by: Mike Kane
Whether or not you realize it, Joan Rivers is one of the most important artists of the 20th Century.
To put it into perspective, Joan was talking about her marriage in 1966, on TV with Johnny Carson, saying that when she moved into her new husband’s apartment, it was a very manly apartment: “You know, a lot of leather and chains.” SERIOUSLY! 1966!
When Joan did Jerry Lewis’s telethon she witnessed Jerry standing next to a young boy on camera saying: “This boy is going to die.” Joan, mortified that he would say something like that in front of the boy, then called Jerry an “Unfunny, lucky asshole.” Jerry later admitted to threatening Joan with physical harm after the incident.
When Joan left Carson to do her own talk show, Johnny never spoke to her again. All of her counterparts who also left Carson (the platform that MADE them), Carlin, Pryor, Cosby – ALL men, stayed in the good graces of Carson and The Tonight Show. Do you see what I’m getting at here?
In 2013, Joan compared living in her daughter’s guest room to the three women who were kidnapped and held against their will in Ohio. Joan, once again, was pressured to apologize for her statement. “I know what those girls went through. It was a little, stupid joke. There is nothing to apologize for. I made a joke. That’s what I do. Calm down. ”
2014 is a time when we need Joan Rivers more than ever. We live in a very apologetic society. Joan refused to apologize. She did countless Holocaust jokes saying: “People are forgetting about the Holocaust.” (She had numbers tattooed on her wrist in remembrance.) This was her way of saying “don’t forget what happened” through comedy. Joan and her unapologetic nature is a dying breed in entertainment…scratch that, an EXTINCT BREED. There is nobody left. You see, because there were no apologies, there was no shtick, no bit, no act. If a comedian goes over what is considered “the line” now, they say they are sorry. By doing that, they are discounting their whole being, the whole point of why they do what they do.
Joan Rivers: the unapologetic comic, writer, TV personality and icon will be missed by everyone, whether you know it now or not.