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Comedy – Stand-Up / Talk Shows – Joan Rivers – L E’s Stories Special – “I’ve Had So Much Plastic Surgery, When I Die They Will Donate My Body To Tupperware” – Tribute To Joan Rivers Life And Comedic Legend

Growing up in the 1950’s in West Texas provided a tremendous catalyst to my becoming a big fan of comedy….cuz there is simply something in the water out West that just tickles a person’s funny bone…..so, dang near every person I knew in my 18 years in Midland, TX had a great sense of humor…..plus with the inception of black and white television with “rabbit ears” antennas…..which featured many comedy sitcoms like I Love Lucy with Lucille Ball & Desi Arnaz, Leave It To Beaver with Hugh Beaumont, Barbara Billingsly & Tony Dow, The Honeymooners with Jackie Gleason, Audrey Meadows & Art Carney, Father Knows Best with Robert Young & Jane Wyatt, The Phil Silvers Show with Phil Silvers, Dick Van Dyke & Allan Alda, The Milton Berle Show, The George Burns and Gracie Allen Show with George Burns & Gracie Allen, The Jack Benny Show with Jack Benny & Eddie “Rochester” Anderson, The Abbott and Costello Show with Bud Abbott & Lou Costello, The Amos ‘n’ Andy Show with Jester Harrison & Tim Moore, The Adventures of Ossie and Harriet with Ossie Nelson, Harriet Hilliard & Rick Nelson and many others.  The decade of the 1950’s also featured many comedy specials featuring comedians like Dean Martin & Jerry Lewis, Sid Caesar and Imogene Coca, Groucho and the Marx Brothers, Bob Hope and Bing Crosby, The Three Stooges with Larry Fine and Moe + Curly Howard, Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore, et al….as well as outstanding comedians like Lenny Bruce, Spike Mulligan, Gene Wilder, Mel Brooks, Peter Sellers and Danny Thomas.  So, with such classic comedic geniuses in all genres of comedy during my formative years….then it is easy to understand why I became such a fan of comedy in any form…..but it wasn’t until the mid-1960’s that I became a fan of my 1st J.A.P. (Jewish American Princess) comedian…..whom I first saw on the Johnny Carson Show in 1965…..and basically became a fan of Joan Rivers, a Don Rickles type comedian in a “female suit”…..for her was a woman who had no fear of attacking anyone and everyone with blunt, acerbic, frontal assault sense of humor…..who was not just intelligent, but quick on her feet when engaging in a verbal duel with almost any person she came in direct contact with…..and through the years from 1965 to 2010, that is when I grew to appreciate the comedian that Joan Rivers was…..so, without question, she deserves her place here at ImaSportsphile as one of the best at her trade…..therefore, we hope you enjoy this story and video history of one of America’s greatest female comedians to ever grace a stage, talk show or interview, the one and only Joan Rivers.




Comedy – 1933 To 2014 – Special Documentary – “The Real Joan Rivers Story”




Joan Alexandra Molinsky (June 8, 1933 – September 4, 2014), known professionally as Joan Rivers, was an American comedian, actress, producer, writer and television host…..who was noted for her blunt, often controversial comedic persona…..along with a heavily self-deprecating and acerbic personality and approach…..especially towards celebrities and politicians …..as she is considered a pioneer of women in comedy by many critics.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 1                                                                               



Rivers started her career in comedy clubs in Greenwich Village alongside her peers George Carlin, Woody Allen and Richard Pryor.  She then rose to prominence in 1965 as a guest on The Tonight Show…..which was hosted by her mentor, Johnny Carson…..when the show established Rivers’ comedic style.  In 1986, with her own rival program, The Late Show with Joan Rivers, Rivers became the 1st woman to host a late night network television talk show.  She subsequently hosted The Joan Rivers Show from1989 to1993….. while winning a Daytime Emmy for Outstanding Talk Show Host.  From the mid-1990’s, she became known for her comedic red carpet awards show celebrity interviews…..then Rivers co-hosted the E! celebrity fashion show  Fashion Police from 2010 to 2014…..and starred in the reality series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best? from 2011 to 2014 with her daughter Melissa Rivers.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 2                                                                              



In addition to marketing a line of jewelry and apparel on the QVC shopping channel, Rivers authored 12 best-selling books and three LP comedy albums under her own name…..with Mr. Phyllis and Other Funny Stories in 1965 on Warner Bros label…..along with The Next to Last Joan Rivers Album on Buddah label in 1969…..and last but not least, What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most? on Geffen label in 1983.  She was nominated in 1984 for a Grammy Award for her album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?…..and was nominated in 1994 for the Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her performance of the title role in Sally Marr and Her Escorts.  In 2009, Rivers competed alongside her daughter Melissa on the 2nd season of The Celebrity Apprentice…..while ultimately winning the season.  In 2015, Rivers received a Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album posthumously for her book, Diary of a Mad Diva.                                                                                                              




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 3




In 1968, The New York Times television critic Jack Gould called Rivers “quite possibly the most intuitively funny woman alive” In 2017, Rolling Stone  magazine ranked her 6th on its list of the 50 best stand-up comics of all time…..and in October the same year, she was inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame…..plus, she is the subject of the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work in 2010.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 4 – With Lots of Heidi Abromowitz Jokes




Joan Alexandra Molinsky was born on June 8, 1933, in Brooklyn, New York, to Russian-Jewish immigrants Beatrice and Meyer C. Molinsky…..as she had an elder sister named Barbara Waxler.  Rivers spent her early life in Prospect Heights and Crown Heights in Brooklyn…..where she attended the very progressive and now-defunct Brooklyn Ethical Culture School and Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn…..which was a college preparatory day school…..where she was co-chairman of her school, due to her past experiences in theatrical activities…..when within two years, she performed in the School Cavalcades …..and as age 16 in 1949, she was vice president of the Dramatic Club.  She graduated from the Adelphi Academy of Brooklyn in 1951 at 18.  In her adolescence, Rivers relocated with her family to Larchmont, north of New York City.  Rivers stated in interviews that she was overweight throughout her childhood and adolescence…..and that it had a profound impact on her body image…..which she would struggle with throughout her life.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 5




She attended Connecticut College for two years before transferring to Barnard College…..where she graduated in 1954 with a BA in English literature and anthropology.  She repeatedly said, and it was reported, that she graduated summa cum laude and as a member of Phi Beta Kappa…..  however, her biographer found these were fabrications, as with other statements such as sharing a lesbian kiss in a play with Barbra Streisand…..as they did both appear in a play named Driftwood…..but were never on stage at the same time.  Before entering show business, Rivers worked at various jobs such as a tour guide at Rockefeller Center, a writer/proofreader at an advertising agency and a fashion consultant at Bond Clothing Stores.  During this period, agent Tony Rivers advised her to change her name, so she chose Joan Rivers as her stage name. 

Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 6                                                                                


During the late 1950’s, Rivers appeared in a short Off-Broadway run of the play, Driftwood, in which Barbra Streisand was also a cast member…..which  ran for six weeks on playwright Maurice Tei Dunn’s apartment on 49th Street, in NYC, according to an interview with Adweek.  Rivers performed in numerous comedy clubs in the Greenwich Village area of New York City in the early 1960’s…..which included The Bitter End, The Gaslight Cafeand The Duplex…..where Rivers became friends with her fellow Greenwich Village comedians Woody Allen and George Carlin…..and often ate with them….as she also describes working in the Village alongside noted musicians Bob Dylan, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon and Simon and Garfunkel.  Between 1963 and 1964, Rivers, along with Jim Connell and Jake Holmes, were in the cabaret act “Jim, Jake & Joan”…..when a 1964 appearance at The Bitter End led to their appearance in the motion picture, Once Upon A Coffee House….. which was also Rivers’ 1st big screen credit…..however, the group parted ways shortly afterwards…..of which member Holmes later recalled, “We were supposed to do this rally for Bobby Kennedy, who was running for New York senator in 1964.  We were going to play at the rally.  Joan showed up with a [Republican Senate nominee Kenneth] Keating button on.  And Jim said take that off. She said no — she was sticking to her political guns. And Jim said, “Who needs you, anyway?” That was the end of Jim, Jake & Joan”.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 7 – More Heidi Abromowitz Jokes                                            



She also made an appearance as a guest on the television program The Tonight Show originating from New York…..which was hosted at the time by Jack Paar.  By 1965, Rivers had a stint on Candid Camera as a gag writer and participant…..when she was “the bait” to lure people into ridiculous situations for the show.  After seven auditions during a period of three years, she made her 1st appearance on The Tonight Show……with new host Johnny Carson, on February 17, 1965…..as Rivers credited this episode to be her breakthrough…..when Carson said to her on the air “you’re gonna be a star”. Following this appearance, she became a frequent guest on the program and a close friend of Carson.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 8 – “San Francisco… A Little Gay”                                                     



As her profile rose significantly in the subsequent years, she started to make guest-appearances in numerous popular shows, including The Ed Sullivan ShowThe Mike Douglas ShowThe Dick Cavett Show and Girl Talk with  Virginia Graham…..plus, she also wrote material for the puppet mouse Topo Gigio.  She had a brief role in the cult drama film The Swimmer in 1968, starring Burt Lancaster…..and at the same time, she also had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Rivers….which premiered on September 16, 1968…..as each episode had a theme and Rivers did an opening monologue based on the day’s topic…..which was followed by celebrity interviews…..when the show also featured an expert on the subject and a celebrity guest…..whereas Johnny Carson was her 1st guest. In the middle of the 1960’s, she released comedy albums The  Next to Last Joan Rivers Album and Rivers Presents Mr. Phyllis & Other Funny Stories.




Comedy – 1965 To 2012 – Special – “Joan Rivers: Best Moments” – Part 9 – The Best of ‘In Bed with Joan’




By the 1970’s, Rivers continued to be a prominent fixture on television….. when along with her other guest-spots on the late-night circuit, she also made appearances in The Carol Burnett Show, had a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares and guest-starred in Here’s Lucy.  Rivers made her Broadway debut in the play Fun City…..which opened on January 2, 1972, and co-starred Gabriel Dell, Rose Marie and Paul Ford…..but it ran for only nine performances amid a negative critical reception…..albeit a New York Times reviewer criticized the production as “frenetic to the point of being frazzled,”…..while he praised Rivers as “a deft comedy writer” and “a very funny lady”.  From 1972 to 1976, she narrated The Adventures of Letterman, an animated segment for The Electric Company.                                                                




Comedy – 1970 – The Carol Burnett Show – With Guest Joan Rivers Comedy Routine




Comedy – 1975 – The Carol Burnett Show – With Guest Joan Rivers Stand-Up Routine




Comedy – 1978 – Hollywood Squares TV Show – Featuring Joan Rivers- Best Hollywood Squares Answer Ever




Comedy – 1982 – Hollywood Squares TV Show – Featuring Joan Rivers




Comedy – 2014 – Emmy Legends Special Interview – With Joan Rivers Discussing Hollywood Squares                                                                                  



Comedy – 2014 – Emmy Legends Special Interview – With Joan Rivers Discussing Appearing on The Lucy Show




In 1973, Rivers co-wrote the made-for-television movie The Girl Most Likely To…, a black comedy starring Stockard Channing as an ugly girl who becomes beautiful after undergoing plastic surgery…..who then takes revenge on people who previously mistreated her.  The film, based on Rivers’ story, became a ratings success and has been considered a “cult classic”.  She also wrote a thrice-weekly column for The Chicago Tribune from 1973 to 1976….. and published her 1st book, Having a Baby Can Be a Scream, in 1974…..when she described it as a “catalogue of gynaecological anxieties”.  In 1978, Rivers made her directorial debut with the comedy Rabbit Test…..which she also wrote and starred her friend Billy Crystal in his film debut as the world’s 1st pregnant man…..whereas the film flopped at the box office and was panned by critics…..when Janet Maslin of The New York Times concluded, “Miss Rivers has turned to directing without paying much heed to whether a whole movie constructed from one-liners is worth even the sum of its parts.” During the same decade, she was the opening act for singers Helen Reddy, Robert Goulet, Paul Anka, Mac Davis, and Sergio Franchi on the Las Vegas Strip.




