Melissa Rivers, the only daughter of legendary comedian Joan Rivers, who died two weeks ago following complications from an outpatient throat procedure, said her mother would have been overwhelmed by the depth of love people have shown for her.
In her first statement since Rivers’ death on Sept. 4, Melissa and her teenage son, Cooper, thanked fans for the many cards, flowers, messages and condolences they have received from around the world and through social media.
“We are forever grateful for your kindness and support in continuing to honor my mother’s legacy, and for remembering the joy and laugher that she brought to so many,” she said in a message posted on the website WhoSay.
Rivers, 81, was rushed to a New York hospital on Aug. 28 after she stopped breathing during a procedure at a Manhattan clinic. She was put on life support and died a week later.
The cause of her death is still unknown pending further tests and the State Department of Health is investigating Yorkville Endoscopy, the client where she was treated.
Rivers, who was known for her raspy voice, classic put downs and numerous cosmetic surgeries, was a pioneer for women in comedy. During a career that spanned more than 50 years, she worked as a comedy sketch writer, stand-up comedian, actress, talk show host and reality TV star.
More recently she hosted the cable TV show “Fashion Police,” commenting on the red carpet choice of Hollywood celebrities. Melissa Rivers will take part in special tribute show on Friday honoring her mother.
“Fashion Police: Celebrating Joan,” a 90-minute show, will include behind-the-scenes footage of Rivers and cast members and outtakes with celebrity guests.
Well this is a new low.
It seems that Joan Rivers’ doctor took a selfie with the late comedian’s unconscious body while she was under anesthesia. The 81-year-old was at Manhattan’s Yorkville Endoscopy clinic for a scheduled endoscopy by gastroenterologist Dr. Lawrence Cohen. Once that procedure ended, a biopsy was done on Rivers’ vocal cords without her consent by another doctor, according to a source in the clinic. That procedure led to the heart attack that killed her.
Though Cohen has since been let go from the clinic, the doctor responsible for the biopsy has not yet been identified.
Teary-tributes are still pouring out for Rivers, who died on August 29. Just yesterday, Jerry Seinfeld revealed that Rivers was to be a guest on the new season of “Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee”:
“I just came across this heartbreaking text on my phone from August 19th. I had asked Joan Rivers to be our lead guest on the new season of Comedians in Cars, and she was thrilled. Then we got a call saying she was going in for a medical procedure and needed to postpone.” He continued: “I would have loved to have shown another side of her. I wanted to tell her how much I admire all she had accomplished, especially in the latter stages of her career. She was one of the greats. I’ll miss her.”
Fellow comedian Billy Eichner, star of “Billy on the Street,” wrote a moving essay about Rivers in the September 19/26 of Entertainment Weekly:
I’ll remember going to Joan and Melissa’s Passover seder at Melissa’s house in L.A. last year. As she led us through the traditional Passover rituals, Joan sprinkled in a few jokes about Lady Gaga amid the Hebrew prayers. It’s important to note that this was the only seder I’d ever been to where waiters in black tie served you the matzo, and certainly the only one I’d ever been to where I was seated between Rod Stewart’s manager and Lesley Ann Warren.
Joan Rivers got the kind of glamorous send-off that only she could inspire. And like the best dramatic productions, it was a tear-jerker.
As we reported, the invitation-only service, held at New York City’s Emanu-El Temple on Sunday saw a procession of stars — including Hugh Jackman (who sang — of course.), Sarah Jessica Parker, Diane Sawyer, Barbara Walters, and Whoopi Goldberg — come to honor the late comedian.
Howard Stern’s incredibly raunchy eulogy has already made headlines — but now, the Hollywood Reporter reports that Joan’s daughter Melissa also spoke at the service, reading out a letter which will be published in an upcoming book, “A Letter to My Mom,” set for release in April.
Get those tissues ready…
I received the note that you slipped under my bedroom door last night. I was very excited to read it, thinking that it would contain amazing, loving advice that you wanted to share with me. Imagine my surprise when I opened it and saw that it began with the salutation, “Dear Landlord.” I have reviewed your complaints and address them below:
While I appreciate your desire to “upgrade” your accommodations to a larger space, I cannot, in good conscience, move [my 13-year-old son] Cooper into the laundry room. I do agree that it will teach him a life lesson about fluffing and folding, but since I don’t foresee him having a future in dry cleaning, I must say no.
