Joan Alexandra Molinsky  June 8, — September 4,known professionally as Joan Riverswas an American comedian, actress, writer, producer, and television host. She was noted for her often controversial comedic persona—heavily self-deprecating or sharply acerbic, especially toward celebrities and politicians.
Rivers rose to prominence in as a How joan rivers changed my life on The Tonight Show. Hosted by her mentor, Johnny Carsonthe show established Rivers' comedic style. Inwith her own rival program, The Late Show with Joan RiversRivers became the first woman to host a late night network television talk show.
From the mids, she became known for her comedic red carpet awards show celebrity interviews,   and inshe was the Celebrity How joan rivers changed my life Winner. Rivers co-hosted the E! She was the subject of the documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work In addition to marketing a line of jewelry and apparel on the QVC shopping channel, Rivers authored 12 best-selling books and three LP comedy albums under her own name: Within 2 years, she performed in the School Cavalcades, and inaged 16, she was vice president of the Dramatic Club.
She attended Connecticut College between andand graduated from Barnard College in with a B. During the late s, Rivers appeared in a short off- Broadway run play, Driftwoodco-starring Barbra Streisand.
Rivers became friends with her fellow Greenwich Village comedians Woody Allen and George Carlin and often ate with them. The group parted ways shortly afterwards, on which member Holmes later recalled: We were going to play at the rally.
Joan showed up with a [Republican Senate nominee Kenneth] Keating button on. And Jim said take that off. She said no — she was sticking to her political guns.
And Jim said, "Who needs you, anyway? She also made an appearance as a guest on the television program The Tonight Show originating from New York, hosted at the time by Jack Paar. After seven auditions during a period of three years, she made her first appearance on The Tonight Show with new host Johnny Carsonon February 17, She also wrote material for the puppet Topo Gigio.
She had a brief role in the cult drama film The Swimmerstarring Burt Lancasterand at the time, she also had a short-lived syndicated daytime talk show, That Show with Joan Riverswhich premiered on September 16, Each episode had a theme and Rivers did an opening monologue based on the day's topic, followed by celebrity interviews. By the s, Rivers continued to be a prominent fixture on television.
Along with her other guest-spots on the late-night circuit, she also made appearances in The Carol Burnett Showhad a semi-regular stint on Hollywood Squares and guest-starred in Here's Lucy. It ran for only nine performances amid a negative critical reception.
Though a New York Times reviewer criticized the production as "frenetic to the point of being frazzled", he praised Rivers as "a deft comedy writer" and "a very funny lady". The film, based on a Rivers' story, became a ratings success and has been considered a "cult classic". The film flopped at the box office and was panned by critics. During the early and mids, Rivers found further success on stand-up and television, though How joan rivers changed my life decade subsequently proved to be controversial for her.
Though there would occasionally be other guest hosts between and mid including David Brenner and Garry ShandlingRivers was by far the most frequently seen Tonight Show guest host during this era. At the time, she spoke of her primary Tonight Show life as having been "Johnny Carson's daughter", a reference to his longtime mentoring of her.
During the s and s Rivers served on the advisory board of the National Student Film Institute. A television special based on the character, a mock tribute called Joan Rivers and Friends How joan rivers changed my life Heidi Abramowitz, later aired on Showtime. In came the move that ended Rivers' longtime friendship with Johnny Carson. The soon-to-launch Fox Television Network announced that it was giving her a late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Riversmaking Rivers the first woman to have her own late-night talk show on a major network.
Eastern Timemaking her a Carson competitor. Carson learned of the show from Fox and not from Rivers.
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In the documentary, Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, Rivers said she only called Carson to discuss the matter after learning he may have already heard about it and that he immediately hung up on her.
In the same interview, she said that she later came to believe that maybe she should have asked for his blessing before taking the job. Rivers did not appear on the Tonight Show again until February 17,when she made a brief appearance on new host Jimmy Fallon 's first episode. When Rivers challenged FOX executives, who wanted to fire How joan rivers changed my life husband Edgar Rosenberg as the show's producer, the network fired them both on May 15, Three months later, on August 14,Rosenberg committed suicide in Philadelphia; Rivers blamed the tragedy on his "humiliation" by Fox.
During the airing of her late-night show, she made the voice-over role of Dot Matrix in the science-fiction comedy Spaceballsa parody mainly on Star Wars.
