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Posts tagged as Joan Rivers

Melissa Rivers Writing 'The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation'

Joan Rivers is getting the book treatment again, this time thanks to her daughter Melissa. According to The Wrap, Melissa will write a new book called The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation that will be a collection of her "funny, poignant, and irreverent observations, thoughts, and tales about the woman who raised her and is the reason she considers Valium one of the four basic food groups." The book will be published by Crown Archetype and be available on May 5th. "In our family we always believed that laughter was the best medicine," Rivers said in a statement. "Not only are there less side [...]

The Comedy Legends We Lost in 2014

We lost several funny people of note in 2014, but the year was a real doozy for comedy legends in particular, including writer/directors, TV announcers, critical mentors, and legendary performers we grew up watching. Many of the people below had careers so vast and influential that they’re impossible to sum up in a single paragraph. But I’ll try. So let’s bum ourselves out and then lift our glasses in remembrance. They are sorely missed.

'SNL' Review: Sarah Silverman's Racy Return

SNL shifts into a different gear when a comedian hosts the show. In the early days, comic-hosts like George Carlin, Richard Pryor, and Steve Martin were every bit as much a part of the show's countercultural brand as the cast members were. 40 years later, SNL has become part of the mainstream, with a product so formulaic that today's most innovative comics define themselves by how different they are from the comedy institution and the network TV legacy it represents. Popular comedians often struggle to bridge the gap between their delivery and the SNL machine, where the multicam format and demand for immediate laughs often leave little room for nuance. Sometimes the two are incompatible, like when [...]

Joan Rivers Reflects on Legacies, Death, and Bathing in a Sink

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

As you know, last week we lost legend Joan Rivers. One of the hardest working people in the business, her absence is felt very strongly [...]

David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, and More Pay Tribute to Joan Rivers

Here's a clip from last night's Late Show, in which Letterman takes a few moments to pay tribute to Joan Rivers following news of her passing. "The force and power of her comedy was overwhelming. I said to people, 'I didn't remember that she was that funny,' but by God, she was all her life." Click through to see some other late night tributes to Rivers last night from Late Show, The Daily Show, Jimmy Kimmel Live, The Late Late Show, and Conan.

Margaret Cho and the Practice of Turning Pain Into Comedy

An obvious product of the exuberant and diverse culture of San Francisco, comedian Margaret Cho has always provoked thoughts and laughter through her exploration of her own racial and sexual identity. It’s admirable, if sometimes a detriment, as people tend to label comics by their demographics. This became a problem for a few people who saw a certain Golden Globes skit. Because a small group of nay-sayers happen to have access to the internet, there were complaints against a Korean’s imitation of their own heritage.

But the reduction of a comic’s entire history to a single skit is as irresponsible as calling self-deprecation an act of racism. With Cho, we [...]

What I Learned from Another Year in the Archives

The Paley Center for Media, which has locations in both New York and LA, dedicates itself to the preservation of television and radio history. Inside their vast archives of more than 150,000 television shows, commercials, and radio programs, there are thousands of important and funny programs waiting to be rediscovered by comedy nerds like you and me. Each week, this column will highlight a new gem waiting for you at the Paley Library to quietly laugh at. (Seriously, it’s a library, so keep it down.)

As I look back on the material I covered for this year’s run of From the Archives, I see a wide tapestry of comedy both [...]

Billy Eichner Remembers His Friend and "Greatest Champion" Joan Rivers

"Yes, she was an international star, but she was, first and foremost, a New Yorker. I'm not sure anyone embodied New York City more than Joan. The glamour, the ruthlessness, the persistence, the resilience, the lust for life, the tireless energy, the confidence, the loneliness, the hustle, the love of fashion, of money, of theater, of gay culture, the love of the game. Joan loved New York. Joan was New York."

- Bill Eichner remembers his "greatest champion" Joan Rivers in a new piece for Entertainment Weekly.

Mel Brooks Remembers Joan Rivers on 'Conan'

Here's a clip from last night's Conan, in which guest Mel Brooks looks back on his time working with Joan Rivers on Spaceballs as well as the time he filled in for her as host of The Joan Rivers Show, dress and all. Click through to hear Brooks talk about the first time he moved to California and how he made his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame unique.

Louis C.K. on Joan Rivers: "It Really Fucking Sucks That She Had to Die All of a Sudden"

"I feel very lucky that I knew Joan Rivers and I feel very sad that she's gone. She was a great comedian and a wonderful person. I never saw someone attack a stage with so much energy. She was a controlled lightning bolt. She was a prolific and unpredictable, joyful joke writer. She loved comedy. She loved the audience. She was a great actress and should have done that more. She loved living and working. She was kind. She was real. She was brave. She was funny and you just wanted to be around her. I looked up to her. I learned from her. I loved her. I liked her. [...]

Kristen Wiig Stole the Show at Last Night's Grammys

The 2015 Grammys aired last night, and ahead of his huge international tour, Weird Al Yankovic took home the award for Best Comedy Album against steep competition while Joan Rivers posthumously won her first Grammy for Best Spoken Word Album for Diary of a Mad Diva. The biggest comedy-related win of the night came near the end of last night's televised ceremony, with Kristen Wiig making a surprise performance as an interpretive dancer for Sia's "Chandelier." It was weird and it was wonderful, and Wiig definitely gave Jim Carrey and Kate McKinnon a run for their money. Watch it in full below:

Jay Leno Says Joan Rivers Wasn't Invited to 'The Tonight Show' "Out of Respect for Johnny"

Back in March, the late Joan Rivers returned to The Tonight Show as a guest after a nearly 30-year ban by Johnny Carson. Carson's successor (and soon-to-be CNBC car show host) Jay Leno recently sat down with Access Hollywood's Billy Bush, who bluntly asked him why he chose to keep the ban alive: "I didn't wanna do it while Johnny was alive out of respect for Johnny. I don't think he wanted to see her on the show, and that's why we didn't do it … It got a little awkward."

How Bill Cosby Helped Launch Joan Rivers' Comedy Career

By the time she died, Joan Rivers had such an engraved image as an outrageous, foul-mouthed comedian that it’s hard to believe that she started out intending to be a dramatic stage actress. In the late fifties, after graduating Phi Beta Kappa from Barnard College with a degree in English lit and anthropology, she even played the then-daring part of lesbian in a play called “Driftwood” that had a six-week run in a 40-seat attic theater on West 49th Street. (Her lover was another still undiscovered young actress by the name of Barbra Streisand.) By the early sixties, however, Rivers wasn’t getting much theater work, so she accepted an offer [...]

Chris Rock on Joan Rivers: "We Liked Johnny Carson, But We Loved Joan Rivers"

"There's a weird thing that happens in art when you meet somebody and they are 30 years older than you. But if you last in the business long enough, one day you're the same age–you're peers. The last few years, I would bump into her and talk comedy. I just loved Joan Rivers. My family, we watched The Tonight Show for Rivers. We liked Johnny Carson, but we loved Joan Rivers. I know I'm going to get shit for that. But that's how it was in Bed-Stuy."

- Chris Rock fondly remembers Joan Rivers and her brief stint as Tonight Show host for Variety.