Movie & Comedy – 1978 – Official Trailer for Movie “Rabbit Test” – Starring Billy Crystal – Directed by Joan Rivers                                                                                                                                                                                                    



Comedy – 1981 – Showtime Special – Live at the Tropicana on the Las Vegas Strip – The Joan Rivers Comedy Hour                                                                                                                                                                              



During the early and mid-1980’s, Rivers found further success on stand-up and television…..albeit the decade subsequently proved to be controversial for her.  The year 1983, in particular, was very successful….which was when she performed at Carnegie Hall in February…..then did the March stand-up special An Audience with Joan Rivers…..while hosting the April 9 episode of Saturday Night Live…..and released the best-selling comedy album What Becomes a Semi-Legend Most?, which reached # 22 on the U.S. Billboard 200 …..and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album.  By August 1983, Carson established Rivers as his 1st permanent guest host on The Tonight Show. At the time, she spoke of her primary Tonight Show life as having been “Johnny Carson’s daughter”, a reference to his longtime mentoring of her.                                                                                                                




Comedy – 1983 – Live in London Special – “An Audience With Joan Rivers” – Hilarious Show                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    



Comedy – 1983 – Saturday Night Live – With Host Joan Rivers Monologue                                                                              



Comedy – 1983 – Saturday Night Live Comedy Skit – “Dueling Joans” – With Joe Piscopo + Joan Rivers                                                                                                                                                                                                           



Comedy – 1983 – Saturday Night Live – With Host Joan Rivers Monologue # 2




Comedy – 1983 – Saturday Night Live Comedy Skit – “Old Folks’ Home” – With Eddie Murphy + Joan Rivers                                                                                                                                                                                           



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1965 – The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson – With Guest Joan Rivers                                             



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1975 – The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson – With Guest Joan Rivers




Comedy & Talk Shows – 1972 – The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson – With Guest Joan Rivers As Carson Stumbles With The Introduction




During the 1980’s and 1990’s, Rivers served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute…..when as a friend of Nancy Reagan, Rivers attended a state dinner in 1983…..and later performed at a luncheon at the 1984 Republican National Convention.  In 1984, Rivers published a best-selling humor book, The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz…..which was a mock memoir of her brassy, loose comedy character…..while mostly being jokes about promiscuity of a type that would have been considered unacceptable even in burlesque a generation earlier.  A television special based on the character, a mock tribute called Joan Rivers and Friends Salute Heidi Abramowitz: Tramp of the Century, later aired on Showtime.  She later wrote her next book, Enter Talking, which was released in 1986…..and described her rise to stardom and the evolution of her comedic persona.




Comedy – 1985 – Special – “Joan Rivers Salute To Heidi Abromowitz” – Part 1                                                                        



Comedy – 1985 – Special – “Joan Rivers Salute To Heidi Abromowitz” – Part 2




Comedy – 1985 – Special – “Joan Rivers Salute To Heidi Abromowitz” – Part 3




Comedy – 1985 – Special – “Joan Rivers Salute To Heidi Abromowitz” – Part 4                                                                    



Comedy – 1985 – Special – “Joan Rivers Salute To Heidi Abromowitz” – Part 5




In 1986, the move came that ended Rivers’ longtime friendship with Johnny Carson was the result of the soon-to-launch Fox Television Network announcement that it was giving her a late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers…..thus making Rivers the 1st woman to have her own late-night talk show on a major network…..as the new network planned to broadcast the show 11 p.m. to midnight Eastern Time…..thus making her a Carson competitor.  Carson learned of the show from Fox and not from Rivers…..and in the documentary Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, Rivers said that she only called Carson to discuss the matter after learning that he may have already heard about it…..and that he immediately hung up on her. In the same interview, she said that she later came to believe that maybe she should have asked for his blessing before taking the job. Rivers was banned from ever appearing on The Tonight Show for the rest of Carson’s tenure and the entire runs of Carson’s first two successors Jay Leno and Conan O’Brien out of respect for Carson. Rivers did not appear on The Tonight Show again until February 17, 2014…..when she made a brief appearance on new host Jimmy Fallon’s 1st episode.  On March 27, 2014, Rivers returned to the show for an interview.  The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers premiered on October 9, 1986…..and soon turned out to be flecked by tragedy…..when Rivers challenged Fox executives…..who wanted to fire her husband Edgar Rosenberg as the show’s producer….as the network fired them both on May 15, 1987.  During this period, a published interview with Rivers, purported to have been written by “Ben Hacker”, suggested that Rosenberg had tried to drive Rivers insane during his final illness. Rivers was quoted as saying “I think things are about finished with Edgar”…..while calling her former Fox boss “Barry (expletive) Diller”. Then, on August 14, 1987, Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia…..when Rivers blamed the tragedy on his “humiliation” by Fox…..as a lawsuit would later be filed against “Hacker” over the article.  Rivers credited Nancy Reagan with helping her after her husband’s suicide…..while Fox attempted to continue the show with a new name The Late Show and rotating guest hosts.




Comedy – 1983 & 1984 – A Tonight Show Special – “Joan Rivers’ Stand-Up Hilarious Monologue Clips”




Comedy – 2021 – Pioneers of Television Special – “Joan Rivers: The Truth Behind Her Feud with Johnny Carson”            




Comedy – 2020 – Emmy TV Legends Special – “Joan Rivers on Johnny Carson’s Reaction to the Start of Her Late Show on Fox”                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        



Comedy – 2021 – Facts Verse Special – “Joan Rivers Slept With the Man She Hated Most” – The Real Story of Joan Rivers and Johnny Carson




Comedy & Talk Show – 1991 – The Joan Rivers Daytime Show – With Joan Tearfully Discusses Carson and Their Friendship Breakup                                                                                                                                                      



During the airing of her late-night show, she made the voice-over role of Dot Matrix in the science-fiction comedy Spaceballs in 1987…..which was a parody based for the most part on Star Wars.  The film, directed and co-starring Mel Brooks, was a critical and commercial success…..while later becoming a “cult classic”.   After the Fox controversy, her career went into hiatus. Rivers subsequently appeared on various television shows, including the Pee-wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special in December 1989…..as she also appeared as one of the center square occupants on the 1986–89 version of The Hollywood Squares, hosted by John Davidson.  On September 5, 1989,  The Joan Rivers Show, her daytime television program, premiered in broadcast syndication…..as the show, which ran for five seasons, was a success and earned Rivers the Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk Show Host.  Entertainment Weekly, in a September 1990 article, asserted: “The Joan Rivers Show is a better showcase for her funny edginess than her doomed 1988 Fox nighttime program was. The best thing about her daytime talker is that Rivers’ stream-of-consciousness chattiness is allowed to guide the show — you never know where the conversation is going to go”.




