| Art |

Joan Rivers Dead at 81: Eight Jokes from the Comedy Legend

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Legendary comedienne Joan Rivers has died at 81. Rivers never fully recovered from complications during an August 28 surgery in New York City, where she suffered cardiac arrest and was later placed in a medically-induced coma. On September 2, daughter Melissa Rivers revealed her mother was on life support.

"It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers," Melissa Rivers said in a written 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."

No one broke the glass ceiling quite like Joan Rivers. Hailed as the first woman to break through late night television, Rivers did stand-up gigs in clubs for years before a 1965 appearance on the The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson changed everything.

Rivers became the only permanent guest host on The Tonight Show for three years before she went on to become the first woman ever to host her own late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers on Fox.

After years of TV appearances, tours, and books, Rivers furthered her name for a new audience with Live from the Red Carpet for the E! Network (1996-2004), a staple of every award season. She returned to helm E's Fashion Police, hosting both its weekly broadcasts and its awards-season specials.

Through the fashion, plastic surgery, and countless controversies, Rivers remains one of entertainment's most beloved figures. Prior to her death, she continued to bring her comedy to audiences around the world, and even had shows scheduled around the U.S. and UK through November.

Those fortunate enough to have caught one of Rivers' performances know the bright, unflinching energy she harnessed, delivering each self-deprecating phrase, each off-color, politically-incorrect joke, with an unending zest that belied her age.

To celebrate the wisdom and humor of America's best bitchy critic, here are some of our favorite Joan Rivers jokes:

"I wish I had a twin so I could know what I'd look like without plastic surgery."

"The most beautiful women in the world are always the dumbest. The most beautiful woman in the whole world, Bo Derek ... This woman is an idiot. She studies for her Pap test."

"If God wanted me to bend over, he'd have put diamonds on the floor."

"I have flabby thighs, but fortunately my stomach covers them"

"I hate thin people; "Oh, does the tampon make me look fat?"

"At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents."

"I was just reading about the new Lindsay Lohan diet, which is all liquid. 80 proof."

"All babies look like Renée Zellweger pushed against a glass window."

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.