Another comic hero has left the room. Today Joan Rivers has died at the age of 81. She was a trail blazer for women in entertainment and the only woman to host late night TV. We love her because she dared to say things we were thinking but did not have the courage to say openly. She had courage and never apologized for saying anything that came to her mind. A real sassy woman throughout her life. Her most famous recent show was The Fashion Police where she often gave one liners in critiquing famous people and how they dressed.
For an old gal she was big on social media. She had her Twitter page and her profile said that she was a simple girl with a dream. She fed on ultimate fame all her life. Her career was very important to her. She has fulfilled 50 years of a brilliant career making people laugh. She should have copyrighted the question, “Can we Talk? ” because that is often how she started her stand-up comedy routines. Then she would be viciously funny and brutally honest.
Ironically it was complications from throat surgery that was done at an outpatient clinic that was the cause of her death. She was performing just 8 days ago doing what she did best; making people laugh. The health department is already holding an investigation into the possibility of faulty procedures done on her throat at the outpatient clinic. The NYC medical examiner’s office will also be taking the lead in determining the actual cause of death. No one should be messing with the throat of America’s funny woman for over 50 years and get away with it.
The facility that she went to was known for digestive disorders and not throat ailments. So, why was she there anyway? Joan was known to use her own list of medical professionals to do treatments of any kind on her. Why wasn’t her own anesthesiologist present during the throat procedure? Could it be that Joan didn’t have to die yet? Joan Rivers could always talk and talk about anything without any reservations.Her outrageous jokes proved that nothing was off limits. Growing up she always wanted to be a performer. She joined the iconic Second City Comedy Theater in 1961.
As her comedy career was progressing she married Edgar Rosenberg in 1964 who would manage her career and become the focal point of so many of his wife’s jokes. We always hear of male comics who constantly made fun of everything their wives did. She was a refreshing reversal at making fun of the husbands for a change and we loved her courage to do that in the 60’s when there were even few female comics anywhere. It made her unique and interesting.
The pair had one daughter together, Melissa. In 1965, Rivers saw her career get a huge boost when she appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. What is also amazing was her staying power to be edgy and current throughout the years. We have a generation of kids who know Joan but who don’t remember Johnny Carson. After 7 years of struggling since her training at the Second City Comedy Theater, her appearance on Johnny’s show made her instantly famous. It was the start of a 21 year professional relationship with Johnny and The Tonight Show making appearances until eventually becoming the substitute host in 1983.
Rivers decision to launch her own show on the brand new Fox network in the fall of 1986 ended her relationship with Carson and the Tonight Show. The minute she dared to be competition she was a target and considered an outsider to many male important people in an already male dominated industry. One of her jokes was that there should be no big deal to have a woman in the White House since John F. Kennedy has thousands of women there.
You were no one in Hollywood until you were insulted by her. She was educated and elegant in style and appearance. Her Manhattan apartment is decorated like a palace with possessions of impeccable taste. Good Bye America’s funny lady. Go join Robin Williams somewhere and give them hell. We miss you already.