Posted in comedy on September 4, 2014

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Raunchy, gravelly-voiced and self-deprecating comedian Joan Rivers, who rose from Greenwich Village standup to occasional host of "The Tonight Show" and star of TV's "Fashion Police," died Thursday after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure on Sept. 3. She was 81.

"She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends," her daughter, Melissa, said in a statement. "My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is
difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."

Rivers had been admitted to New York's Mt. Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal cords at a New York Clinic, and was placed in a medically-induced coma to assess her condition. - [Variety]

It's been a tough couple weeks for comedy, having lost Robin Williams in August. Joan, you were a real pistol and will be missed dearly. If you only know her from the red carpet, you should definitely check out 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, it's terrific. RIP, Joan Rivers.

A few classic Joan clips are below...

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Joan Rivers : A Piece of Work - Official Trailer

Joan Rivers is Hilarious on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show FULL INTERVIEW, 1986

Mister Rogers on The Tonight Show Joan Rivers in 1983

Joan Rivers hosts The Tonight Show 08-84

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Tags: Joan Rivers, RIP

Comments (25)

God bless this firecracker. There will be no trailerblazer like her again. RIP Joan.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 3:32 PM

RIP Dot Matrix!

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 3:32 PM

Goodbye Joan, thank you for not succumbing to politically correctness.

Posted by ME | September 4, 2014 3:47 PM

you must really love plastic surgery to be willing to die for it.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 3:52 PM

wait, a pig puppet died?

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 3:53 PM

@ 3:52 - the report is she went unresponsive during a throat procedure. I don't see any reason she would ever cover up that she was having another plastic surgery.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 3:57 PM

She was having her Adam's Apple shaved down. And, yes, that is a cosmetic surgery procedure.

Posted by Cat Tower | September 4, 2014 4:01 PM

Can we talk? She was the best. What a huge loss!

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 4:13 PM

which one is Joan Rivers in that picture?

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 4:25 PM

This was the funniest woman ever.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 4:47 PM

she was fucking genius

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 5:15 PM

the only thread about someone dying, that it's okay to make jokes in. THAT is what makes joan rivers the best.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 5:19 PM

first robbie williams, now joan? fml :-/

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 5:24 PM

I am crestfallen. But so incredibly blessed to have shared the same space as Joan Rivers a handful of times. Her 2006 show in Joliet, Illinois with Don Rickles will forever remain one of the greatest performances I have ever witnessed. At that point, she was 73 or so, but she stalked the stage for 90 kinetic minutes – crawling across a piano (twice!), air humping potted plants, and flat-out KILLING IT. The average age at the Rialto Square Theatre was 70 and the crowd was as politically red as Joan’s material was blue. But demographics didn’t matter: Joan slayed. (A few sad souls departed during the classic “bunny slippers” routine, but they certainly were not missed.)

I was so lucky to see Ms. Rivers again this past May at the Laurie Beechman Theater in Hell’s Kitchen (one of eight performances w/ all proceeds going to two of her favorite charities: God’s Love We Deliver and Guide Dogs for the Blind). The crowd could not have been more different: I was, perhaps for the first time in my life, the most stereotypically masculine person in the audience. Sadly, Joan did not quite slay that time. She had not slept for 36 hours, on account of two gigs in Arizona the night before, an appearance in Atlanta that same morning, and an afternoon taping of The View (!!!). But she still showed up, boa-ed and bold, and left it all out there on that small stage (as if she knew how to do anything else!!!). If that intimate room was not quite as rife with laughter as the Rialto was seven years earlier, it was certainly thick with love and gratitude and admiration. I am pretty sure that we, the audience, all knew that something was terribly wrong. But did we suspect that Joan was, perhaps, going to pass away just a few short months later? Or, perhaps, a few years later? Or, perhaps, before 2030? No, most definitely not: Joan Rivers just did not seem like the dying type (my first thought, when I heard she was in critical condition in a coma: I can’t wait to see what she tweets about this!).

It goes without saying that Joan Rivers is a comedy legend (has there EVER been someone who so relentlessly churned out such gold for SIXTY YEARS?). But she was also a survivor, in so many ways – read any of her seven or eight books – and one of the hardest-working people in the history of show business. If Joan Rivers had had a literal pair of balls – no one can seriously contest that she had a metaphorical pair, large as limes – she would have been the host of The Tonight Show for thirty-plus years and Jay Leno would still be telling jokes about Lance Ito at open-mike comedy shacks (I am sure Johnny Carson is telling Joan Rivers something to that effect right now). Also, if Joan Rivers had been a man, people would not have not been so eager to reduce one of our country’s most miraculous performers to a crude burlesque (sure, Ms. Rivers often facilitated, and monetized, this type of caricaturization, but that’s because she was one of Hollywood’s great – GREATEST? – survivors). Any conversation about feminist icons MUST include Joan Rivers, and her career should be carefully considered as a part of any sophisticated discussion about sexism in Hollywood.

Joan Rivers once said that no man has ever said that she was beautiful. Joan Rivers was right about a lot of things, but she was flat-out wrong about that. RIP Joan Rivers, you beautiful genius. We will miss you so, so much.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 5:42 PM

awful unfunny hatchet faced jew

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 6:36 PM

What, no puns? Seems like a typical place that pun guy would impose his unfunny and irritating brand of "humor".

Come on pun guy. rivers, apple ...

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 6:44 PM

the other day my grandmother wore a blouse that she did not realize was see thru. she had no bra on and I could see areola and nip.

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 6:45 PM

miss piggy >

Posted by Anonymous | September 4, 2014 11:32 PM

542 tl;dr, 644 r u the guy who has a hard-on for the pun posse? Lighten up friend, a woman is dead

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 12:56 AM

Miss piggy is hot.

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 12:59 AM

Damn. Funny.

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 1:18 AM

Thank you 5:42--well said.

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 9:16 AM

Comedy LEGEND. Never apologized for anything she said. She will be missed.

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 9:27 AM

ah 6:44 the guy who still can't provide a joke but insults others..bravo!

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 9:30 AM

Nice 5:42 we need more of you and less of 6:44

Posted by Anonymous | September 5, 2014 9:39 AM

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