Movie & Comedy- 1987 – Clip From Movie “Spaceballs” – With The Hair Dryer Scene – Featuring John Candy as “Dog” + Joan Rivers as “Robot”




Comedy – 1987 – Special – “Joan Rivers on the Pee Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Show”                                                                                              



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1987 – The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers – With Special Guest Pee Wee Herman                                              



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1989 – The Joan Rivers Daytime Show (Full Show) – With Guests Reunion of the Cast of the Jeffersons “Moving On Up” TV Show + Susan Sarandon + Julia Roberts                                                     



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1989 – The Joan Rivers Daytime Show – With Guest Elvis Presley’s Maid and Cook Mary Jenkins                                                                                                                                                                              



 Comedy & Talk Shows – 1989 – The Joan Rivers Daytime Show – With Guest Donna Mills




Comedy & Awards Shows – 1990 – Daytime Emmy Awards – With Winner Joan Rivers for “Outstanding Talk Show Host”                                                                                                                                                                                



In addition to winning the Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show, Rivers starred in the made-for-television comedy How to Murder a Millionaire…..which premiered in May 1990 on CBS.  In the film, co-starring Alex Rocco and Telma Hopkins, she took on the role of a Beverly Hills matron possessed with the idea her husband is trying to kill her.  Also in 1990, she started to design jewelry, clothing and beauty products for the shopping channel QVC.  On this professional endeavor, Rivers said, “In those days, only dead celebrities went on [QVC]. My career was over. I had bills to pay. … It also intrigued me at the beginning”…..as the sales of Rivers’ products exceeded $1 billion by 2014…. which maked her one of the network’s top sellers.  In 1991, she wrote her next book, Still Talking…..which described the cancellation of her late-night show and her husband’s suicide.  Until 1993, she received five additional Emmy nominations for her daytime talk-show The Joan Rivers Show…..with two for Outstanding Writing Special Class and three for Outstanding Talk Show Host.




Movie & Comedy – 1990 – Multicom Entertainment Group Presents – “How to Murder a Millionaire – Starring Joan Rivers + Alex Rocco + Morgan Fairchild + David Ogden Stiers + Meshach Taylor                                  



Comedy & TV Sales – 2013 – QVC TV Presents – Joan Rivers Elegant Jewelry                                                                          



Comedy & TV Sales – 2013 – QVC TV Presents – A Tribute To Joan Rivers




In 1994, Rivers and daughter Melissa first hosted the E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globe Awards…..and beginning in 1995, E!’s annual Academy Awards pre-awards show as well.  Rivers and her daughter quickly became credited for revolutionizing the red carpet as a space to showcase designers’ work and celebrity interactions. “Joan and Melissa were the first people who came out and made it more of a true conversation between star and reporter”, E!’s Senior Vice President of production, Gary Snegaroff, remarked to Vanity Fair. “They asked about what [actresses] were wearing because that’s what the magazines would cover after the fact, and turned it into a candid conversation on the carpet where anything could happen”.  Rivers and Melissa, at the time, both portrayed themselves in the made-for-television drama Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story…..which chronicled the aftermath of Rosenburg’s suicide…..which aired on NBC on May 15, 1994.  The next year, she wrote her book Jewelry by Joan Rivers.




Comedy & Award Shows – 2002 – The Academy Awards Red Carpet Interviews By Joan Rivers – With Sharon Stone + Nicole Kidman + Sandra Bullock + Hugh Grant                                                                                    



Comedy & Award Shows – 2000 – The Grammy Awards Red Carpet Interview By Melissa & Joan Rivers – With Kelly Clarkson                                                                                                                                                                   



 Comedy & Animation – 2002 – The Family Guy With Joan Rivers On The Red Carpet




Comedy & Awards – 2008 – The Academy Awards Special – Joan & Melissa Rivers’ Oscar 2008 Red Carpet Rundown                                                                                                                                                                                          



Comedy & Awards – 1995 To 2002 – Citytv Awards Show Special – “The Best of Joan & Melissa Rivers’ Red Carpet Interviews”                                                                                                                                                                          



Movie & Comedy – 1994 – NBC Made for TV Movie – “Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story” – Starring Joan & Melissa Rivers   



Influenced by the stand-up comedy of Lenny Bruce, Rivers co-wrote and starred in a play about Bruce’s mother Sally Marr…..who was also a comic and influenced her son’s development as a comic.  After 27 previews, Sally Marr… and Her Escorts, a play, “suggested by the life of Sally Marr” ran on Broadway for 50 performances in May and June 1994…..as the production received mixed reviews…..but her performance was applauded by critics…..when The Chicago Sun Times found Rivers to be “compelling” as an actress…..while The New York Times wrote, “She is exuberant, fearless and inexhaustible. If you admire performers for taking risks, then you can’t help but applaud her efforts”…..when Rivers was nominated for a Drama Desk Award as Outstanding Actress in a Play and a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for playing Marr.  Beginning in 1997, Rivers hosted her own radio show on WOR in New York City…..while writing three self-help books:  Bouncing Back: I’ve Survived Everything and I Mean Everything, And You Can Too! in 1997…..  From Mother to Daughter: Thoughts and Advice on Life, Love and Marriage in 1998…..and Don’t Count the Candles: Just Keep the Fire Lit!, in 1999.




Comedy & Broadway – 1994 – Live at the Hellen Hayes Theater On Broadway – “Sally Marr and Her Escorts” – Starring Joan Rivers With Jonathan Brody + Ken Nagy + Valerie Wright                                                          



Movies & Broadway & Comedy – 1965 To 2010 – Special Clips – “Unbelievable Joan Rivers Acting Reel”



Rivers was a guest speaker at the opening of the American Operating Room Nurses’ San Francisco Conference in 2000…..and by the 1st part of the decade, she continued to host the awards’ red carpet for the E! channel. Between 2002 and 2004, she embarked on tour with her one-person comedy show Joan Rivers: Broke and Alone…..which was presented in the United Kingdom (Edinburgh and London) and in the United States (Los Angeles, and Boston), to generally positive reviews…..when The Telegraph felt that her “hilarious assaults on fellow celebrities and tirades about the perils of ageing and plastic surgery are well worth the expense”…..while The Guardian remarked that “Rivers returned triumphant, a victorious heavyweight after a great fight, conscious that she is still the champion”.                                                           




Comedy & Talk Shows – 1982 – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – With Guest Host Joan Rivers and Guest Betty White




Comedy – 1980 – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson – With Guest Joan Rivers – After Winning Be Comic In Las Vegas Award                                                                                                                                                    



Comedy – 1984 – The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson With Guest Host Joan Rivers – With Special Guest Don Rickles




Comedy – 2006 – Rare Surprise Performance for NYCGMC (NY City Gay Men’s Chorus) By Joan Rivers (When Kity Carlile Cancelled at the Last Minute)




In 2003, Rivers left the network red-carpet show for a three-year contract valued at $6–8 million, to cover award shows’ red carpet events for the TV Guide Channel.  Meanwhile, Rivers guest-starred as herself in several television series, including Curb Your EnthusiasmNip/Tuck and Boston Legal…..and also voiced herself for a brief scene in the 2004 animated fantasy film Shrek 2.  In 2004, Rivers was part of the formal receiving party when Ronald Reagan was placed in state at the United States Capitol.  On December 3, 2007, Rivers performed at the 79th Royal Variety Show at the Liverpool Empire Theatre, England, with Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip present.  She wrote and starred in the play Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress…..which was directed by Sean Foley, and presented through 2008 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles, the  Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Leicester Square Theatre, to a mixed critical reception.                                                                                                                                                             