Also, I know you are a true creative genius (and I am in awe of the depth of your instincts), but breaking down a wall without my permission is not an appropriate way to express that creativity. It is not only a boundary violation but a building-code violation as well. Additionally, the repairman can’t get here until next week, so your expansion plan will have to be put on hold.
Re: Your fellow “tenant” (your word), Cooper. While I trust you with him, it is not O.K. for you to undermine my rules. It is not O.K. that you let him have chips and ice cream for dinner. It is not O.K. that you let him skip school to go to the movies. And it is really not O.K. that the movie was Last Tango in Paris.
As for your taking his friends to a “gentlemen’s club,” I accepted your rationale that it was an educational experience for the boys — and you are right, he is the most popular kid in school right now — but I’d prefer he not learn biology from those “gentlemen” and their ladies, Bambi, Trixie and Kitten. And just because I yelled at you, I do not appreciate your claim that I have created a hostile living environment.
While I’m glad to see you’re socializing, you must refill the hot tub after your parties. In fact, you need to tone down the parties altogether. Imagine my surprise when I saw the photos you posted on Facebook of your friends frolicking topless in the hot tub.
I think it’s great that you’re entertaining more often, but I can’t keep fielding complaints from the neighbors about your noisy party games like Ring Around the Walker or naked Duck, Duck Caregiver.
I’m more than happy to have you use the house for social gatherings, but you cannot rent it out, advertise as “party central” or hand out T-shirts that say “F— Jimmy Buffett.”
In closing, I hope I have satisfactorily answered your complaints and queries. I love having you live with me, and I am grateful for every minute Cooper and I have with you. You are an inspiration. You are also 30 days late with the rent.
I first met Joan Rivers — who died at 81 on September 4th — as a zaftig comedienne in a fringed black dress as she warmed up the audience at an April 1966 Virginia Graham TV Show on which I was a guest along with Gloria de Haven. A few months later we met at the Polish folk art store Cepelia on W. 57th Street where she was trying on a sequined vest that is part of a Crakow folk costume. “Will it do for black tie? “ she asked me. “Only if you’re willing to dance the Krakowiak in high heels,” I replied.
Without scruples as to whom she might insult, she kept her fans roaring. At an October 9, 1990 airing of her TV show she offered plastic surgery to a lucky few and asked guest Larry Hagman, aka J.R. Ewing of “Dallas” if he had had “anything done.” Without blinking an eye, Hagman replied, “When I was young I had a bris.” A rarely dumfounded Rivers exclaimed: “But you are not Jewish! “Not necessarily,” he said. “I live in New York.”
At the December 30, 1990 “If you’re indicted you are invited” party hosted by Leona Helmsley for Cindy Adams’ husband Joey Adams’ 80th birthday party attended by among others Imelda Marcos, Marla Maples, Donald Trump, NYC mayors Abe Beame, John Lindsay and David Dinkins, a very bony Rivers trumpeted: “If I had known that so many felons would be here, I would have worn a striped dress.”
Joan Rivers and Masha Leon // Photo by Karen Leon
Her almost unprintable monologue at a 1991 Concord gig on gynecology/plumbing ended with “a definition of a Jewish porno film was “one minute of sex and nine minutes of guilt” had the huge room roaring. And as the Concord’s July 4, 1995 headliner, she was at the height of her irreverent brilliance with such side-splitters as: “If God wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.” As for “balabostehood” (super housewifery) she said “I spit on cooking and cleaning — no man comes home and exclaims, ‘Oh, sweetheart, look how immaculate the floor is, then says, “lie down bitch!” As for her favorite foil — intellectual girls — ”No man will put his hand up your dress looking for a library card.” Undeterred by good taste and sensitivities, she got a mixed reception—and roars- with “Anyone who would want John Kennedy Jr. as a lawyer would use Ted Kennedy as a chauffeur.”
