“If there’s a secret to being a comedian, it’s just loving what you do,” Rivers said in 2012. “It’s my drug of choice. I don’t need real drugs. I don’t need liquor. It’s the joy that I get performing. That’s my rush. I get it nowhere else.”
Born Joan Molinsky (1933 – 2014), the energetic comedian, mostly known for her indomitable wit, her satirical jabs at celebrities, and her kick-ass no nonsense attitude, not to mention her sense of taste and style, the Fashion Police host died yesterday at a hospital. After being hospitalised in New York for throat surgery, Ms Rivers, the comedian whose comments shocked as much as made people laugh, suffered from cardiac arrest during the operation. She was placed into a forced coma from which she never regained consciousness.
Joan Rivers was well-known not only as a workaholic, but as someone who really enjoyed her work. She enjoyed being funny and making people laugh. Personally, I loved the way she used her sarcasm to show us all that celebrities, in the end, are only human beings like everyone else. Actors, authors, stylists and singers – they all were the butt of Joan’s irreverent jokes and most of them, laughed with her too. She knew everybody, and everybody knew her, but that has not always been the case.
Her first role as a host was in 1986 in the comedy programme The Late Show, which ended in disgrace as the show was stopped a year later, the same year that her first husband committed suicide. Joan always said her husband’s suicide had been prompted by Fox’s TV station executives who had wanted to fire him from his role as producer. When the couple protested, they fired them both.
After that, and quite possibly since Joan had stepped on a few toes, it was hard for her career to take off again. Fortunately, her big breakthrough came with her comic role as host in The Joan Rivers Show (1989 – 1993). During the same period, she released a best-selling comedy album called, ’What Becomes A Semi-Legend Most?’The album was nominated for a Grammy.
In 1984, she published her first humour book, which was her second published work and which turned out to be a great success. Throughout her life-time, she published an impressive list of twelve books, most of them dealing with humour or self-help. She chose some telling titles for her books such as, Bouncing Back. I’ve Survived Everything And I Mean Everything And You Can Too, or Don’t Count The Candles – Just Keep The Fire Lit.
In 1994, Rivers and her daughter Melissa first hosted the E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globe Awards. Joan hosted, took part in, and was featured in a vast number of TV shows and other types of events. In September 2010, she began to co-host the very successful E! Show Fashion Police, commenting and criticising celebrity fashion.
During her long career as a comedian, Joan Rivers was loved and hated, praised and criticised. Some thought she was too abrasive and rough in her jokes, others could not see the humour in what they considered to be plain insults. One must keep in mind, however, that Joan criticised herself in the same way that she poked fun at others, especially concerning her many plastic surgeries. My favourite one of hers was when she jocosely admitted: ‘I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware.’
Come on, you must admit it, no matter how insensitive her comments were sometimes, how can you help but miss someone like that?
First Robin Williams, now this.
The world of comedy has taken two very hard punches in the face this summer.
R.I.P Joan Rivers – You will definitely be missed.