Comedic Fireball, Joan Rivers, dead at 81

Photo c/o  Neilson Barnard

Photo c/o Neilson Barnard

She is survived by her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and her 13 year old grandson, Cooper.

Foul-mouthed, raspy, self-depreciating, and outrageous, Joan Rivers was unafraid to joke about any subject. “Every joke I make, no matter how tasteless, is there to draw attention to something I really care about.” she told the Toronto Star.

In the late 1950s, she began doing stand-up routines in nightclubs before breaking through as a guest on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson in 1965. Rivers brash demeanor against Carson’s politeness is why the duo had such a great chemistry.

Video c/o Johnny Carson Youtube

After two decades on the Johnny Carson show, she became the host of “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” on Fox network. Because of this, she was shunned by Carson who felt that she was disloyal for signing on with a show that would compete with his. Her show only lasted less than a year. Soon after the cancellation of her show, River’s husband, Edgar Rosenberg, suffered from depression and committed suicide in 1987.

This time was a dark period for her as she struggled with grief over her husband, had a dwindling career, and became estranged from her daughter, Melissa. But she always maintained a positive attitude and a solid work ethic. She reinvented herself as a writer, producer, and entrepreneur.

In 1999, her show, “The Joan Rivers Show”, which ran from the late 1980s till the 90s, won the Daytime Emmy for best talk show host. Beginning her E! show, “Fashion Police” in 2010, she entered into the world of celebrity bashing. At the same time, she and daughter starred in a WE TV reality series called, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” while hosting two online shows: “In Bed With Joan” and “Drunken Celebrity Phone Calls.”

“My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement. “Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”