We lost a great today – comedy legend Joan Rivers passed away, aged 81. Regardless of whether you are a fan or not, there’s no denying that Joan was an absolute comedy trailblazer and a hard-working legend right until the very end.
I just re-watched the 2010 documentary film about her called ‘A Piece of Work’ this morning as my way of celebrating her life, since I was feeling pretty sad about her passing as she is my absolute favourite comedian of all time. Watching that film filled me with happiness as it reminded me of her courage, tenacity and joy for life.
One scene stood out in particular: she’s performing in a club in the middle of nowhere, cracks a smart-arse joke about Helen Keller and gets told off by a man in the audience because his son is deaf and “it’s not funny”. She tells him to shut up and reminds him (and all of us) that if you don’t laugh, what do you do? Then she points out that her mother was deaf, so he can go f*ck himself. Hilarious. Never afraid to be confrontational and, as harsh as she could be perceived as being, she was always looking for a way to laugh at the dark side of life (like when she reportedly took her daughter out to a restaurant a week after her husband, Edgar, had committed suicide; when looking at the menu she apparently said to her daughter that it was so expensive that if Edgar was still alive he would kill himself all over again because of the prices). My sense of humour has seen me through some rough times, so I always admired Joan’s ability to find the funny in absolutely anything.
Thanks for the laughs and the inspiration, Ms Rivers. You will be sorely missed, and never forgotten.