We Need To Talk About Joan…
As we’ve been slacking so much over the past few weeks, I haven’t been able to do any “We Need To Talk About” posts. Nor did I get to write about my utter heartbreak over losing Joan Rivers. It has been a rough year for celebrity deaths, but I think in some ways Joan’s has affected me the hardest. I’ve heard countless arguments that “well she already had so much surgery” and “she was 81,” but as the facts begin to mount that medical negligence played a role (taking a selfie while she’s knocked out, seriously?) it’s pretty clear that it wasn’t supposed to be her time.
I have loved Joan Rivers as long as I can remember. Even though her comedy was a little too much for people, I always respected the fact that she never shied away from a joke just because some may find it distasteful. Don’t get me wrong, some of her jokes were distasteful, but they also helped us realize never to take ourselves or any situation too seriously. Love her or hate her, Joan’s sense of humor was all her own and something that can’t be easily mimicked. I found it comforting that so many celebrities she had ridiculed over the years spoke about how excited they were when she finally had something to say about them. It was like they had made it.
Whenever I write an award show fashion recap, I always read my critiques in Joan Rivers’ voice in my head. I’m not kidding. I was obsessed with “Fashion Police” and have fond memories of watching her interview people on the red carpet in the 90s with the infamous “Who are you wearing?” line. When I write huge zingers, I wonder if Joan would find that worthy of her delivery on the Fashion Police. The last time I can remember disagreeing with her was at this past Emmys/MTV VMA mashup show, where she didn’t even talk about Lena Dunham. I was so sad, because the second I saw that dress on the red carpet Joan’s voice immediately came into my head saying something like “she looks like Jennifer Wilbanks on top of her frozen wedding cake.” Basically, the makeup (and ensemble) wasn’t flattering.
But through all the controversies, all of the hurt feelings, all of the laughs, Joan stayed true to herself and her brand of humor. She once said her greatest fear in life was having an empty calendar. Performing is what she lived for. Making people laugh is what she lived for. By the way, if you haven’t seen her documentary, “A Piece of Work,” I highly recommend it. I’m pretty sure it’s still streamable on Netflix, but I haven’t checked in months. Below are some of my all-time favorite quotes of hers.
“The only time a woman has a true orgasm is when she is shopping.”
“I love that black dress. That neckline is plunging faster than Aretha Franklin’s head into a bucket of fried chicken.”
“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware.”
“The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.”
“I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.”
“I have no sex appeal and it has screwed me up for life. Peeping Toms look at my window and pull down the shade. My gynecologist examines me by telephone.”
“I think anyone who’s perfectly happy isn’t particularly funny.”
“My best birth control now is to just leave the lights on.”
“Is she fat? … Her favorite food is seconds.”
Love you, Joan. You were the best. The whole world is a lot less funny without you. I’ll still always think of you every time I do a red carpet recap. One day hopefully I’m 1/36th as funny as you were.