Darick T. Earney Associate Editor
Sept. 4, 2014, the world said goodbye to comedienne and actress, Joan Rivers. Due to throat surgery complications, Rivers was put into a coma, and passed three days later at age 81.
Rivers’ funeral was held on Sept. 7 in N.Y at the Temple Emanu-El. Many celebrities were in attendance including Kathy Griffin, Kelly Osbourne, and Sarah Jessica Parker.
Melissa, Rivers’ only child, wrote and delivered the eulogy.
Rivers had a reputation in the 80s for her signature style of self-deprecating humor with poking fun at everyday problems. Critics often saw her comedic approach as harsh or brutally honest, two things later incorporated into her TV series, “Fashion Police”.
“Joan River’s apparent meanness was only superseded by the intelligence of her insights,” Professor of Art, History of Culture, Jim Price said.
Rivers’ life began June 8, 1933 in Brooklyn, N.Y. as Joan Alexandria Molinksy. Meyer and Beatrice, Rivers’ parents, were Russian immigrants who influenced her sense of humor growing up.
As a struggling comedian in N.Y., Rivers eventually landed guest appearances on “The Ed Sullivan Show”. “Johnny Carson’s The Tonight Show” hired Rivers as a write per recommendation of comedian Bill Cosby.
Feb. 17, 1965 Rivers made her first stand-up appearance on “The Tonight Show”. This appearance began a friendship with Johnny Carson that ended in 1986, the year Rivers was given her own talk show.
“I remember a few times when I was a kid being up long past my bedtime and catching a few minutes of ‘The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson’ when Joan Rivers was the guest host. That memory, of the funny lady from late night TV I wasn’t supposed to be watching, is how I tend to think of her,” Professor of English, Steve Higgins said.
“The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” made history when it first aired Oct. 9, 1986, with Rivers as the first female talk show host. However, the show was cancelled 1987, but it didn’t put a stop to Rivers’ talk show career.
“The Joan Rivers Show” began in 1989, earning her her first, and only, Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host in 1990, and would continue for another 4 years after.
Aside from comedy, Joan Rivers also supported many charities such as The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the Elton John AIDs foundation.
To see quotes, personal details, filmography,trivia and archived videos visit the Internet Movie Database at imdb.com for more on the life and career of Joan Rivers.
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