Thursday, September 04, 2014

Joan Rivers 1933-2014

We lost Joan Rivers today. The award winning actress, producer, writer, director, hostess, and comedienne was 81. The star of stage, film, and television will be missed.

Joan Rivers has been around as long as I can remember. While still fairly young she first started showing up on Johnny Carson's "The Tonight Show" around the time I was born. She was always a hit, always hilarious. Later as the show entered its guest host phase, when Johnny would take weeks off at a time and they would have a fill-in for a week at a time, Joan rose to prominence.

I loved her stand-up and she interacted with guests almost as easily as Johnny. She was almost the designated guest host throughout most of the seventies and early eighties. Joan was always funny, sometimes later mean and funny, but always funny. Most of her jokes revolved around her husband Edgar, and her star shined bright.

Sadly her career turn a bad turn when she chose to go against Johnny as his competitor on the fledgling Fox network. The show, which eventually fell into the hands of Arsenio Hall, was not a good move. It's even been said that the stress of the show may have killed her husband. Joan drifted after that, falling into crazed and botched plastic surgery and hosting home shopping shows before she found a new career on the red carpet with the E! network.

Joan's meanness had tamed, and her face was nearly unrecognizable, but her presence and humor shone through as she, along with her daughter Melissa, interviewed celebrities on the entertainment channel.

I will still remember sneaking downstairs at 11:35 PM weeknights to see Joan's monologue on "The Tonight Show" as I also did with Johnny, and David Brenner, and Jerry Seinfeld, etc. I'll remember how much everyone wanted to see her movie Rabbit Test in eighth grade, and how bad it actually was. Joan was funny, and yes, she'll be missed.

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