Comedy pioneer and talk-show host Joan Rivers passed away the afternoon of September 4th, which was made public in an official statement from her daughter, Melissa. She was 81.
Rivers was known for her politically incorrect and biting brand of insult comedy, which she used to mock celebrities and often times herself. She refused to apologize for her jokes, no matter how cutting they were perceived to be. Rivers’ signature catchphrase was “Can we talk?”
“I don’t mince words, I don’t hold back,” she once said. “What are you gonna do to me? Fire me? It’s been done. Threaten to commit suicide? Done. Take away my show? Done! Not invite to me to the Vanity Fair party? I’ve never been invited!”
On February 4th, 1983, Rivers became the first female comedian to perform in Carnegie Hall.
The comic began achieving professional recognition through the talk show circuit; she was a frequent guest of Johnny Carson’s iteration of “The Tonight Show” until he banned her for hosting a program on a rival network, “The Late Show,” in the mid-1980s.
While her evening talk show stint later failed, Rivers was successful with her eponymous 1990s daytime talk show “The Joan Rivers Show,” for which she won the 1990 Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Talk Show Host. She also won the second season of “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009.
Rivers was also widely recognized for her red carpet interviews, notably asking famous people “Who are you wearing?” Her coverage of this scene went on to spawn an entire red carpet television industry, and her sartorial criticism lead to the hosting of E!’s “Fashion Police.”
Here are a few thoughts from celebrities on her life and career:
we lost a great one in @Joan_Rivers - she was funny all the way to the end
— Jimmy Kimmel (@jimmykimmel) September 4, 2014
Terrible news about Joan Rivers. I was lucky enough to meet her a few months ago. She was still as comedically relevant as anyone.
— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) September 4, 2014
Joan Rivers @Joan_Rivers was an amazing woman and a great friend. Her energy and talent were boundless. She will be greatly missed.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2014
RIP Joan Rivers. A force of nature.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) September 4, 2014
Check out Joan’s performance on the January 14, 1966, episode of “The Tonight Show.”
And her 1984 “Tonight Show” guest hosting stint.
Author: Brian Cameron