I can’t believe I’m writing this – I still can’t believe it’s true…but Joan Rivers has died.
On Thursday, September 4, 2014, we lost the Queen of Comedy, who had been on life support following complications from a routine throat surgery. The WERRRK.com team wanted to share our thoughts about this icon, this legend, this trailblazer! Leave a comment with your favorite Joan memories – I’m sure you’ll have something to say…she certainly made her mark on all of us.
“We’ve lost another icon, far too soon, which sounds odd considering she was 81 years old. Despite her age, it still felt like there was still more to come. In a selfish way, that is one of the saddest parts for me, all the things we won’t get to see from Joan. Every female comic working today, from Kathy Griffin to Sarah Silverman to Chelsea Handler to Whitney Cummings and all the rest owe her a gigantic debt of gratitude. Joan Rivers may be gone, but her legacy will live on, even if there isn’t anyone to fill her enormous shoes.” – Chiffon Dior
“Some people make us laugh, some make us cry…some make us cry from laughing too hard. Joan Rivers was one of those people. I toiled thinking about what I should reference or what I should quote, none of it would do justice.
What she did for me is inspire me and become a muse in my contributions to the joke world. Whether it’s a catty remark here, live tweets during an awards show, or even the inspiration she provided to one of my characters…Joan and her entire being have contributed to who I am in the world and I am forever grateful.
There were times I’ve laughed until my sides hurt, times I’ve dropped my jaw and wondered “did she just say that”, and times she’s really just made me think. At the end of the day, no matter the response she evoked, she let me know it was okay. These are jokes. It’s either okay to joke about everything, or nothing at all. There is no “too soon”, other than her passing. Entirely too soon. I love you Joan.” – Crunk Panda
“Probably the first time I ever saw Joan Rivers perform was on “The Tonight Show” when Johnny Carson was the host (he was the one before Jay Leno, for you youngsters). We watched religiously, and even though I was supposed to be in bed, I still watched because I could see the television from my bedroom. I loved her from the first moment I saw her – and the woman could wear the shit out of an evening gown, let me tell you. When her book “The Life and Hard Times of Heidi Abramowitz,” came out, composed of jokes about her slutty “friend” Heidi, I saw it in paperback at Fred’s Dollar Store and I had to have it. Mind you, I was only 10 or so at the time, and I knew the lady at the checkout counter might not let me buy it. She looked at me over her glasses with a condescending leer and said, “hmmm, I’ll bet that’s good reading.”
In Southern subtext, that meant, “this is filth and you’re going straight to hell, pervert.”
It was worth every drop of nervous sweat that I produced while buying it.
She was, without question, one of the best standup comedians to ever tell a joke onstage; however, I think people forget what an amazing talk show host she was. She had that gift that all great talk show hosts should have – she seemed genuinely interested in the person she was interviewing, and could turn anything into a joke on the spur of the moment.
Joan Rivers will always be one of my favorite personalities, a true legend, and it’s so odd thinking that she’s gone now. She has been, and will be, often imitated…but will never be duplicated. I can only hope that she’s looking through from the other side realizing how much she is loved, how much she means to so many, and how big of a star she really was…and will always be.” – Poppy Fields
“Joan Rivers was an unmatchable pioneer. A snarky, spicy, tell-em-like-it-is comedian. She said what we all were thinking, but never had the guts to say ourselves. We have lost a one-of-a-kind talent that will never be replicated. And the heavens gained one spunky angel!” -Tatiana Turan
“My boyfriend and I saw Joan Rivers here in Key West a few years ago. Something about a comic legend standing in front of you doing their thing that feels unreal. She’s right there. I can smell her perfume. I loved her as a kid. My father couldn’t stand her. Even as a kid I could appreciate her in-your-face humor. Not many people can get away with what she said and many times she didn’t but that just seemed to make so many of us love her more and more. If it was on her mind she let you know what she was thinking. But in the same breath, if you were hungry she would feed you and take care of you. We all saw that about her and we love her for that. She will greatly be missed.” – Faith Michaels
“I never came out to my grandmother, but one day she told me, ‘Do you know what Joan Rivers said in her book? She said when her brother came out as gay their mother said, ‘I don’t care if you’re gay, just bring home a doctor.’
Then she smiled.” -Sidney Stokes
“I had the honor of writing for Joan about a year ago. I was so nervous to meet her because she was my comedy idol. As soon as she entered the room, we talked about my cousin Bernice whom she was friends with for years. It was like Joan and I knew each other in a former life. Joan was 80 years old and sharp as a tack. No one will ever be as quick-witted and motivated as she was. She wasn’t just a legend, she was the best. Here’s to the hardest working person in the business EVER!” – Shawn Pelofsky
“I can’t explain the amount of sadness I feel for the loss of Joan. She helped me see a different point of view in life that has made all the difference. Life is too short to be offended by every little thing the world says. As humans, we are meant to live, laugh, and enjoy this life we are in. Joan Rivers lived that idea. Why not make a few Anne Frank and racial stereotypes jokes? In the mighty words of Joan…”lighten the fuck up!” Joan will surely be missed and we will always keep her alive through her stories, her family, books, and even Netflix (what what). Much love and respect.” – Spencer Williams
“One of my earliest memories of Joan Rivers was The Muppets Take Manhattan. She shared a scene with another one of my heroes, Missy Piggy. I was instantly in love. The look, the voice, the energy! Whether she was roasting someone, doing red carpet commentary, hosting her own late night show – or daytime talk show – I was there, watching closely and laughing like an idiot all through the years.
I got the chance to see her live show a few years ago and I wasn’t expecting much, honestly. I mean, she made me laugh on TV but this was STAND UP…and she was an old lady – how powerful could she be? Let me tell you this: her humor was so sharp, so cutting and offensive that I literally GASPED several times during her set. I loved that about her. I’ll never forget that night…and I’ll never forget her.” – Sister Indica