The film, directed and co-starring Mel Brookswas a critical and commercial success, later becoming a "cult classic". Rivers subsequently appeared on various television shows, including the Pee-wee's Playhouse Christmas Special in December She also appeared as one of the center square occupants on the —89 version of The Hollywood Squareshosted by John Davidson.
On How joan rivers changed my life 5,The Joan Rivers Showher daytime television program, premiered in broadcast syndication.
The best thing about her daytime talker is that Rivers' stream-of-consciousness chattiness is allowed to guide the show — you never know where the conversation is going to go". In the film, co-starring Alex Rocco and Telma Hopkinsshe took on the role How joan rivers changed my life a Beverly Hills matron possessed with the idea her husband is trying to kill her.
On this professional endeavor, Rivers said: My career was over. I had bills to pay. It also intrigued me at the beginning". InRivers and daughter Melissa first hosted the E! It aired on NBC on May 15, Influenced by the stand-up comedy of Lenny BruceRivers co-wrote and starred in a play about Bruce's mother Sally Marrwho was also a stand-up comic and influenced her son's development as a comic.
After 27 previews, Sally Marr If you admire performers for taking risks, then you can't help but applaud her efforts". Just Keep the Fire Lit!
Rivers was a guest speaker at the opening of the American Operating Room Nurses' San Francisco Conference inand by the first part of the decade, she continued to host the awards' red carpet for the E! Between andshe embarked on tour with her one-person comedy show Joan Rivers: Throughout the decade, Rivers often appeared in various television game shows, including 8 Out of 10 CatsBig Brother: InRivers and daughter Melissa were contestants on the season eight of Celebrity Apprentice.
During the season, each celebrity raised money for a charity of his or her choice; Rivers selected God's Love We Deliver. Rivers later returned to the show and on May 3,she became a finalist in the series.
How joan rivers changed my life The other finalist was Duke. The program, which ran for two seasons, followed Rivers traveling around the United States interviewing self-made millionaires.
Murder at the Academy Awards R: And They Like Big Boobs: A documentary film about Rivers, Joan Rivers: The film follows Rivers for 14 months, mostly during the 76th year of her life,  and made an effort to "[peel] away the mask" and expose the "struggles, sacrifices and joy of living life as a ground breaking female performer. The show started as a half-hour program but due to its success with viewers, it was expanded to one hour on March 9, The series follows her moving in with her daughter to California to be closer to her family.
The show ran for four seasons until Club praised the choice of having Rivers guest star since she was able to "employ her trademark humor within the world of The Simpsons without hijacking the plot or satire". Drop Dead Diva and Hot in Cleveland. Rivers released her eleventh How joan rivers changed my life I Hate Everyone Starting with Me on June 5, The New York Times remarked that there were "more punch lines per paragraph than any book I've read in years",  and Publishers Weekly felt that "Rivers is equally passionate and opinionated on every subject she discusses.
Hilarious and undeniably original".
She handcuffed herself to a shopping cart and shouted through a megaphone. The police were called to the scene and she left without incident; no arrests were made. In it, Rivers invited a different guest to talk to her in bed about different things including their past, their love life and their career.
During her year career as a comedian, her tough-talking style of satirical humor was both praised and criticized as truthful, yet too personal, too gossipy, and very often abrasive. Nonetheless, with her ability to "tell it like it is," she became a pioneer of contemporary stand-up comedy.
Commenting about her style, she told biographer Gerald Nachman"Maybe I started it. We're a very gossipy culture. All we want to know now is private lives. Her jokes about Elizabeth Taylor and Adele 's weight, for instance, were often commented on, although Rivers would never apologize for her humor. Rivers, who was Jewish, was also criticized for making jokes about the Holocaust and later explained, "This is the way I remind people about the Holocaust.
I do it through humor", adding, "my husband lost his entire family in the Holocaust. It was a little stupid joke. You can tune me out, you can click me off, it's OK.
I am not going to bow to political correctness. But How joan rivers changed my life do have to learn, if you want to be a satirist, you can't be part of the party. In How joan rivers changed my life of her grief at the loss of her dog, she was glowing.
Rory: I have my own place and i work. Do you play any musical instrument? I can teach you how to play the piano. I was offered to work as a model and an actress, but I prefer books, silence and my grandmother. I can listen to people who are around me.
I was seated next to Lynne Koplitz, a comedian and friend of Joan's, who is a regular on the show. When I got up to walk to the podium, I tripped over Lynne's dog's leash (because of course dogs were invited to a dog.