Yesterday Joan Rivers died, at the age of 81, after she stopped breathing during a procedure on her vocal cords last week. Despite her age, it’s all been a bit of a shock, and it’s a huge loss for the comedy world. She was a true pioneer. But, if she could, we imagine Rivers would love to be cracking brilliantly sick jokes about her own death right now.
That’s why we loved Joan Rivers: her acerbic, no-holds-barred approach and cutting gags, no matter the consequences, were inspirational to generations of comedians. She was certainly no stranger to controversy. From the early ’60s the Brooklyn-born comic made a career from saying the unsayable, whipping audiences into hysterics with streams of brash, unapologetic bitchiness.
But the key to Rivers’s humour was that she was always the butt of the joke. With a diva reputation to outshine Mariah Carey, and a face so surgically altered it wouldn’t look out of place at Madame Tussauds, Rivers knew she was every bit as bad as the superstars she mocked.
Not everyone saw the joke, though. In fact, Rivers’s mouth got her into plenty of trouble. So, what better way to say goodbye to the US comedy hero than by celebrating some of Joan Rivers’s most controversial moments.
Looking for more comedy features?
‘They want to extend the Northern line, but I think this is Morden adequate.’
The twee comedian and ‘Harry Potter’ star draws Time Out a few London-themed drawings
The hellraising US stand-up and Time Out favourite picks his favourite fellow comics
The Foster’s Award nominee talks us through some hidden gems from his record collection
The ten shows that'll make you laugh most this month
Musical comedians pick their favourite tracks by the king of musical parody
A scruffy, bearded man who plays to rooms packed with lefties. Is Liam Williams the comedy Jeremy Corbyn?
As part of the #TimeOutTakeover, reader Jen Wakefield meets sketch troupe Minor Delays
The Australian comedian has turned spiritual guru in his latest show. Here, he gives Time Out a quick relaxation lesson
This year's Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award-winner. But what made this new show the funniest at the Fringe? We speak to the Aussie absurdist
You may also like
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...