Joan Rivers, Dead at 81

Joan RiversJoan Rivers was 81. She was the comedian and actress best known for her appearances on The Tonight Show, hosting the Joan Rivers Show and co-hosting red carpet specials and Fashion Police.

As a kid, I knew Joan Rivers from Hollywood Squares, The Muppets Take Manhattan and Spaceballs. I always found her funny and entertaining.

And I loved this appearance on Louie:

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That's too bad. She had balls - and funny too.

September 4, 2014 @ 3:45 PM

Dawn Keibals

RIP Ms.Rivers
Just seen a clip of her on CNN from 1964 with Johnny Carson.
She did not give a shit what she said in 1964 or in 2014
She was Joan Rivers..take it or leave it
What is most important ?? she set the stage for women comics.
Without Joan Rivers there would be no Roseanne,no Ellen,no Whoopie...and hundreds of other fine women comics..
She was and always be the first and best female comic.

September 4, 2014 @ 5:18 PM


I'm fine with this. I found her to be a mean-spirited old shrew.

September 4, 2014 @ 5:37 PM


Why couldn't it be Corey?

September 4, 2014 @ 6:05 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Is it just me or are Corey's comments getting meaner and meaner?

I really dislike him polluting my site daily.

September 4, 2014 @ 6:18 PM


@Corey ... and the Internet in general.

Have we all really completely lost to ability to distinguish between a creator and their creation? Between actor and act?

And worse, why do so many people feel justified for hating someone, as if that doesn't literally make them a hater?

Why so much hate for Joan Rivers?

[L]et's just say for a moment Joan Rivers was a “bad” person, and it wasn’t just an act. You can’t use other people’s bad behaviour to justify your own. Second, take some responsibility for your words. If you want to hate someone, do it– but own it, including any backlash that comes with it. You don’t get to play the innocence card.

And lastly– people can do some amazing verbal gymnastics to justify liking the creative works of an otherwise awful people. People have no problems enjoying the works of Roman Polanski or Chris Brown (a debate for another day). So if one can enjoy the work of a person they don’t like– why doesn’t it work in reverse?

September 4, 2014 @ 8:01 PM


The thing with Joan Rivers is she is a comedian. Comedians by nature go everywhere and anywhere. To have a good joke you say the same thing 20 times where the vast majority get no laughs until you work the wording to make it a success. So you can't get angry for them making the attempt. It is one thing if the comedy which is hateful matches their real life behavior but the intent of Joan Rivers was always laughs. She said a lot of gay jokes about Cruise/Travolta yet defended gays in 80's when it could be a career ending stance. Louis CK makes black/rapes/misogynist jokes all the time with no criticism because it's funny. But a leaked video of a lesser known comedian attempting the same thing at a club and people take out the pitch forks. It's comedy, the intent is laughter and saying it is an attempt to find a funny way to say it.

That being said, it is ok to dislike her and bring up these facts at her death. But being disrespectful is entirely distasteful and comes from an ugly place. Despite criticisms even someone who hates Joan River must recognize she was trail blazer for women in comedy and without her there wouldn't be the vast majority of female comedians you see today. She entered the old boys club and thrived opening the door for many.

September 4, 2014 @ 8:14 PM


Okay Mike - how about this. Go through the most recent Open Mike's. Review my comments, and tell me which ones you consider pollution. Is it the one where I pointed out that MLS (a "respectable league") allows owners to own multiple teams? Was it the one where I linked to an article that explains the motivations behind ISIS? Was the one about Ricky Gervais' tweet pollution? Or my comment about why I don't think the comparison to rape victim shaming is relevant to the celebrity photo leak scandal? Or was the atheist joke mean? If you can explain to me how any of those comments are polluting your blog any more than every other regular contributor's, I'll leave for good. Promise.

September 4, 2014 @ 8:24 PM


@Lorne -

Huh. So it isn't just me. Had no idea. For the record, I certainly never said I hated Joan Rivers. She built a large body of work on being mean-spirited. Whether she was a sweetie-pie in real life, I can't say. I didn't know her, and that's part of the point, I guess. I'm not torn up that an 81-year old person I don't know and who's comedy I had no appreciation for is dead. Stating that opinion is really "mean"?

