Few celebrities relate well to people of all ages. Joan Rivers did, for six decades. Fortunately she left us with a legacy of shows and specials and books to remind us of how adroitly she skewered the deserving, including herself, with a brand of take-no-prisoners comedy that cut across cultures and generations.
From the equal opportunity critiques of the young, hip and often clueless on the popular “Fashion Police” to the following two-part dedication to her newest book, Diary of a Mad Diva, she absolutely did not suffer fools:
“Sometimes people write novels and they just be so wordy and self-absorbed … I am a proud non-reader of books.” – Kanye West (Reuters, May 2009)
“This book is dedicated to Kanye West, because he’ll never fuckin’ read it.”
She made fun of her older contemporaries, too. In a self-deprecating segment on CBS “Sunday Morning” from 2002, she opined on aging and dying:
“The term ‘a woman of a certain age,’ by the way, means a woman who can make her own way to the intensive care ward of any hospital, or the Depends counter of any drugstore.”
“And older is better because older people know things young people don’t know, such as how to speak in complete sentences, and who won World War II, and there are questions that cannot be answered by ‘Hello,’ and ‘Whatever,’ and ‘Duh.’”
“And as far as filling my days, you are looking at Miss Popular; I’m not bragging, but do you know I’m invited to at least three, maybe four funerals a day?”
Rest in Peace, Joan Rivers. Thanks for so vigilantly pointing out our foibles and making fools of everyone.