Joan was laid to rest yesterday. I still can’t believe she’s gone. She was one of those people that so many of us thought would always be around. After all, she was always around. She was everywhere, for decades. And she always made me laugh – out loud!
I grew up watching Joan Rivers. She was a force all her own, funny as hell and as inappropriate as she could be. As she got older, she became even more vicious, which seemed an impossible feat. Even at 81, she remained on her A-game. Although I can’t claim to have watched every episode of Fashion Police (I know some folks who have!), whenever I tuned in, I’d be sitting here clutching my pearls, in utter disbelief. The things that flew out of her mouth were, in her words, “justttt...” Ha. Classic Joan!
Aside from her in-your-face, acid-tinged brand of humor, one of the things that I admired about Joan was that she was a survivor. I remember when Edgar died. Man, that was blow. She talked about him all the time. Edgar and Melissa. That was her family. When it came to her work, she rode the wave of fame like a champion surfer and no matter what happened – that now-infamous estrangement from Carson, the cancellation of her talk show and even the dry spells that audiences were likely unaware of – she always came back stronger and funnier. She seemed unafraid to try something new and as a result, her fan base spanned multiple generations. And to be clear, the only reason why anybody cares about red carpet coverage is because Joan Rivers did it first. Come on, “Who are you wearing?” All Joan. She was a trailblazer.
When the news came that she passed, I wasn’t totally shocked because the prognosis seemed rather grim. I was sad, though. I still am, but every time I think, “Oh, wow, Joan Rivers is gone,” one of her wicked one-liners comes to mind and I just bust out laughing all over again. And I also think about her advice to the world – “If you can laugh about it, you can deal with it.” Those are words to live by because, really, if you can’t find some humor in the madness, life will surely wear you o-u-t.
As I await the Fashion Police marathon (it has to be in the works), I’ve been watching all of the specials and even catching up on her hilarious web series, In Bed with Joan. Yes, I’ve been laughing all weekend, but I was also struck by a clip of her giving advice to Louis C.K. When he asked her if it gets better with time, she responded without missing a bit. “It doesn’t get better,” she said, “you get better.” Right. Right.
All that said, she gets props for being a kick-ass broad who came, saw and did her thing. And yes, she left us all laughing, which was exactly how she would have wanted it. The mold is broken.
So, rest easy, Joan. And much love to Melissa and Cooper.