September 4, 2014 @ 8:33 PM


@Corey I think it is more "I'm ok with her death" comment, which is cheap.

September 4, 2014 @ 8:40 PM



You said it & my thoughts also.

Joan Rivers was an ICON & the 1st to many of female comedians today.


September 4, 2014 @ 8:55 PM


@anyone that gives a damn

No I don't find Corey's comments mean, he simply stated an opinion.
If opinions are not allowed on this blog then please say so.
Like I said before, some people on this space are way to sensitive.

September 4, 2014 @ 9:11 PM



No doubt. And I am just stating my opinion being content with someones death is distasteful.

September 4, 2014 @ 9:30 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike

Fact: It's my site.

Fact: Corey's comments have been mean spirited for months. I suspect he's a very unhappy person, and I've grown tired of reading his drivel. Since it's my site, I'd like him to stop commenting.

September 4, 2014 @ 9:32 PM


Mike, I've offered to leave if you can explain what specifically constitutes "drivel". You say "months. It should be easy - link to 5 of the most egregious examples of my mean-spirited drivel over the past 2 months, let's say.
My opinion is that you've come not to like me because I often challenge or question your comments (admittedly more than any other contributor), and you're taking it personally.
For instance, I've never made a comment approaching anything as mean-spirited (actually psychotic) as this, but hey, it's Liz, and she thinks you're the bees knees, so her occasional frightening diatribes get a pass.

September 4, 2014 @ 10:10 PM

this guest

That was a funny as hell clip.
As for Joan Rivers herself I'll try to cut her some slack for being very old with her recent
comments about Palestinians but as for this clip -
funny as hell.

September 4, 2014 @ 10:30 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


I'm done with you. Go pollute someone else's blog.

September 4, 2014 @ 10:55 PM

this guest

@ Corey
the link you posted:
yes, wow. cleanup in aisle four material.
including a physical threat.

September 4, 2014 @ 11:06 PM

this guest

Looking at some older pictures of Joan Rivers
my god she had the most sculptural hands

September 4, 2014 @ 11:24 PM

this guest

amazing twitter posts about J.R. career:
Jeet Heer @HeerJeet · 1h
6. The pivotal figure was of course Lenny Bruce. Like everyone else in her cohort, Rivers was blown away by Bruce & took courage from him.
5. "Sick" comedians only make sense in context of conformist 1950s America, where admitting unhappiness & anger was subversive.
4. With vaudeville, the humor was in the joke, the gag. With "sick" comedians humor was in the persona, the onstage neurotic enacting unease
3. The "sick" or New Wave comedians of era (Lenny Bruce, Mort Sahl, Phyllis Diller) were defined against earlier vaudeville aesthetic.

September 4, 2014 @ 11:39 PM



I thought so.

September 5, 2014 @ 6:51 AM


@ Corey

Purposely posting you're fine with someone's death is pretty low. There are a lot of people who I take issue with or whose work I dislike, but I would never cheer their death.
Yeah, it's your opinion, these are the consequences of telling everyone what they are.
Have some respect for the dead and their family.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:15 AM


@Corey & Mike
Can't you two get along? Everyone is entitled to their opinion as this is a blog, if I'm not mistaken.

Yes Mike, we know, its your blog but Corey's comment was directed to Ms Rivers, not you or anyone who posts here.

I enjoyed most of Rivers' work but Corey entitled to disagree and state as much.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:20 AM


My wife is a big Fashion Police watcher, never liked her on that show as she seemed to be cruel, even if it was for the Gag, wasn't a fan..but she was ground breaking take it or leave attitude especially for the era she rose from..Someone I would have liked to have a drink with just as the person not the act to see what she really about.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:33 AM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


My request that Corey stop commenting here has very, very little to do with his comment here about Joan Rivers.

I don't care that he didn't like Joan Rivers or that he's okay with her death.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:34 AM

Aurora Bob

JR was very funnny in the first half of her career. At a point in time (around the time of her husband's death maybe), she became very mean spirited and not so funny.

Don Rickles is very funny and can be very insulting at the same time, she could not pull it off.