Comedy & Talk Shows – 1985 – The Joan Rivers Show – “Joan Rivers Tells Oprah Winfrey to Lose Weight”




Comedy – 2011 – TV Guide Red Carpet Special – “Joan Rivers Drops F-bomb On The Job Obama Is Doing As President On Red Carpet At White House Correspondents’ Dinner”




Comedy & Awards Shows – 2004 – The Academy Awards Red Carpet Special – With Joan & Melissa Rivers                       



Comedy & Awards Shows – 2006 – The Golden Globe Awards Red Carpet Special – With TV Guide’s Joan Rivers Interviewing Julian McMahon and Miranda Richardson




In 2008, Rivers was invited to take part in a comedy event celebrating Prince Charles’ 60th Birthday titled, We Are Most Amused…..when she was the only American alongside Robin Williams invited to take part in the event…..which included other comedians such as John Cleese, who served as the master of ceremonies, Eric Idle, Rowan Atkinson and Bill Bailey.  In attendance included Prince Charles, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Harry.




Comedy – 2008 – British Comedy Special – “We Are All Amused” – With John Cleese + Eric Idle + Robin Williams + Joan Rivers Et Al                                                   




Throughout the decade, Rivers often appeared in various television game shows, including 8 Out of 10 CatsBig Brother: Celebrity Hijack, and Celebrity Family Feud…..in which she competed with her daughter against Ice-T and Coco.  In 2009, Rivers and daughter Melissa were contestants on season eight of Celebrity Apprentice…..when during the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Rivers selected God’s Love We Deliver…..when after a falling out with poker player Annie Duke following Melissa’s on-air firing (elimination) by Donald Trump…..that’s when Rivers left the green room telling Clint Black and Jesse James that she would not be in the next morning.  Rivers later returned to the show and on May 3, 2009…. as she became a finalist in the series…..with the other finalist being Duke.  On the season finale, which aired live on May 10, Rivers was announced the winner and hired to be the 2009 Celebrity Apprentice.                                           




Comedy & Game Shows – 2012 – Special – “The Celebrity Apprentice Best of Season 8” – Featuring Feud Between Annie Duke Vs Joan Rivers 




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2009 – Official Trailer – Joan Rivers: “How’d You Get So Rich”                                          



Comedy – 2013 – Special – “At Home With Joan Rivers” – A Tour Of Joan’s New York Penthouse                                                                                                                                                                                


Also in 2009, Rivers was a special “pink-carpet” presenter for the broadcast of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras parade…..then was roasted in a Comedy Central special…..while her reality show, How’d You Get So Rich?, premiered on TV Land…..as a program which ran for two seasons while following Rivers traveling around the United States interviewing self-made millionaires.  She also wrote two books in 2009 with Murder at the Academy Awards: A Red Carpet Murder Mystery…..along with Men Are Stupid … And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman’s Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery (with Valerie Frankel).





Comedy – 2009 – Comedy Central Special – “Joan Rivers’ Best Roast Comebacks” – As the Comedy Queen Schools the Roast Dais with the Most Savage Comebacks of All Time




Comedy & Awards Shows – 2006 – Australian TV Logies Awards Show Special – As The Queen of Snark Joan Rivers Appears at The Logies Awards Show and Drunkenly Abuses Her Co-presenter and Everyone in the Room




A documentary film about Rivers, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival on January 25, 2010…..as the film follows Rivers for 14 months, mostly during her 76th year…..which made an effort to “Peel away the mask and expose the struggles, sacrifices and joy of living life as a ground breaking female performer”…..when the film was released in a  limited release on June 11, 2010…..and was acclaimed by critics for providing “an honest, behind-the-scenes look at [Rivers]’ career — and at show business in general”.  Beginning on September 10, 2010, Rivers co-hosted the E! show Fashion Police, along with Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne, and George Kotsiopoulos…..while commenting on celebrity fashion…..when the show started as a half-hour program…..but due to its success with viewers, it was expanded to one hour on March 9, 2012.  The August 26, 2014 episode of Fashion Police, about the 66th Primetime Emmy Awards and the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, was her last television appearance before her death.




Comedy & Documentary – 2010 – Sundance Films Documentary Film Official Trailer – “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” – Starring Joan Rivers




Comedy & Documentary – 2010 – Sundance Films Documentary Film Clip – “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” – Start of the Film Starring Joan Rivers                                   




Comedy & Interview – 2010 – Vanity Fair’s Krista Smith Interviews Joan Rivers – On “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” and Why Leno Isn’t Funny




Comedy & Interview – 2010 – Sundance Films Post Festival Interview – As Joan Rivers Unloads On the Conspiracy to Ban Her From Late Night TV;  Her Arch-Rival on Celebrity Apprentice; Who is the Next, Great Woman Comic and What It Takes to Survive a Life in Showbiz Et Al                                                            



Comedy & Talk Shows – 2010 – E! Network Presents “Fashion Police” At The Venice Film Festival – With Joan Rivers                                                                                                                                                                                       



Comedy & Talk Show – 2010 – E! Network Presents “Fashion Police” – With Joan Rivers – At The Premier of the Movie “Black Swan” – Featuring Natalie Portman’s Black Dress                                                                       



Comedy & Talk Show – 2010 – E! Network Presents “Fashion Police” – With Joan Rivers In “Bitch Stole My Look” Segment 




In 2011, Rivers appeared in a commercial for Go Daddy…..which debuted during the broadcast of Super Bowl XLV…..and was featured as herself in the season two episode of Louis C.K.’s self-titled show Louie entitled “Joan”….. where she performed on stage and gave C.K. comedy advice…..when The A.V. Clubs Nathan Rabin described the episode as a “funny and deeply moving exploration of the existential dilemma of the stand-up comic and a valentine to the artform.” Also in 2011, Rivers and her daughter starred in the reality show Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?…..which premiered on WE tv…..when the series follows her moving in with her daughter to California to be closer to her family…..as the show ran for four seasons until 2014…..whereas, on the December 4, 2011 episode of The Simpsons, “The Ten-Per-Cent Solution”, Rivers took on the role of Annie Dubinsky, an agent trying to revive Krusty’s career.  Hayden Childs of The A.V. Club praised the choice of having Rivers guest star since she was able to “employ her trademark humor within the world of The Simpsons without hijacking the plot or satire” In 2012, she guest-starred in two episodes of two series: Drop Dead Diva and Hot in Cleveland.




