A GREAT LOSS FOR ALL OF US[The Death of Joan Rivers]
By Shlomoh Sherman
September 5, 2014
A GREAT LOSS FOR ALL OF US
"Don't say that there was never a woman in the White House. JFK had a thousand in there."
"Talk about acting goyish. I even put mayonaise on my aspirins."
Joan Rivers was great. Not only a great comedienne but a great Jew.
The first time I saw her was in a small role in the Burt Lancaster film, THE
SWIMMER. Pamela leaned over to me and said, "Hey, that's Joan Rivers." Joan became noticed in 1965 when it was tough to be a female comic.
Females had long avoided going into comedy because consciously or unconsciously comics are perceived as fools, and women hate to look foolish.
Of course there was Phyllis Diller and Roseanne Barr following in the traditon of Sophie Tucker and of couse Pearl Williams. That is the tradition of the vulgar Jewish female entertainer.
Of course Lucille Ball could get away with acting goofy. After all, she was an extremely beautiful woman.
But with the coming of the age of equality of women and men, women felt free to be funny in public. And I believe that female comics are THE funniest.
At the New York trial of Lenny Bruce in 1963, the prosecutor told the jury that Mr. Bruce has used four-letter words in a mixed audience, as though women were somehow
either childlike or so fragile that hearing the F word or the C word would demolish their virtue.
But Pearl Willimas and other female comics were already using four letter words.
The liberation of females to be comics is a liberation for all of us because it liberates us to laugh more heartily.
Joan Rivers was an honest comic. She let it all hang out. Whatever negative things people say about her, much like Shlomo Carlebach, her enemies will probably cry at her funeral along with the rest of us.
Only weeks ago, when much of so-called liberal Hollywood shut its mouth, the only celebs speaking out in favor of Israel were people like Jon Voigt and Clint Eastwood and Joan, who called it like it is when she said that antisemite scum were the Israel haters.
I will miss Joan. The Jewish People will miss Joan. All decent people in the wider world will miss her.
My sainted mother of blessed memory always used to say to me, SHLOIMELE, MEN LAKHT FIN TSURIS. People laugh at tragedy. What else can we do if we are not going to continue to be whiney bitches? Oh that's going to far. Bullshit. That's something my brother would say but he is so phucking politcally correct. Now I know why he didn't like THE TONY AND SHLOMOH SHOW. He likes mild like so many phoney liberals.
She professes hatred for the unattractive (If you´re ugly, you should kill yourself’), the handicapped (It´s God´s way of saying don´t leave the house and steal Joan´s parking spot’) and the man in the audience who said he didn´t watch her at the Oscars (she can be strangely thin-skinned). God´s Love We Deliver, a service that brings meals to AIDS patients and is a primary recipient of her show´s profits, is disparaged accordingly. Because of advances in medicine, the AIDS patients she has been helping are not dying. I´ve been delivering dinner to the same fucking asshole for four years,’ she cries from the stage, and he´s getting fat!’
I started the night talking about 9/11,’ she says, still laughing. I hadn´t even warmed them up. That was my first subject. It was like, ‘Hello, good eveningso, who do you wish had died?´
If you knew what was going to happen on September 11th, who would you invite to breakfast at the World Trade Center?
Oh look at this room! What are you, a bunch of Christians? You´re telling me there aren´t people you want to see dead? I could give you a list a mile long!’
See a whole bunch more at
Joan Rivers's Most Outrageous Celeb Insults (Including the One She Thought Was Too Mean)
Elizabeth Taylor was a classic Joan Rivers target as was the topic of overweight celebrities in general but Rivers didn't save all her jabs for the late Oscar winner or the plus-sized famous types among us. Everyone from the president of the United States and the British royal family to Oprah Winfrey (to her face!) and North West inspired Rivers's no-holds-barred one-liners, though Rivers may have saved her harshest quips for a subject closer to home: herself.
Read on for some of her (greatest?) hits, including the one celebrity insult that she dropped from her act when the targeted celeb's daughter wrote her a letter.
On Kim Kardashian's infant daughter, North West:
Rivers told an audience at the Saban Theatre in Beverly Hills this past January, "That baby is ugly I've never seen a 6-month-old so desperately in need of a waxing."
On Gwyneth Paltrow being named the world's most beautiful woman by People magazine:
"Look at Gwyneth Paltrow being named the most beautiful this year. She got Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder to vote."
On Heidi Klum's 2013 Oscars dress:
"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens."
On Mel Gibson:
"As a Jew, I don't want to see Mel Gibson at a party. I don't want to run into him in the kitchen, because there's an oven in it, and I'm afraid of what he might do."