Award recipient at the 2006 National Osteoporosis Foundation Silhouette Ball at the Waldorf-Astoria which also honored HRH the Duchess of Cornwall (Camilla Parker Bowles), River cautioned: “Stress those bones….Eat your dinner. The fatter you are the less likely you are to have osteoporosis.” Designated by NOF as their ambassador, Rivers joshed that her “bones were clicking like dolphins.” Ranting at having “a disease I can’t spell,” she mused: “I always thought if I ever get an award it would be for plastic surgery.”
Every time I see a Yorkie Terrier in a carrier or on a leash or in someone’s arms, I think back to the long ago elevator ride with Rivers as we descended in a elevator decorated with a huge poster announcing her dog’s “bark mitzvah.” In her arms, her Yorkie, Spike, a miniature yarmulke balanced on his head.
Nominated for a Tony Award for her one-woman socko performance in the 1994 “Sally Marr and Her Escorts” there was wall-to-wall applause for her bravura performance as Lenny Bruce’s mother. At the post opening night performance (which was for the benefit of American Friends of Assaf Harofeh Hospital) I asked Joan how she managed two daily TV shows plus a solo stand-up emotionally wrenching performances a week. A fragile looking Joan smiled and replied: “I take care of myself.”
Joan Rivers, Jewish queen of sass, is sadly no longer with us.
The 81-year-old comedian passed away on Thursday after a week in the hospital — she went into cardiac arrest last week during surgery. Her daughter Melissa, who flew to New York with her son Cooper to care for her mother, has released a statement thanking fans for their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.
YOU CAN IMAGINE HER AND ROBIN LAUGHING IN HEAVEN. 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 Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world. They have been heard and appreciated.
My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.
Robin and Joan…That is just not okay.
In the world of brassy, chutzpadik funny ladies, nobody has done it better and longer than Joan Rivers. The lady is a legend, a trailblazer, who made way for the candid, feminist humor of women like Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer and a whole generation of female comics who have the courage to get up on the stage and tell it like it is. As a woman, that is.
As we mourn Joan Rivers, we thought that it couldn’t hurt to revisit some classic moments in the comedian’s life. Because what better way is there to express our Joan love than to laugh at her jokes.
“The whole society is not for single girls. A man, he’s single, he’s so lucky. A boy on a date, all he has to be is clean and able to pick up a check and he is a winner.”
Joan and Melissa Rivers // Getty Images
Melissa Rivers has confirmed that her mother and “Fashion Police” co-host Joan Rivers is still on life support.
“On behalf of my mother and our family, we are extremely grateful for all the love and support we’ve received. At this time, she does remain on life support,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement.
The 81-year-old lady of comedy was placed in a medically-induced coma at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York after she stopped breathing during a minor throat procedure on August 28. Though she remains on life support, she is apparently making some small but positive steps towards recovery.
“It’s a slow process, but she’s on the road to recovery,” a source told E! News. “She’s getting better. Don’t believe all this ridiculous speculation.”
Melissa Rivers, who flew to New York with her 13-year-old son Cooper, has thanked Rivers’ fans for their support during this difficult time.
“Thank you for your continued love and support,” she said in a statement released Sunday. “We are keeping our fingers crossed.”
“She is a rock. She is calmer than I’ve ever seen her,” the same source said of 46-year-old Melissa. “All these reports about doomsday are not true. She is her mother’s daughter and she’s tough as nails. She’s the person keeping everyone together.”
According to a friend, Joan was laughing about “going in for a little procedure” on the night before the operation.
What a fighter. Get better — we miss you.
Joan Rivers is trading in her “Fashion Police” badge for some international relations credentials.
The comedian, who just last week was seen passionately defending Israel to a TMZ reporter, is at it again. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 on Wednesday, Rivers had some words of advice for Israel’s PR team.
“We are doing something very wrong in Israel and we are not doing public relations work,” Rivers told Channel 10’s U.S. correspondent Gil Tamari. “Hamas is so smart, they are using old pictures of dead children every time we hit a spot that happens to be – yes, a school, but underneath it there are weapons and they say ‘school!’ and it’s killing me because the wrong people, the dumb people are buying into it.”
