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Posts tagged as Joan Rivers

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.

Joan Rivers Dies at 81

Legendary comedian Joan Rivers has died at 81. According to Variety, the host of E!'s Fashion Police passed away this afternoon after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure yesterday. Rivers was admitted to Mount Sinai Hospital after a surgery on her vocal cords resulted in breathing complications last week, and she was put in a medically-induced coma two days ago. Here's the official statement from her daughter Melissa:

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers. She passed peacefully at 1:17pm surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of [...]

Joan Rivers Explains Her CNN Interview Walkout on 'Late Show'

On last night's Late Show, Letterman asked guest Joan Rivers about her recent walkout during a CNN interview she felt was too negative and even turned the tables on her at the end of their chat. Click through to watch the second part from the interview.

'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.

Watch Seth Meyers and Joan Rivers Have a Chat

Here's a clip from last night's Late Night, in which Meyers and guest Joan Rivers cover everything from Anne Frank to commuting between New York and LA to her secret to success ("not dying"). Click through for the second clip from the interview.

'THR' Explains Why Jokes Aren't Always Covered by the Copyright Act

THR ran an interesting guest column over the weekend called "Why It's So Hard to Get the Law to Protect a Good Joke" that explores intellectual rights and the Copyright Act in the context of joke theft accusations between comedians, pointing out the craft of comedy as some of the most difficult material to protect due to its always-evolving nature. From the article:

Although comedians may start with a written work — a script — the performance of the work rarely occurs without deviation. As a result, copyright may not issue because the work of authorship is not "fixed" in the manner necessary to establish a basis for [...]

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. [...]

Brett Gelman Gets in Bed with Joan Rivers for a Chat

Here's the newest installment of In Bed With Joan with guest Brett Gelman, in which he and Joan chat about everything from UCB to his Funny or Die character Mr. Celebrity to a very special bar mitzvah gift he got as a kid.