could finally confront her, Pizzazz was approached by Techrat, who complained that he couldn't find a source location to hack into. Telling him to go check the pool house, Pizzazz was incensed to learn that not only did Techrat's distraction allow Jem to slip away without her noticing but also that The Holograms would be accompanying The Misfits on their tour!Though they were able to get in, Pizzazz quickly discovered that they arrived too late to sabotage the music video's premiere and told her bandmates (as well as Eric's lackey
After letting out a scream loud enough to be heard throughout the house, Pizzazz took off without her bandmates. As she sped back home, tears streaming down her face, her phone briefly lighting up with a notification that Jetta was calling her distracted her enough that she didn't notice her car drifting towards the nearby cliff face. As she clipped it, her car was flipped over and wrecked. Madmartigan, who Jetta had snuck into the hospital.Luckily, she was soon found by Rio, who was able to get her to the hospital. Though her injuries weren't life threatening, the accident did leave her with vocal chord injuries and a possibly fractured larynx, leaving her with a much quieter, more hoarse voice. Later that night, once the doctors were done taking a look at her, Pizzazz was visited by her bandmates and pet cat
A couple months later, The Misfits attended 5x5's holiday party. As part of a plan put together by Harcourt to get the bands used to working together, both The Misfits and The Holograms drew names for a Secret Santa and pulled someone from the other band. Pizzazz and Jem pulled each others names, causing the Jewish Pizzazz to leave early in frustration. Though she wasn't swayed into getting a gift like Roxy and Jetta were when Stormer informed them that The Holograms were getting gifts for them, when she got Jem's gift of an engraved collar for Madmartigan, the thoughtfulness of the present swayed her. Arriving at the Benton home personally to deliver her gift, she gave Jem what she called a "Go Bag", a small duffel bag that contained various emergency supplies that could cover just about any situation frontwomen like them could find themselves in. While Pizzazz admitted the collar was just too thoughtful of a gift for her not to repay Jem for, she also noted that she just didn't like to owe anyone and that she now considered them even.
As the joint Misfits-Holograms tour approached, both bands were called in for a meeting with Harcourt where they'd go over the details of the tour. At the meeting, Kimber offered Pizzazz a drink of water, having slipped a bit of a potion that was supposed to help soften Pizzazz's hatred towards The Holograms. However, Kimber had unknowingly put too much of the potion inside the drink, turning the pitcher into a potent love potion that was served to everyone at the meeting save for Jerrica! As the love potion took hold, Pizzazz and Eric found themselves falling for one another. As Jerrica and Rio tried to wrangle the rest of the bands, they spotted them gazing longingly into each other's eyes inside a restaurant and agreed it would be for the best not to touch that one.
Return to The Misfits
Several months after her accident, Pizzazz's vocal chords still hadn't fully recovered. One morning, as she got up late and went out into her living room still in her pajamas, she found her bandmates all out there waiting for her. Accepting Stormer's gift of some hot tea with honey, Pizzazz left Roxy and Jetta's questions about if she was up for singing unanswered, instead telling them to stop playing with Madmartigan and cursing them for not understanding the reference of his name. As her bandmates took off, giving rather unconvincing excuses as to why, Pizzazz was left alone as they went to listen to the auditions for The Misfits' new lead singer.
On the day the tour was scheduled to begin, Pizzazz sat by the front door of her house, refusing to answer it when Stormer arrived to visit her. Blaze. Opening a video sent to her by Clash, Pizzazz sadly admitted that they still sounded great.That night, while Pizzazz laid in her dark bedroom still awake, her phone suddenly began blowing up with notifications about The Misfits' first performance with their new lead singer
Despite her voice seeming to have mostly recovered, Pizzazz continued to spiral deeper and deeper into depression. Suddenly receiving a phone call from her father, who she'd been trying to get a hold of for weeks now, Pizzazz tried to tell him everything that had been going on in her life the past few months, including the car accident and being replaced, but her father was rather unconcerned and told her he'd wire her some money before quickly hanging up so he could attend to some other business. Drying her tears, Pizzazz told herself that she couldn't keep living like this. Silica's mind control back to reality, Pizzazz suddenly made a dramatic return, suggesting that both of the bands teaming up would be enough to do the trick!As both The Holograms and The Misfits struggled to come up with a plan that they could use to snap all the people who'd come under
As her bandmates embraced her, overjoyed to see her finally return, Pizzazz asked where Jem was and sent The Holograms to go get her. While they were gone, Pizzazz gathered The Misfits together and addressed the fact that she'd been replaced. Though Blaze was nervous about what she was going to say, Pizzazz surprised her by complimenting her talents and saying she could stay in the band, though now she would be on guitar rather than lead vocals. Just then, Jem and the rest of The Holograms suddenly arrived, her and Pizzazz trading some friendly barbs as they went over Pizzazz's plan. That night, as Silica took the stage with The Sickness, Jem and the Holograms followed soon after before being joined by The Misfits, the sight of the rival bands working together shocking the audience enough to break Silica's grip on them! As Jerrica was able to switch off Silica's system, stopping her once and for all, Pizzazz proposed an encore, something the sold out crowd was extremely eager to accept.