Asked for advice on how deal with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Rihanna, Rivers said: “I think Israel should start showing dead puppies. And you’ll see these girls turn right around and go, ‘aww, boo hoo.’”
Lovely, Joan. Just lovely.
But wait, there’s more.
The segment ended with Tamari asking Rivers to play “Got To Have It or Make It Stop,” a game made popular on “Fashion Police.”
This particular gem came out of round 1:
“Well I think we should make it stop and I think I know how to make it stop. I think every Palestinian should get a nose job,” she said. “Because once somebody has had a nose job they won’t fight ‘cause they’re scared their new nose would get broken. I think we should send over every great Jewish plastic surgeon doctor, fix their noses, and there will be peace in the Middle East.”
Ladies and gentlemen, Joan Rivers.
Watch the whole segment below (if you dare).
Joan Rivers has come out in support of Israel in a big way.
When asked by a TMZ reporter about the violence in Gaza and Israel, Rivers compared the situation to New York and its much-maligned neighboring state.
“If New Jersey were firing rockets into New York, we would wipe ‘em out,” she said, waving her hands. “If we heard that they were digging tunnels from New Jersey to New York, we would get rid of Jersey.”
Even if Rivers apparently missed the memo about the PATH trains that connect New York to New Jersey underground, she got her point across.
“You cannot throw rockets and expect people not to defend themselves,” she continued.
The reporter countered by asking her about the Palestinian civilian casualty rate.
“They started it!” she yelled repeatedly.
“Oh, Selena Gomez, that college grad,” Rivers responded. “Let’s see if she can spell ‘Palestinian.’”
Apparently all that plastic surgery didn’t give Joan Rivers a thick skin.
On July 5, Joan Rivers made headlines after she stormed out of a CNN interview claiming the anchor, Fredricka Whitfield, was asking increasingly “negative questions.”
On CNN to promote her newest book, “Diary of a Mad Diva,” Joan came under fire for calling President Obama gay, She went on in the same interview to use an offensive slur for a transgendered person when asked about the first lady.
Whitfield began the interview with a summary of Joan’s current career on “Fashion Police” “Although it’s very mean in some ways-” she began. But Rivers quickly cut her off, “It’s not mean. I tell the truth. I’m sure I say the same things that all your viewers say to their friends sitting next to them on the couch….”
“It’s not about them. It’s about clothing,” Rivers defended herself with a shrug.
Asked whether she had any boundaries when it comes to humor, Joan explained, “Life is very tough, and if you can make a joke to make something easier and funny, do it. Done. Do it.”
Despite the tense atmosphere, it was only when Whitfield asked about the fur that Joan sports on the cover of her new book that the interview took a drastic turn “This whole interview is becoming a defensive interview,” Rivers complained. “Are you wearing leather shoes? Shut up.”
“All you have done is negative. I make people laugh for fifty years,” Rivers added, incensed. “I am put on earth to make people laugh. My book is funny. I wear fur that was killed 15 years ago. I work for animal rights. Stop it with ‘and you do this,’ and ‘you’re mean,’ and ‘you do that.’”
For the last time: No, Jason Biggs is not Jewish (though he is married to Jenny Mollen, who definitely is).
The “Orange is the New Black” actor stopped by “In Bed With Joan” to promote the hit show’s second season, and joan Rivers launched the interview with the elephant in the room: “I was told over and over again that you’re Roman Catholic. And yet, you’ve never played a Roman Catholic. You play Jews.”
“Almost exclusively,” was the answer. “If it hasn’t been said that my character is Jewish, it has at least been implied.”
Thankfully for us, the Jewish talk didn’t stop there.
On being mistaken for Jewish in school: “I’m not entirely convinced yet that my mom didn’t have an affair with the town mohel. Where we grew up it was mostly Italian Catholics…There were only two Jews in our town, or at least in our school — and man, we hated them! So I let it be known early on that I was NOT one of them. Don’t let this (points to nose) fool you guys,” Biggs joked.
Watch the rest of the interview below:
Joan Rivers is under fire for a joke she made while on the “Today” show with daughter Melissa on Tuesday.
