It is with great sadness in all of our hearts that we mourn the loss of the great Joan Rivers, who like Robin Williams, was taken from us too soon. Rivers visited her doctor for a minor procedure on her vocal chords August 28th and fell into a coma. Rivers had performed at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in Manhattan the night before.
To say that Joan Rivers was a pioneer is a gross understatement. She became a star using a brash, brutally honest style that had never been seen before. Joan started her comedy career earning as little as six dollars a night at comedy clubs. She was discovered by Johnny Carson and the rest is history. Carson was so taken with her talent that he hired her as a writer for The Tonight Show:
Joan Rivers, a Republican all her life, is considered to be one of the original feminist icons. Rivers’ comedy shed light on the hypocrisy women faced in the 1960’s, such as her 1967 performance on the Ed Sullivan Show:
Joan was a regular at USO events and had entertained our fighting men and women for 41 years.
A staunch opponent of political correctness, no one was safe from Rivers’ humor:
Did you see Madonna’s wedding? She wore white. And let me tell you – HAIRY, hairy, hairy. She raised her arm and OMG I thought Tina Turner was under there!
Joan had many targets, but by far her favorite target was herself as Joan so ably demonstrated when she became the first women to ever host The Tonight Show:
I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware. I was getting dressed and a peeping Tom looked in the window. He took one look and pulled down the shade.
All her life Joan was criticized for her boldness, for offending “the wrong people” and was fired many time for speaking her mind, but she always bounced right back. Regular people adored her and the elite feared her.
Like so few others who became both loved and hated for speaking truths which tossed people out of their comfort zone, Joan always said, “I succeeded by saying what everyone else was thinking”.
To say that Joan Rivers will be missed hardly feels adequate. A national treasure has been lost.