Comedy & TV Ads – 2011 – Joan Rivers as “Go Daddy Girl” For GoDaddy.com



Comedy – 2011 – Scene From Louis C K’s TV Special “Louie” – Joan Rivers On How She Got So Far When Talking With Louis                                                                                                                                                                                          



Comedy & Interviews – 2020 – Special Collection – Joan River on Political Correctness – “Come to Me With a Paper Belt and I’ll Talk To You!”




Rivers released her 11th book I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me on June 5, 2012…..as it received generally positive reviews and made The New York Times Best Seller list for several weeks…..when The New York Times  remarked that there were “more punch lines per paragraph than any book I’ve read in years”…..and Publishers Weekly felt that “Rivers is equally passionate and opinionated on every subject she discusses. Hilarious and undeniably original” On August 7, 2012, Rivers showed up in Burbank, California to protest that the warehouse club Costco would not sell the book…..as she handcuffed herself to a shopping cart and shouted through a megaphone…..when the police were called to the scene…..and she left without incident as no arrests were made.  On March 5, 2013, she launched the online talk show In Bed with Joan on YouTube…..when in it, Rivers invited a different guest to talk to her in bed about different things including their past, their love life and their career.




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2012 – In Bed With Joan Rivers Special – With Female Impersonator Bianca Del Rio                                             




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2012 – In Bed With Joan Rivers Special – With Female Impersonator RuPaul




 Comedy & Talk Shows – 2012 – In Bed With Joan Rivers Special – With Commedian Kathy Griffin




Rivers released her 12th book, Diary of a Mad Diva, on July 1, 2014…..which also made The NY Times Best Seller list.  For the book, she posthumously won the Grammy Award for Best Spoken Word Album in 2015…..when before her death, she filmed a part, along with other female comedians, for the documentary MAKERS: Women in Comedy…..which premiered on PBS in October 2014.




Comedy – 2013 – On Stage Live in London – “Another Audience With Joan Rivers” – In Her Last Live Stand-Up Routine




During her 55-year career as a comedian, her tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized as truthful, yet too personal, too gossipy, and very often abrasive…..albeit with her ability to “tell it like it is”, she became a pioneer of contemporary stand-up comedy.  Commenting about her style, she told biographer Gerald Nachman, “Maybe I started it. We’re a very gossipy culture. All we want to know now is private lives.” However, her style of humor…..which often relied on making jokes about her own life…..and satirizing the lives of celebrities and public figures, was sometimes criticized as insensitive.  Her jokes about Elizabeth Taylor and Adele’s weight, for instance, were often commented on, although Rivers would never apologize for her humor.




 Comedy – 2010 – Live on Just For Laughs – “Joan Rivers: Absolutely Hilarious Stand-Up Routine”




Rivers, who was Jewish, was also criticized for making jokes about the Holocaust and later explained, “This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust. I do it through humor”…..while adding, “my husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust.”  Her joke about the victims of the Ariel Castro kidnappings similarly came under criticism…..but she again refused to apologize, stating, “I know what those girls went through. It was a little stupid joke.”  She received multiple death threats throughout her career.  Rivers accepted such criticism as the price of using social satire as a form of humor: “I’ve learned to have absolutely no regrets about any jokes I’ve ever done … You can tune me out, you can click me off, it’s OK. I am not going to bow to political correctness. But you do have to learn, if you want to be a satirist, you can’t be part of the party.”




Comedy – 1992 – Live on Stage at the London Palladium – Joan Rivers – Full Show




Comedy – 1992 – (Still A)Live on Stage at the London Palladium – Joan Rivers – Full Show                                                                              



As an unknown stand-up comedian out of college, she struggled for many years before finding her comic style.  She did stints in the Catskills…..and found that she disliked the older style of comedy at the time…..such as Phyllis Diller’s, who she nevertheless felt was a pioneer female comedian. Her breakthrough came at The Second City in Chicago in 1961…..where she was dubbed “the best girl since Elaine May”…..who also got her start there…..but May became her and fellow comedian Treva Silverman’s role model…..as Rivers saw her as “an assertive woman with a marvelous, fast mind and, at the same time, pretty and feminine”.  It was also there that she learned “self reliance”, she said, “that I didn’t have to talk down in my humor”…..and could still earn an income by making intelligent people laugh. “I was really born as a comedian at Second City. I owe it my career.”




Comedy – 2013 – Bravo Presents Special – “Joan Rivers: Before Melissa Pulls The Plug”




In early 1965, at the suggestion of comedian Bill Cosby, Johnny Carson gave Rivers, whom he billed as a comedy writer, her debut appearance on his show…..when Cosby, who knew Rivers from their early stand-up days, described her as “an intelligent girl without being a weirdo…a human being, not a kook.”  Sitting alongside Johnny after her monologue, she displayed an intimate, conversational style which he appreciated…..and she was invited back eight more times that year.  Time magazine compared her humor to that of Woody Allen, by expressing “how to be neurotic about practically everything”, but noting that “her style and femininity make her something special.”  Rivers also compared herself to Allen, stating, “He was a writer, which I basically was…and talking about things that affected our generation that nobody else talked about.”  The New York Times critic Charles L. Mee likewise compared her to Allen…..while explaining that her “style was personal, an autobiographical stream-of-consciousness”Rivers became closely associated with her catchphrase: “Can we talk?”.




Comedy – 1968 – Hollywood Palace TV Show With Host Vince Edwards (Ben Casey) – With Guest Joan Rivers Stand-Up Act   




Comedy – 1966 – The Sammy Davis Show – With Guests Johnny Carson & Joan Rivers                                        



 Comedy & Talk Shows – 1966 – CBC-TV’s Host: Warren Davis Interviews Comedienne Joan Rivers                                      



Rivers’ first marriage was in 1956 to James Sanger, the son of a Bond Clothing Stores merchandise manager.  The marriage lasted six months and was annulled on the basis that Sanger did not want children…..and had not informed Rivers before the wedding.  Rivers married Edgar Rosenberg on July 15, 1965…..and their only child, Melissa Rivers, was born on January 20, 1968.  Joan Rivers had one grandson, Cooper, born Edgar Cooper Endicott in 2000.  Along with his mother and grandmother, Cooper was featured in the WE tv series Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?  Rivers was married to Rosenberg until his suicide in 1987…..which was four days after she asked him for a separation.  She would later describe her marriage to Rosenberg as a “total sham…..while complaining bitterly about his treatment of her during their 22-year marriage.  In a 2012 interview with Howard Stern, Rivers said she had several extramarital affairs when married to Rosenberg…..which included a one-night stand with actor Robert Mitchum in the 1960’s…..along with an affair with actor Gabriel Dell.  In the 1990’s, she was in an eight-year relationship with the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks and Recreation, disabled World War II veteran Orin Lehman of the Lehman family.  In her book Bouncing Back, Rivers described how she developed  bulimia nervosa after Rosenberg’s 1987 suicide…..and the subsequent death of her psychologist…..with whom she had developed a close friendship, of an AIDS related illness……additionally, Rivers’ relationship with her daughter had been strained at the time…..as Melissa blamed her for her father’s death. According to Rivers, the confluence of events resulted in her contemplating suicide in her California home.  “I got the gun out, the whole thing,” she recalled in a 2008 interview. “And [then] my dog came and sat in my lap…and that was a big turning point in my life. My little, stupid dog, a Yorkie, who I adored, literally came and sat on my lap. …and literally, he saved my life. Truly saved my life.”  Rivers eventually recovered with counseling and the support of her family.




