Sunday, November 3, 2013

I Love Joan Rivers

Friday was a great day for me! First, I was able to stay up past 8PM (still getting use to waking up at 4 AM for work…DOH). Second, I went to see Joan Rivers live onstage at a local casino. She was….amazing.

Whaaaat you ask? Joan Rivers of QVC? Joan Rivers of the Fashion Police? Joan Rivers of the highly scripted ‘reality’ show? Yep, that one.

It’s really easy these days to forget how difficult it was for women to break into stand-up comedy back in the day. I’m not referring to those who were funny in a ‘role’ like Lucille Ball or Carol Burnett, I’m referring to women brave enough to stand alone on a stage. Only a few became household names (Joan Rivers, Phyllis Diller, Jean Carroll etc.) and it was those women who broke the walls for today’s female stand-up comics.

I first saw Joan Rivers on TV when I was a kid. She was on Johnny Carson (it was summer and I could stay up late). I was exhilarated when she bashed ‘Hollywood’. I remember Johnny asking her, ‘You don’t really believe that beautiful women are dumb.’ And Joan said, ‘Oh, please. I’ve never seen a man stick his hand up a beautiful woman’s dress looking for her library card.’

I laughed. I was stunned. I was embarrassed. I was…elated. I will always love Joan for making me feel all those emotions at once and laugh at them.

At 80 years old she paced the stage for her entire show without taking a swig of water or pausing for a break. She did physical comedy!  She was foul, rude, tasteless, and crude. She said politically incorrect things. She was hilarious.

It's not that often that an octogenarian makes you laugh and inspires you at the same time. Joan Rivers did.

A few other quotes from Joan Rivers stand-up:

'Every woman in this room tonight: Think like a second wife. You grab and you take. You grab and you take. And when you die, whatever you got out of him you have buried on you. If the next bitch wants it, make her dig for it.'

'People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.'

'I woke up a few months ago, and I thought, Why am I wearing a bunny slipper? Then I realized, That's my vagina!'

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A writer exercising the writing muscle.