On the late Whitney Houston:
"I hate Houston. It's crawling with bugs Oh, wait, that's Whitney Houston; I'm sorry, my bad. (Can I just mention that Whitney looked fabulous at the Grammys? She was in mahogany from head to toe.)" From Rivers's book "I Hate Everyone Starting With Me"
On Chelsea Handler and ex-boyfriend and former E! executive Ted Harbert:
"No. 1, the girl made it on her back f---ing the president, we all know that, of the network. No. 2, she's fine, she's ordinary. She's not a genius. She's an ordinary girl that was f---ing somebody high up in the industry and they gave her a break and she's doing OK. Whatever she is, she's a drunk. I don't wish her good luck, I don't wish her bad luck. I don't think she's particularly funny."
On Tommy Lee Jones as a red carpet interviewee:
"He makes Hitler look warm and funny."
On Jennifer Lawrence tripping when she walked onstage to accept her Oscar in 2013:
"It just dawned on me why Jennifer Lawrence fell on her way up to the stage to get her Oscar. She tripped over her own arrogance."
On Angelina Jolie's high-cut, leg-baring gown at the 2012 Oscars:
"Everyone took her to task with that photograph with the leg out, but to me it looked as if she had a terrible yeast infection and she was trying to air it out."
"Rihanna confessed to Oprah Winfrey that she still loves Chris Brown. Idiot! Now it's MY turn to slap her."
On Willie Nelson (a joke that, Rivers recently told Andy Cohen on Watch What Happens Live!, was one of the rare ones she dropped from her act because Nelson's daughter wrote her a letter telling her that the bit had caused her to be teased at school):
"He wears a Roach Motel around his neck."
"Congratulations to Adele on the birth of her 68-pound, 8-ounces bouncing baby boy."
On Lindsay Lohan's many court appearances:
"Lindsay Lohan said she wouldn't mind being under oath because she thought Oath was a Norwegian ski instructor."
On Elizabeth Taylor (a favorite Rivers target for years):
"Elizabeth Taylor was so fat that whenever she went to London in a red dress, 30 passengers would try to board her.... Elizabeth Taylor's so fat, she puts mayonnaise on her aspirins.... Her favorite food is seconds.... Mosquitoes see Elizabeth Taylor and scream, 'Buffet!'.... Elizabeth Taylor pierced her ears and gravy ran out.... Elizabeth Taylor is wearing Orson Welles designer jeans.... She's so fat, she's my two best friends."
On Kate Winslet:
"If Kate Winslet had dropped a few pounds, the Titanic would never have sunk."
On Camilla Parker Bowles (who, along with her husband, Prince Charles, became a close friend of Rivers's):
"Camilla Parker Bowles is so ugly that at airports they make her frisk herself."
On Katie Holmes's acting skills in The Kennedys miniseries:
"Katie Holmes is not a very good actress. Did you see her try and play John F. Kennedy's wife? She was so bad he shot himself in it."
On first lady Michelle Obama (after calling President Obama gay):
"You know Michelle is a tranny."
On Kristen Stewart's relationship with her Snow White and the Huntsman director, Rupert Sanders (which, Rivers told TMZ, prompted Stewart to threaten to sue her):
"Many stars only do one thing well. Of course, the best one-trick-pony is Kristen Stewart, who got a whole career by being able to juggle a director's balls."
On Princess Diana's death:
"If you ever want to go to Paris, fly. Don't take the tunnel."
On Sarah Palin:
"I think Sarah Palin is an amazing woman. I think she represents everything strong a woman can be, and I think she should go someplace, to another planet, to show them, and get out of our face. ... They're right to blame Sarah for the shootings [of former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords]."
On Oprah Winfrey (to Oprah, who said she'd gained 50 pounds since winning a beauty contest, during an episode of The Tonight Show that Rivers was guest-hosting in 1985):
"You shouldn't let that happen to you! ... You're a pretty girl, and you're single. You must lose the weight!"
On Bo Derek:
"Bo Derek turned down the role of Helen Keller because she couldn't remember the lines."
Joan Rivers on Joan Rivers:
"I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio."
"My husband killed himself. And it was my fault. We were making love, and I took the bag off my head."
"My husband wanted to be cremated. I told him I'd scatter his ashes at Neiman Marcus. That way, I'd visit him every day."
"I was so ugly that they sent my picture to Ripley's Believe It or Not, and he sent it back and said, 'I don't believe it.'"
"I said to my husband, my boobs have gone, my stomach's gone, say something nice about my legs. He said, 'Blue goes with everything.'"
"The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are age appropriate. For me that would be a shroud."
"All I ever heard when I was a kid was, 'Why can't you be more like your cousin Sheila?' And Sheila had died at birth."
"I've had so much plastic surgery, when I die they will donate my body to Tupperware."
"I've learned: When you get older, who cares? I don't mince words, I don't hold back. What are you gonna do to me? Fire me? It's been done. Threaten to commit suicide? Done. Take away my show? Done! Not invite to me to the Vanity Fair party? I've never been invited! If I ever saw the invitation, I'd use it as toilet paper."
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