 Comedy – 2007 – Special – “Joan Rivers Live At The Apollo” – Part 1                                                                                                 



Comedy – 2007 – Special – “Joan Rivers Live At The Apollo” – Part 2                                                                                 



Comedy – 2007 – Special – “Joan Rivers Live At The Apollo” – Part 3



Rivers was open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries and had been a patient of plastic surgeon Steven Hoefflin since 1983. She had her nose thinned while still at college…..with her next procedure, an eye lift, being performed in 1965 when she was in her 30’s, as an attempt to further her career.  When promoting her book, Men Are Stupid…And They Like Big Boobs: A Woman’s Guide to Beauty Through Plastic Surgery, described by The New York Times Magazine as “a detailed and mostly serious guide to eye lifts, tummy tucks and other forms of plastic surgery”, she quipped: “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”




Comedy & Talk Shows – 1991 – The Joan Rivers Show Special – “Joan’s Obsession With Plastic Surgery”




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2010 – The Graham Norton Show – With Special Guest Joan Rivers – Who Talks About Her New Book and Plastic Surgery




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2010 – The Graham Norton Show – With Special Guest Joan Rivers 




Comedy & Talk Shows – 2010 – The Graham Norton Show – With Special Guest Joan Rivers at Age 80



On August 28, 2014, Rivers experienced serious complications and stopped breathing while undergoing what was scheduled to be a minor throat procedure at an outpatient clinic in Yorkville, Manhattan…..while being resuscitated an hour later, Rivers was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital in East Harlem…..and later put on life support.  She died on September 4 at Mount Sinai after never having been awakened from a medically induced coma.  The New York City Medical Examiner’s Office said that she died from brain damage caused by a lack of oxygen…..then after nearly two months of investigations, federal officials said on November 10 that the clinic made a number of mistakes both before and during the procedure…..which included  the clinic’s failure to respond to Rivers’ deteriorating vital signs including a severe drop in her blood pressure…..while possibly administering an incorrect anesthetic dosage…..plus performing a surgical procedure without her consent…..and other medical-clinic irregularities.  On September 7, after the cremation of Rivers’ body at Garden State Crematory in North Bergen, New Jersey, a private memorial service took place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan…..which was attended by an estimated 1,500 people.  The guest list included Rivers’ many celebrity friends and public figures such as Howard Stern, Louis C.K., Whoopi Goldberg, Barbara Walters, Diane Sawyer, Joy Behar, Michael Kors, Matthew Broderick, Sarah Jessica Parker, Rosie O’Donnell, Kathy Griffin, and Donald Trump.  The musical performances included Hugh Jackman singing “Quiet Please, There’s a Lady On Stage”, as well as the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus singing old show tunes.  Talk show host Howard Stern, who delivered the eulogy, described Rivers as “brassy in public [and] classy in private … a troublemaker, trail blazer, pioneer for comics everywhere, … [who] fought the stereotypes that women can’t be funny.”  Daughter Melissa read a comedic note to her mother as part of her eulogy.  Some of Rivers’ ashes were scattered by her daughter in Wyoming.  On January 26, 2015, Melissa Rivers filed a malpractice lawsuit against the clinic and the doctors who performed surgery on her mother.  The suit was settled for an undisclosed amount in May 2016…..with the doctors accepting responsibility for Rivers’ death.                                                                                                                                                                                                 

Comedy & News – 2014 – CNN Special Report – On The Funeral of Joan Rivers                                                                      

Comedy & News – 2014 – Place of News Special Report – Howard Stern Talks Joan Rivers’ Funeral Service With Advice from Louis C K                                                                                                                                                     

Comedy & Talk Shows – 2014 – ET Special Report – Late Night Hosts Remember Joan Rivers                                              


Upon Rivers’ death, friends, fans, family and celebrities paid tribute…..as numerous comedians recognized Rivers’ influence on their career, including Kathy Griffin…..who considered Rivers her “mentor”, noting, “She brought a fearlessness and a brand of humor into our homes that we really need.” Chris Rock said “she was the hippest comedian from the time she started to the day she died”…..while describing her as a force in comedy, he added, “No man ever said, ‘Yeah, I want to go on after Joan.’ No, Joan Rivers closed the show every night.” Other comedians recalled working with her on stage and television decades earlier…..as stand-up performer Don Rickles said “working with her and enjoying the fun times of life with her was special”.  Carol Burnett calls Rivers “the poster child for the Energizer Bunny”.  Numerous talk show hosts, including David Muir, Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Oprah Winfrey, Sally Jessy Raphael, Wendy Williams, Geraldo Rivera, Regis Philbin, Arsenio Hall, Ellen DeGeneres and David Letterman, paid tribute to Rivers, often including video clips of her appearances.  Letterman called her a “real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy. And talk about guts.”  Conan O’Brien discussed Rivers’ legacy with fellow comedian and lifelong friend Chris Hardwick on Conan…..while Seth Meyers recalled Rivers’ appearance on his talk show, saying, “I have not sat next to anyone who told more jokes faster than Joan Rivers did when she was here.” On The Daily Show, host Jon Stewart noted her contributions to comedy saying “There are very few people in my business that you can say are, or were, actually groundbreaking talents. Joan Rivers was one of them.” Radio host Howard Stern, who delivered the eulogy at her funeral, devoted an entire one-hour show to Rivers…..when Stern sought help from comedian Louis C.K., another friend of Rivers’, before giving the eulogy.  When Stern spoke at the funeral, he began the eulogy with, “Joan Rivers had a dry vagina”….. which was a joke that was intended and reportedly received by guests…..as a humorous honoring of Rivers’ comedic sensibility.  Sarah Silverman  paid tribute to Rivers while hosting Saturday Night Live…..when in one sketch, she portrayed Rivers in Heaven.  Long-time friend, comedian, fellow talk show hostess and television personality Whoopi Goldberg tweeted: “My friend Joan Rivers has passed away”. She said: “Once again to quote Billy Crystal…There are no words.” Comedian Louis C.K. released a statement saying, “I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. And I already miss her very much. It really fucking sucks that she had to die all of a sudden.” Amy Schumer, speaking at the 2014 Glamour magazine “Woman of the Year Awards” ceremony in Carnegie Hall, paid tribute to Rivers, calling her the bravest female comedian.  Political figures giving tribute to Rivers included former First Lady Nancy Reagan, who said she was one of the “funniest people I ever knew”.  Upon hearing of her death, Prince Charles and his wife Camilla said she was “utterly irreplaceable”.  Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu noted that besides bringing laughter to millions of people around the world, she was “proud of her Jewish heritage”.  Then-future U.S. President Donald Trump attended her funeral and tweeted that she “was an amazing woman and a great friend”.  After her mother’s death, Melissa Rivers said she received a letter from President Barack Obama in which he wrote, despite being a frequent target of Rivers’ jokes: “not only did she make us laugh, she made us think”.  In a subsequent interview with The Huffington Post, Melissa Rivers cited  Courtney Love’s public tribute to her mother as her favorite, adding: “I loved seeing that outpouring from these women, especially the ones who took the heat on Fashion Police, because it meant they got it. It meant they loved her. It meant they saw the humor.”




