In a world of “I can’t even’s” I can’t even deal with the news that Joan Rivers is dead. Even writing it seems like a hoax. I’ve never been more in shock about someone’s passing. Like, I just saw her doing the Emmy’s Fashion Police wrap up, calling A-listers out for their horrid sartorial choices and now a week later she’s gone. What is happening right now?
I can’t even begin to imagine what a red carpet will be without her. Who is going to tell it like it is? Who is going to tell Lea Michelle she looks like a porn star, trash Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga, even Angelina Jolie and call Betty White a bitch?
She invented the red carpet. She made it be what it is today. She gave designers the platform to promote their business and become known to the public thanks to her question, “Who are you wearing?” As we celebrate New York Fashion Week, many of these designers gained notoriety thanks to red carpets - thanks to Joan.
She was every adjective you could think of. She didn’t just paved the way for raunchy comediennes, she paved the way for all those women who wanted a job that was in a field dominated by the male sex. She liberated us to surpass our limitations and proved that if you worked hard and believed in yourself you could be considered a males equal in the workforce. She became and still is the first and only female TV host for a late night show - not counting cable, because who cares about cable. Johnny Carson was clearly intimidated and broke her heart but she got up and had the last laugh.
She was not only funny on TV, she was also funny in writing. Just last week I was reading “Diary of a Mad Diva” at the airport. You can’t help but laugh out loud cover to cover. Everything and everyone is on the table when doing comedy and she never apologized for any of it. She knows how to say the truth in the most outrageous way which makes you laugh and agree with her because it’s the truth after all. She just never stopped being funny and clever.
Keeping up with today’s times, she turned herself into a YouTube personality. I was a fan of her show “In Bed With Joan” from the beginning. I’d watch it when getting ready in the AM just to get the day started on a good note. She never stop working, and like she said, her job was her hobby.
I watched “A Piece of Work” when it came out back in 2010 and it’s probably the one documentary about a person in the entertainment industry that has really struck a core with me. I found it to be an amazing look into her life and it redefined how I saw her as a person as well as a comedienne. I seriously remember specific scenes that were so important to me at that point for some reason. I will always remember the opening scene of her without any makeup on. She simply put herself out there and said I’m here and I just want to be liked. She’s a comedy icon. She had the energy, stamina and aggression that a great stand-up needs and no matter where she was performing, she would knock it right out of the park.
I loved watching her reality show “Joan and Melissa”. When you turn your TV on to watch a TV show about someone’s life, you’re essentially welcoming those people into your living room and you sort of form a bond and you feel like you know them. Perhaps that’s why even though I never met her, her death feels so close.
At 81, which is irrelevant to mention because age clearly does not define a person, she was still as vital and as relevant as the youngest gal in the business. With time she got funnier, wittier, and never afraid to speak her mind. She simply said out loud what everyone else was thinking. If people didn’t get her joke or got offended, their loss.
What do I take from Joan Rivers?
1. Her fashion advice. Forget the furs, the Birkins, the Chanel - black kneepads go with everything.
2. Don’t be afraid of redecorating your face. “Show me a person who hasn’t done anything and I’ll show you someone who is hideous”.
3. Self deprecation is actually the key for happiness. Never be afraid to laugh at yourself, after all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.
There will never be another one like her. Nothing will ever be the same.
You were one of a kind. I thought you would be eternal. Love you Joan, thanks for all the laughs. I will miss you terribly.