We lost an amazing comedian, JOAN RIVERS. I never worked with her. I know comedians who have, Lars callieou and Brad Upton. That gives you an idea how good she was because she worked with some great comics. She wasn’t an old school comedian because she kept putting herself out in the frontier of STAND UP COMEDY. She always went into the places others wouldn’t go: racism, aging, incest, death, politics, religion, the famous, the infamous. JOAN RIVERS didn’t think these premises were funny. She thought they were hilarious! And she just didn’t do jokes, she pushed the envelope and stayed in a premise until she was ready to move on. I really find that amazing, especially with the average comedian’s instincts to keep moving to the next premise or joke.
What I know about her. I watched her forever and read her books. I especially loved “Enter Talking” one of my favourite STAND UP COMIC BOOKS of all time. The stories I remember from her were how her: Father was going to have her committed when in the fifties she said she was going to be a comedian. How Jack Par was going to have her banned from LATE NIGHT TV for making fun of the mob. The joke she did was: “Have you heard about Mafia math class? Tony has 10 fingers Vinny cuts three off. How many fingers does Tony have left?” For some reason, this joke made Par lose his mind.
When JOAN auditioned for SECOND CITY they cut her audition short and asked her to leave. She left but came back with some ash trays began screaming and throwing the ash trays at the talent scouts. They were so impressed, they hired her. But the thing that really sticks with me is, when she began her STAND UP Career, the clubs were filled with men, who wouldn’t listen to a WOMAN. The audiences got louder, so JOAN would whisper. The lower she talked the more the audiences listened. Great advice, even today! Don’t be desperate, be yourself and share your craft with certainty.
We all listened JOAN. We listened to you for 40 plus years. You’re gone but we can still hear you. We’ll always hear you JOAN, always!