Dropped from 5x5
While The Misfits practiced their new song, Pizzazz told them to stop so she could tell Stormer a certain line wasn't working for her. While they weren't able to come up with a suitable replacement, Blaze spoke up with a suggestion that made it work. Happy with the work her band got done, Pizzazz told them to gather their gear so they could all go out together. Stormer, however, surprised Pizzazz by choosing to go to a party with Kimber instead. Unhappy with her decision, Pizzazz told her to go ahead and leave, saying it was clear who really mattered to her. The Stingers to jump ahead of them, something that immediately earned the band Pizzazz's ire.Heading to Rocky's on Sunset, Pizzazz sat restlessly in the VIP section and suggested to Roxy and Jetta that they play after the current band was finished. Though they didn't understand how they were going to do that without Stormer, Pizzazz felt Blaze's guitar would be enough to make up for the "traitorous" Stormer's absence, not caring when Roxy pointed out that Stormer fought the hardest to prevent her from being replaced while she was injured. However, all the worrying ended up being for nothing, as Rocky allowed
As The Misfits continued to try and struggle with working out the kinks that came with bringing on a new member, Pizzazz was frustrated with Harcourt's seeming lack of understanding that they'd need time to figure things out. After Blaze got the sense that both Harcourt and Eric wanted her gone, since that would be the easiest way to get The Misfits sounding "right" again, she approached Pizzazz and offered to leave but Pizzazz reassured her that they'd never kick her out, even going so far as to return the hug she gave her for extra reassurance.
After Harcourt interrupted The Misfits' practice at 5x5's studio by sending them out to lunch before issuing a 48 hour time limit to get it together before they were dropped, Pizzazz vented to Eric about Elise's refusal to give them what they needed to integrate Blaze into the band, refusing to "go backwards" with their sound by letting her go. Pizzazz brushed off Eric's claims that her behavior has anything to do with The Misfits' current predicament shortly before she was approached by a group of fans and needed to be restrained by her manager before she lost it on them.
Returning to the 5x5 Studio, Pizzazz was rather unimpressed that Harcourt had booted them out so The Stingers could practice there and began arguing with both her and Jem over getting recording space at the studio. When it became clear her group wasn't getting their space, Pizzazz made a dramatic exit from the room but stuck around just long enough to hear Stingers frontman Riot make a deal with Harcourt: that his band will sign with 5x5 if they drop The Misfits! The next day, Pizzazz gathered her band (with the conspicuous exception of Stormer) and broke the news to them. Though their reactions ranged from upset to enraged, Pizzazz did have a bit of good news to go along with it. She knew exactly the band to blame for their removal... Jem and the Holograms! Though Roxy and Jetta were rather unimpressed with Pizzazz suddenly digging that hatchet back up, Pizzazz explained that it was technically The Stingers who actually got them dropped but that Riot had done it specifically for Jem since she's the one who wanted them gone. With this suitably riling her bandmates up, Pizzazz declared they were now redoubling their efforts to take down The Holograms, explaining why she didn't invite Stormer to the meeting.
