No one cracked me up like Joan Rivers, unless it was Carol Burnett and Vicki Lawrence as Eunice and Mama.
Back in the mid-1980s, when I could still stay up until 11:30 without taking an afternoon nap, I would catch Joan on The Tonight Show. Never cared much for Carson, but Joan made me lose my breath. I loved the jokes about slutty women — “Her thighs have landing lights”– and her sex life, which she said had dwindled to leaning against the washing machine on spin cycle.
I met Joan briefly several years ago when I was in San Francisco researching Dangerous Curves Atop Hollywood Heels. We passed each other on Castro Street. I realized the tiny blonde woman in big movie star shades was Joan Rivers. I turned around, followed her to the corner, and chatted with her while we waited for the light to change.
Many years before our brief encounter, I sent Joan an index card and asked her to autograph it and provide me a print of her lips, not knowing whether she could keep them still long enough to press them to the paper. She did!
I’m really going to miss this comic legend with the cutting tongue. Give yourself a laugh this morning. Check out this monologue from 1984. Wherever Joan is today, I hope she’s lying on her back and seeing more ceilings than Michelangelo.