Comedy & Talk Show – 2012 – The Martha Show – Cooking Bacon Wrapped Dates With Martha Stewart and Joan Rivers                                                                                                                                                                          



Comedy & Talk Show – 2012 – The Martha Show – Cooking Stuffed Calamari With Martha Stewart and Joan Rivers




Comedy & Talk Show – 2012 – The Martha Show – The Hilarious Joan Rivers Chats with Martha Stewart About Her Walk on the Great Wall of China



                                                                                                                                Joan Rivers was strongly influenced by Lenny Bruce.  As a female comic, Rivers felt indebted to, but also very distinct from, other female standups and comedians including Phyllis Diller…..who was a close friend and champion, Fanny Brice, Sophie Tucker, Pearl Williams, Belle Barth, Totie Fields, Jean Carroll, Minnie Pearl, Jackie “Moms” Mabley, Johnny Carson, Zsa Zsa Gabor, Bob Newhart, Woody Allen, Don Rickles, Imogene Coca, Elaine May, Carol Burnett, and Gracie Allen.  Rivers’s early comedy in particular was influenced by vaudeville, Borscht Belt, and proto-feminist comedy of the early-1900’s.  In the 1960’s and 1970’s, Rivers was in a comedy circuit with Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen, Richard Pryor, George Carlin, and Dick Cavett. Though she counted them as peers and friends, she never felt included due to sexist practices within the industry.  Mainstream comedians and contemporaries who have claimed that Rivers was an influence on them include: Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, Margaret Cho, Whitney Cummings,  Chris Hardwick, Joy Behar, Amy Schumer, Whoopi Goldberg, Chelsea Handler, Louis C.K., Roseanne Barr, Greg Proops and David Letterman…..as she is considered a pioneer of women in comedy by many critics and journalists.                                                                                                                          




Comedy & Talk Shows – 1984 – The Tonight Show With Joan Rivers – With Special Guest Ernestine The Telephone Operator (Lily Tomlin)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                            



Comedy & Talk Shows – 2010 – Late Night With David Letterman – With Special Guest Joan Rivers                                     



Comedy & Talk Shows – 2011 – Late Night With David Letterman – With Special Guest Joan Rivers                                        



Comedy & Talk Shows – 2014 – Late Night With David Letterman – With Special Guest Joan Rivers – When Dave Walks Out on Joan                                                                                                                                                               



Comedy & Talk Shows – 1986 To 2013 – Late Night With David Letterman – With Special Guest Joan Rivers   



In bringing this post about the life and video history of a true comedic legend …..who was without question a pioneer of women in comedy…..albeit, I hardly knew her work mainly because I never had much interest in daytime TV….or Fashion Police…..or celebrities on the Red Carpet…..or being In Bed with Joan Rivers…..so it wasn’t until I began posting this story on her life that I realized what an incredibly courageous and funny comedian she was….. cuz this lady could make you laugh….all the while teaching so many people just how POWERFUL humor is…..as it gives anyone the ability to have control over tragedy…..while being able to look back on the worst moments in one’s life with a smile.  She was a genius…..who was obviously ahead of her time….and I believe a sweet soul with an undeniably sharp wit…..which was coupled with such an immense personality…..for she can make folks laugh out loud and cry like a baby in an instant…..as I found her to be powerful every time I watched her…..for she was truly a star.  Joan Rivers was a one-of-a-kind powerhouse……who was more than a brilliant comic…..for she was a fighter who made it to the top with sheer determination, hard work and endless energy…..while making an amazing life for herself.  She was the best in an era when men were ashamed to be outdone by a woman…..and this is what made her WAY ahead of her time…..and tough as nails too.  It is my opinion that female comedians in today’s world need to uphold that standard of wit.  The first joke she made when she got back on stage after her husband’s suicide was, “I knew I shouldn’t have taken the bag off my head while we were having sex.”…..which is evidence of her ability to one minute make you cry for her…..and the next minute make you howl with laughter. Simply put, this woman was extraordinary…..for to overcome what she went through…..while making everyone laugh isn’t an easy thing to do…..especially while staying true to herself…..while never losing sight of where she was going.  What a force of nature she was…..and for me, the more I watched her in these videos seen herewith, the more I liked her for how real and human she was…..as she was truly one of a kind…..who is simply timeless…..with comedy that is priceless …..while making millions of people laugh…..and she obviously still doees today.  Posting Joan Rivers story and video history made me think about when Jesus said to turn the other cheek…..for I can’t imagine what Joan was going through most of her career…..but she chose to forgive and keep her eye on the future.  What a great example of how to not live in anger and hate.  Joan Rivers was the fastest, sharpest and most outrageous female standup in the English language…..and she opened the way for the others to follow…..but simply set the bar too high for them to do so.  There should always be someone to show you WHERE the line in the sand is.  Thanks for providing us here at ImaSportsphile with so much great content to remember you by.




Comedy – 2013 – Just For Laughs Festival Special – “Joan Rivers:  Swimming With The Sharks”                                     



Comedy & Interviews – 2021 – The Complete “Pioneers of Television” Interview With Joan Rivers By Steven J. Boettcher






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