Speaking about the guest room her daughter’s Malibu home, Rivers said:“Those women in the basement in Cleveland had more space” — referring to the three women held for over a decade in Ariel Castro’s “house of horrors.”
Yeah, not okay.
In pure Joan fashion, she refused to back down.
“They got to live rent free for more than a decade,” the 80-year-old told TMZ on Wednesday.
It was a “little, stupid joke” she added to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, “I’m a comedienne.There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That’s what I do. Calm down. Calm f**k down. I’m a comedienne. They’re free, so let’s move on,”
Lawyers for Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight — Ariel Castro’s three victims — called “unfortunate comparison” both “shocking and disappointing.”
And once again, Joan dug herself even deeper into the hole: “One of them has a book deal. Neither are in a psych ward. They’re OK,” she told TMZ. “I bet you within 3 years one of them will be on ‘Dancing with the Stars.’”
Joan Rivers is the Queen of Mean. And we love her for it.
But for all of her “Fashion Police” style dos and don’ts, the snarky diva made one heck of a decor faux-pas when she designed this particular room.
Picture courtesy of Christie’s Images, Ltd. 2014.
On the off-chance that frothy pink upholstery is your thing, head on over to Chrisitie’s New York on April 1-2, where property from Rivers’ country house in Connecticut will be up for auction. This particular monstrosity can be yours for the low, low estimated price of $2,000-3,000.
[h/t Vanity Fair]
(Reuters) — Acerbic comedian and fashion critic Joan Rivers is selling furniture, fine art, ceramics and other objects from her country home in Connecticut, Christie’s auction house said on Wednesday.
More than 150 items will go under the hammer during the New York sale which will be part of Christie’s interiors auction on April 1-2.
Rivers, 80, sold the house on the 760-acre country estate that also included a caretaker’s cottage last year for $4.4 million.
Highlights of the auction are expected to include a modern upholstered bed in pink linen, which could sell for up to $3,000, a pair of white-painted palm trees with a pre-sale estimate of as much as $5,000 and a collection of 15 animal horn trophies that could fetch $2,000.
“This home was filled with some of the treasure of my life,” Rivers, the 80-year-old veteran of plastic surgery who is known for her snide Oscar red carpet commentary, said in a statement announcing the sale.
Items in the auction range from very personal pieces made by her friends and top furniture makers to objects the Brooklyn-born, raspy-voiced star found while traveling for concerts.
A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to charity.
(JTA) — Monday Night marked Jimmy Fallon’s debut as host of “The Tonight Show.” It was also the first time Joan Rivers, among the parade of stars who took the stage to settle a $100 debt, appeared on the show in over 25 years. Even more monumental: It was the 49th anniversary of her first-ever “Tonight Show” appearance, on Feb. 17 1965.
“It’s about time!” Rivers said in a statement of her return, per The Hollywood Reporter. “I’ve been sitting in a taxi outside NBC with the meter running since 1987.”
Rivers was banned from the show by Johnny Carson after leaving her gig as his permanent guest host to helm Fox’s “The Late Show With Joan Rivers,” a competitor.
“Being in the studio brought back the most wonderful, wonderful memories of the night that jump-started my career,” she said. “So when people ask me, ‘Why was last night different from all other nights?’ I’ll tell them that it certainly beats Passover!”
See Rivers’ big comeback (plus Seth Rogen, Tina Fey, Lady Gaga, Lindsay Lohan, and many more) right here.
Photo credit: Getty Images.
