Thursday, September 4, 2014

Can We Talk?


Joan Rivers died today and I mourn her passing.  She could be irreverent, she could be annoying, she could be tasteless.  She was painfully honest while uproariously and politically incorrect.  It's not a big deal today but in her day, it was groundbreaking.

Her stints on the "Tonight Show" are probably my earliest memories of her.  At least, that's where she hit it big. 
"When I started out, a pretty girl did not go into comedy. If you saw a pretty girl walk into a nightclub, she was automatically a singer. Comedy was all white, older men. It was Jack Benny, Fred Allen, Bob Hope, Shelley Berman, Red Skelton ... even Amos and Andy were white men, which is hilarious if you think about it."   The Hollywood Reporter  12/06/12



We watched her evolve along with her face into the unapologetic woman who once admitted to developing bulimia after her husband's suicide because it gave her control over something when everything in her world seemed uncontrollable. buliamiaddict.com 4/06/13 

Her husband left her broke.  Her relationship with Johnny soured when she left to do her own show on another network.  He never spoke to her again.  She hung on, climbed out of the hole she was in and went on with her life.  She had a daughter to raise and a career to rebuild and debts to pay.  

She did it all with flair.  I have to say, I still laughed at her Fashion Police antics and her red carpet "Who are you wearing?" interviews, her jewelry line she personally hawked on the shopping networks, her book signings and ongoing stand up appearances.  She must have had an iron will.  She will she be missed.



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11 comments:

bill lisleman said...

I enjoyed her comedy from the old shows. I don't care much for red carpet stuff. Celebrities like her and the recent Robin Williams departing take a piece of your past with them. It also reminds us of our own mortality.
nice post

DJan said...

It's sad, because it seems like all the old celebrities I grew up with are dying. The way of things, I guess. RIP, Joan. You will indeed be missed.

California Girl said...

Bill, they do indeed take "a piece of (our) past." Nicely put.

California Girl said...

DJan, every so many posts now are obits I feel compelled to write. Mortality stares us in the face.

JC said...

I loved her !!!

injaynesworld said...

If you can, watch the documentary on her called Piece of Work. I came away with a lot of admiration for her, even if I didn't always laugh at her jokes. She was a force and I will miss her.

California Girl said...

JC, she was a scream.

I read the most recent Johnny Carson bio by his former atty and henchman. Carson really never spoke to her again. Her big mistake may have been calling after the fact but then again, as she said, other "regular" guest hosts went on to their own shows & he didn't condemn them.

California Girl said...

jayne, I've now seen the producer of that film several times. She is the daughter of one of Rivers' best friends and her mother talked her into spending a year following Joan Rivers about. She was on Morning Joe last week and NPR later. It sounds like a fascinating film. Bet it won't be available on Netflix for a while. Thanks for the tip.

Anonymous said...

There will never be another like the likes of Joan Rivers, the east coast embraced her the west coast scorned her, well to hell with the west coast where I live, my only lives in NYC met her once, said she was so gracious and kind..She went thru a lot with her husbands suicide left bankrupt got up and got out and make a great success of herself, philanthropic to the hilt and manners oh vey...The new comedians are to me grating, she had wit and wisdom, she did plenty for the down and outs that many will never know about, RIP sweet Joan, peace and prayers to her only child Melissa and Cooper her only grandchild whom she adored!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

California Girl said...

Anon, thank you for visiting and commenting. Her passing, as well as Robin Williams', has really left a void. People are feeling it deeply. So sad RW didn't know or perhaps he'd have stuck around. JR stuck around as long as she could.

Pat Tillett said...

I haven't been a big fan for quite a while, but I still remember how hilarious she was. It is sad...

Christina

Christina
by Cole Scott