Taking off to a fancy restaurant, Pizzazz leveraged her fame to get a booth where she could speak with Dahlia Shen, AKA The Fox, and discuss how she would help her take down The Holograms by infiltrating them as their new drummer. While The Fox did her thing, Pizzazz concocted a scheme where she and the rest of The Misfits (again, save for Stormer) would infiltrate the masquerade gala being held by 5x5 Records by disguising themselves as waiters and sabotage the performances The Stingers and Holograms would be giving at the event. Though Roxy and Blaze weren't so sure, Roxy because she didn't understand what they were doing and Blaze because it felt a little too close to Clash's sabotaging of the Starlight Foundation gala, Pizzazz threatened to throw them out of the band unless they got in line. Later that night, Pizzazz gave Fox a call to see if she'd dug up any good dirt on The Holograms yet, inadvertently stopping her from learning the truth about Synergy.
On the night of the gala, Pizzazz and The Misfits donned their waitress disguises and were able to successfully sneak aboard the boat the gala was being held on. As The Stingers were called up on stage, Pizzazz cursed them and said that it should be them up there, causing Roxy and Jetta to call her out on not focusing on the revenge she wanted so badly. Raya subbing in, she threw up her arms in disbelief and later took some of her frustrations out by angrily denying a gala attendee some hors d'oeuvres before deciding now was the time to put the real plan into action.As Pizzazz's plan to ruin The Holograms' performance by having Fox drop out at last moment was foiled by The Stingers' drummer
As she and The Misfits wheeled out a giant cake, she told her bandmates to stand far away from it as it suddenly exploded into a hail of fireworks! Far too many fireworks it turned out, as Roxy had misheard Pizzazz's order that she put a handful of fireworks inside as a hundred fireworks! Her plan having gone terribly wrong, Pizzazz and the rest of The Misfits made as speedy of an exit as they possibly could from the now burning boat.
The Misfits Get Real
On a summer day at her home, Pizzazz played a "friendly" game of volleyball with Blaze against Jetta and Roxy. Telling Clash to sub in for her when Eric arrived to discuss his efforts trying to get the band resigned, Pizzazz was frustrated to hear that, in his opinion, The Misfits were done. As he explained that 5x5 had gotten pretty candid with their horror stories about her, Pizzazz at first placed the blame on herself before then beginning to pin it on The Holograms and The Stingers, only getting angrier when Eric pointed out that slight hypocrisy. Though he was quite hesitant to share the news with her, knowing full well that she'd hate it, Eric did have one other lead that might get The Misfits back on track: a reality TV show. True to his prediction, Pizzazz was in fact completely unwilling to even humor the idea but he had to emphasize that it was the only option they had outside of letting them get booked by a cruise line. Though Eric tried to tempt her by letting her know the producers specifically wanted Pizzazz to be her big, loud, angry self, she felt that doing something trashy like a reality show would be betraying her art, reducing her and her bandmates to just a bunch of shallow hacks chasing their 15 minutes of fame. Before making his exit, Eric told Pizzazz that she'd be able to make the show more than what most reality TV ends up being if she wanted to and that if it was successful, she'd never have to worry about the likes of Jem or The Stingers ever again. As she looked down from her balcony at her bandmates out on the beach, Pizzazz began to think about how they all came together in the first place and eventually reached the decision that doing the reality show would be a small price to pay for keeping her second, true family together.
Though her bandmates all reacted extremely negatively when she first broke the news to them, within two weeks they had mostly gotten on board and were returning to the set of Super Late with Rick Tenenbaum to promote the show. the show, with all of The Misfits moving into Pizzazz's home for the duration of the shoot, sparks began to fly early as Roxy argued with Pizzazz over where she was supposed to hang her punching bag. After Jetta backed up her gal pal's decision to put it up in the garage, Pizzazz gave up and retreated to the kitchen where she was approached by Stormer, who was having some last second doubts about doing the reality show. As the film crew began recording their conversation, Pizzazz futilely asked for some privacy before Stormer made them give them some by revealing she still hadn't signed her contract. Pulling her into her room, Pizzazz asked Stormer what was going on, prompting her that she was having concerns over how the issue of her weight would be handled on the show after the producers told her they wanted to do a storyline revolving around her (in reality non-existent) desire to lose weight. Though Pizzazz believed that she'd be able to handle this if she could handle coming out in public, Pizzazz admitted that she didn't know what it was like to have her weight constantly in the spotlight like Stormer's was. As Stormer slowly realized that if she doesn't have a choice over whether or not she's fat then all she has is how she treats that fact, Pizzazz didn't quite understand what was going through her friend's head but voiced her support for her all the same.As filming began on
As filming continued, The Misfits managed to get to a point where Pizzazz was happy with their sound again, having finally integrated Blaze into the band. However, at the practice session where Pizzazz made that declaration, she noticed that Blaze seemed to be an awful big hurry to leave but still let her after Stormer spoke up in defense of her right to come and go as she pleased. Later in the day, Blaze returned and interrupted Pizzazz's sunbathing to ask if they could talk in private. Taking off her audio pack and following her out a ways into the ocean where the film crew couldn't get any worthwhile audio or video, Pizzazz listened as Blaze explained that she had another band she'd started and decided that she wanted to quit The Misfits in favor of, as even though getting to be a Misfit was a dream come true for her, what she really wanted was to sing and she couldn't do that here. Surprising her, Pizzazz began laughing and asked why she didn't think she could be in both bands. As a fellow singer, Pizzazz recognized that Blaze wouldn't be satisfied just playing guitar forever and, now that Blaze wasn't keeping The Lunas a secret anymore, she had no problem with her singing with them while still being in The Misfits.
