Remembering Joan Rivers, A Comic Legend

Joan Rivers at Michael Musto's 25th Anniversary Party. Creative Commonsphoto by David Shankbone
Joan Rivers at Michael Musto’s 25th Anniversary Party. Creative Commons photo by David Shankbone

Written by Tami Benedict 

Legendary comedian Joan Rivers died in a New York hospital Thursday, a week after going into cardiac arrest during a medical procedure.

“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” Melissa Rivers said in a statement today. “She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. 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.”

Rivers, 81, was put on life support at Manhattan’s Mount Sinai hospital after she stopped breathing during a minor voluntary surgery at Yorkville Endoscopy. The clinic is now being investigated by the New York State Health Department.

The E! “Fashion Police” host was well known for her foul mouth and politically incorrect statements. She was not afraid to push buttons with her raunchy style of comedy. She was both scandalous and charming.

Her love for couture helped build her now famous catchphrase, “Who are you wearing?” A lifelong fashionista, she began doing red carpet coverage in the mid-1990s.

As harsh as Rivers could be, she made it clear that at times, it is ok to laugh at yourself, even telling her grandson to call her “Nana New Face.”

Rivers’ death was a shock to the nation, especially after seeing her at the MTV Movie Awards and the Emmys.

Although people may not have agreed with Rivers’ comedic style, I believe that she was still respected in the business. Rivers showed us that standing up for what we believe in was the right thing to do, regardless of how bad it may sound.

A Sunday service is set for Temple Emanu-El near Rivers’ East Side apartment, although it was unclear if the public would be invited.