Veteran Jewish comedian Sid Caesar, who died in Beverly Hills on Wednesday at the age of 91, was one of the greats. Jewish comedians took to Twitter to pay their respects and hail their departed chief:
Sid Caesar was a giant-maybe the best comedian who ever practiced the trade & I was privileged to be one of his writers & one of his friends— Mel Brooks (@MelBrooks) February 12, 2014
We've lost the greatest, monologist, pantomimic, sketch comedian TV has ever known! Word GENIUS is oft misused but not so here. HAIL CAESAR— carl reiner (@carlreiner) February 13, 2014
Saddened by the death of Sid Caeser. He was one of the greats. When you watch him today, he still makes you laugh like he did 60 years ago.— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) February 12, 2014
A childhood highlight was going to the taping of “Your Show of Shows.” I’m just sorry I never had the opportunity to work with Sid Caesar.— Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) February 12, 2014
RIP Sid Caesar. A pioneer and a genius.— Jon Favreau (@Jon_Favreau) February 12, 2014
I was watching old Sid Caesar shows this week. No one could make me laugh harder. Very sad to hear he is gone.— R.L. Stine (@RL_Stine) February 12, 2014
RIP The amazing Sid Caesar. Sorry we didn't get to talk.— marc maron (@marcmaron) February 12, 2014
The brilliant Sid Caesar, gone. There was no one like him. Although it was expected, it's still a blow.— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) February 13, 2014
Sorry to learn about the passing of Sid Caesar-a dear friend, a comic genius & an American classic- there will never be another one like him— Larry King (@kingsthings) February 12, 2014
Every week, Joan Rivers has a one night stand with the celebrity of her choice.
We’re talking, obviously, about “In Bed With Joan,” (what did you have in mind?) Rivers’ online talk show which shows her dishing with fellow entertainers between the sheets.
This week, Shiri Appleby (“Roswell,” “Girls,” Chicago Fire”) joined Joan for what we could only hope would be some Jewish girl talk.
Strangely, that’s exactly what happened.
Rivers opened the episode by commenting on how confused people must be by the spelling of Appleby’s first name (“So how many people have called you Sherry?”). Somehow, this led to a discussion about the Hebrew meaning of Joan — which according to River, means “whiner” — and Shiri, which means “my song.”
“My parents said I was like the song in their hearts,” Appleby explained. “Until I turned into a teenager.”
As it turns out, Appleby is quite the funny lady. Other gems include:
On not naming her child Ira: “You’re just not going to have sex with Ira Shook.”
On her fiancee: “We’re both Jews. He’s a very cute Jewish cook… One of our first meals, he came over to my house and taught my mom how to make latkes.”
For more on Shiri’s new baby, her Jewish background (her mom is a Hebrew teacher) and what Joan really thinks of Lena Dunham, check out the video below:
Joan Rivers picked the wrong lady to mess with.
The “Fashion Police” diva was irked by some comments made by Jennifer Lawrence — otherwise known as Queen of Awesome and America’s favorite person — during a Q&A with Yahoo! employees last week.
“There are shows like ‘The Fashion Police’ that are just showing these generations of young people to judge people based on all the wrong values and that it’s OK to point at people and call them ugly or fat,” the “Hunger Games” star said when asked about the pressure to be perfect.
Joan was not amused and sent out a series of tweets slamming the most likeable celebrity on the planet:
It’s funny how Jennifer Lawrence loved @E_FashionPolice during Awards Season when we were complimenting her every single week…ampmdash; Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) November 12, 2013
A good barometer of whether something is worth writing about or not is if Joan Rivers has anything to say about it. Another, higher (and rarer) measure of success is if she has something GOOD to say about it.
This week, the forthcoming Kanye West and Kim Kardashian nuptials win on both counts.
Upon hearing about Kanye finally popping the question to Kim — on her birthday, no less — Joan tweeted:
Our E! family is thrilled about Kim's engagement. She's a lovely girl, a hard worker and we wish her the best. Watch @ENews tonight for moreampmdash; Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) October 22, 2013
Well, it seems people were so amazed at her lack of snark that the our favorite fashion cop had to send another tweet, assuring her account had not, in fact, been hacked.
NO-my account wasn't hacked! I'm truly thrilled for @KimKardashian and I wish her the very best. Can’t I send a nice tweet once in a while?ampmdash; Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) October 22, 2013
Joan Rivers knows how to do things. She can dress, she can walk and she can definitely talk. But just like other humans, Joan Rivers has to eat. Only, as always, she does it better.
Great New York moment! Ordering a frankfurter from a street vendor, through the tinted window of my limo. pic.twitter.com/zJbHXHUM1qampmdash; Joan Rivers (@Joan_Rivers) September 4, 2013