Pizzazz argued with Roxy after Clash's reorganizing of the kitchen left the drummer unable to find her bagels, not understanding why her secretly illiterate bandmate was having so much trouble finding them when everything was labeled.
After a particularly exhausting concert, Kimber had a cinematically influenced dream about The Holograms and The Misfits as babies living in a nursery under the care of Nanny Synergy. When Synergy presented the two groups with a new pet kitten for them to share, Pizzazz immediately demanded that they call her Willow and then proposed Misfit when The Holograms didn't take a liking to that name. After they eventually settled on Miss Gram as a good name for the kitty, Pizzazz participated in singing the song Stormer and Kimber had written for Miss Gram, unable to refuse when Kimber dared her to. However, Pizzazz still pushed her down into the crib while they sang from atop its bars.
The Starlights' fan fiction
In the Jem and the Holograms fan fiction written by The Starlights, Majestrix Pizzazz and her four henchwomen were rulers of the universe. A flawed leader, Pizzazz's rule naturally brought dissent, mainly from a quartet of pop star princesses known as Jem and the Holograms. While she didn't pay them much mind at first, she one day discovered that Stormer, her most trusted advisor, had fallen in love with one of these rebels. Heartbroken by Stormer's betrayal, Pizzazz had her banished to the Planet of Lost Souls and tore out her own heart, hiding it in a ball and chain she forced Stormer to wear in her exile. Without her heart and compassionate advisor, Pizzazz now ruled space with an iron fist, using her army of mechanical spiders to crush any and all resistance against her.
In their efforts to return peace to the universe, The Holograms rescued Stormer from the Planet of Lost Souls and freed Pizzazz's heart from the ball and chain only for it to crumble to dust shortly thereafter. Desperate, The Holograms and Stormer landed on Planet Pizzazz, the capital world from which Pizzazz ruled, and began playing a concert. Though Pizzazz was quick to sic her soldiers on these rebels, she was given pause when Stormer took the stage with them, delivering a soulful ballad that was able to touch even the heartless Pizzazz. Moved to tears, the power of music was enough to regrow Pizzazz's heart completely! With her new heart, Pizzazz became a benevolent ruler and peace was finally restored.
After stumbling upon the secret of Jem and the Holograms' hologram technology, Pizzazz became enraged by what she saw as them cheating their way to the top and stole one of Jerrica's earring projectors before holding a press conference where she revealed the truth to the world. After the government confiscated the Hologram technology and it spread out to the public, Pizzazz and The Misfits became extremely vocal about their distaste for it and the rapidly growing gap between those who had access to it and those who didn't. This eventually led to every member of the band save for Stormer being killed when Jemcorp destroyed Pizzazz's mansion, framing the explosion as an accident.
- In a profile put out by IDW ahead of the release of Jem's first issue, Pizzazz's age is given as 24 years old. Additionally, IDW Jem writer Kelly Thompson gave her date of birth as November 13 in an answer on her Tumblr.
- According to the Jem Holiday Special and an answer from IDW Jem artist Sophie Campbell, Pizzazz is Jewish. However, in the the first issue of the Misfits series, Pizzazz is informed her mother only has visitation rights for every other Christmas. Whether this was a simple slip up or not is unclear.