It is very ironic that she spent a lot of time being critical of how others looked but then spent a small fortune on making her own self look clownish through plastic surgery - which I would surmize was where she had her initial issue last week.

It's always sad to see someone of fame go, but I certainly will not miss the Joan Rivers of the last 20 years. I think that her daughter will have significant issues with this, as her mother was her career.

September 5, 2014 @ 8:51 AM

519 Rob

OK...back to Joan Rivers.

She's one of the funniest women ever.
Her early stuff on the tonight show (she should have been the host after Carson, NOT Leno), was classic.

Now this is a general comment on celebs today, but the plastic surgery has gotten out of hand. She looked terrible.
Her, Kenny Rogers, Meg Ryan, Mickey Rourke, Bruce Jenner.
It's sad what they've done to themselves.

September 5, 2014 @ 9:05 AM


@McNulty -

Please. Do you think Joan Rivers ever displayed tact and respect for the dead? She joked about her own husband's suicide. This is what she came up with right after Whitney Houston's death (she died the day before the Grammy's):
"I hate Houston ... it's crawling with bugs. Oh, wait, that's Whitney Houston; I'm sorry, my bad. (Can I just mention that Whitney looked fabulous at the Grammys? She was in mahogany from head to toe.)"
She'd probably be the first person to laugh at her own demise. I'm not too worried that I offended anyone.

September 5, 2014 @ 9:50 AM


@ Corey

I'm sorry was your comment meant to be a joke? Was it meant to make people laugh?
No, it wasn't.

If you made a joke then it's a different story. Like...did they donate her parts to Barbie's in need of facial features? Or I have seen her die on stage but this one she isn't coming back from.

Those are jokes. Your comment wasn't. Don't piss on my leg and tell me it is raining. Your comment wasn't to elict a laugh but to say, "Fuck you" to her.

September 5, 2014 @ 10:22 AM



You said what I was going to.


Be a man and own it.

September 5, 2014 @ 11:18 AM


@McNulty and Rob

I completely "own" it. No, my comment wasn't a joke. If you got the impression that's what I was trying to say, sorry for the misunderstanding. We were talking about "respect for the dead and their family". McNulty, did you find her comment hilarious? Do you imagine Houtons family were busting their guts laughing? If you think It was respectful to the dead and their family, we just have different definitions of the word respect. Joan Rivers wouldn't blink at my comment.
Moving on.

September 5, 2014 @ 12:31 PM


@ Corey

Tell yourself whatever you want. At no point did she say she was "fine with" Houston's death.

There's a difference between jokes (bad or good) and just spite. You have spite. Live with it how you want.

September 5, 2014 @ 12:41 PM

Curtis E Flush

So Corey, Mike should have to give you examples of why you should stop posting on his blog?

September 5, 2014 @ 1:07 PM


Well Corey, you have stopped the comments at 33.
33 is a very bad number so I thought I would add one more.
You have been railroaded one this one and with all due respect to this blog you should be owed an apology.
Yes it is Mike's blog , but if you can't take the other sides view , well???
So Corey we wll see ya!!!

September 6, 2014 @ 10:14 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Two things....

1. I know who you are and I know your agenda, so your comment here doesn't surprise me in the least.

2. Kicking Corey off the blog has absolutely nothing to do with him having alternative views. Anyone can disagree with me anytime.

September 6, 2014 @ 10:21 PM


No you don't know who I am and I certainly don't have any agenda other than to comment on your open blog and disagree when I think your commenters are off base. Period.

I saw nothing wrong with his comments on Joan Rivers, that's his opinion and he shared it. If you have some previous issues with Corey then so be it I can't comment on that.

September 6, 2014 @ 10:32 PM

Toronto Mike Verified as the defacto Toronto Mike


Sorry, I had you confused with someone else...

Do you believe my beef with Corey has anything to do with the fact he disagrees with me occasionally?

Do you honestly think his comment about Joan Rivers caused this? I couldn't care less that Corey disliked Joan Rivers and is glad she died. That's his opinion, he's entitled to it and it's a million miles from crossing the line.

September 6, 2014 @ 10:35 PM



I accept your sorry, thank you!
If you have other issues with Corey then I accept that too.

September 6, 2014 @ 10:47 PM

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