Thursday, 02 December 2021 07:06 GMT

Comedian funeral set for Sunday in NY


(MENAFN- Arab Times) LOS ANGELES Sept 6 (Agencies): On 'The Ed Sullivan Show' in 1967 Joan Rivers joked about society's double-standard for women. 'A girl you're 30 years old you're not married you're an old maid' she said. 'A man he's 90 years old he's not married he's a catch.' At the time it was rare to see a female comic onstage and even rarer for an entertainer to talk frankly about being a woman. A few years later on 'The Carol Burnett Show' Rivers boasted about wearing a pushup bra laughed about the lack of sex in long marriages and blatantly said men like second wives better. Rivers who died Thursday at 81 was a trailblazer for all comics but especially for women. Funeral services will be held Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan the assistant to Rabbi Joshua Davidson confirmed on Friday. Services will be private Rivers' personal publicist Judy Katz said. Neither the temple nor Katz would give further details. Among those who lauded Rivers for paving the way for female comedians was David Letterman who called her 'a real pioneer for other women looking for careers in stand-up comedy' in his monologue Thursday. 'And talk about guts she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable... The force of her comedy was overpowering.' Ellen DeGeneres Kathy Griffin Louis CK Marlon Wayans and Wanda Sykes are among those who consider Rivers a hero. 'Thank you Joan for paving the way for broads like me' Sykes wrote on Twitter. No topic was too taboo for Rivers thus opening the door for Sarah Silverman to crack about racism and Margaret Cho to tell X-rated jokes and look cute while doing it. 'Every woman in comedy is indebted to her' Amy Poehler said in a statement. Rivers broke gender barriers because she was funny fearless and persistent and didn't try to be like the guys. She loved fashion and looking glamorous onstage. A 1954 graduate of Barnard College she was open about her desire to be married and the pressure on women to be both pretty and smart.   Like her comic peers at the time George Carlin Woody Allen Richard Pryor Rodney Dangerfield and Bill Cosby Rivers found comedy in her own life and its challenges. But while those men quickly went mainstream Rivers' road to fame was longer. 'I was the last one in the group to break through' she wrote in the Hollywood Reporter in 2012. 'Looking back I think it was because I was a woman.' Her breakthrough came on 'The Tonight Show' with Johnny Carson who told her on the air 'You're gonna be a star.'   Rift After many appearances on the show Rivers was named its first 'permanent guest host.' She held the position from 1983 to 1986 when she became the first woman to host a major-network late-night talk show of her own. Fox's 'The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers' was canceled after two seasons but the rift it caused with Carson was permanent he never spoke to her again. (Rivers' husband who produced her late-night show committed suicide a few months after its cancellation.) Rivers finally returned to 'The Tonight Show' now hosted by Jimmy Fallon as a guest earlier this year. She loved performing calling it 'my drug of choice' and never stopped working. Rivers published her 12th book 'Diary of a Mad Diva' in July hosted the E! network's 'Fashion Police' and starred in a reality show 'Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best' with her daughter Melissa Rivers. Melissa announced her mother's death which came a week after she suffered complications during a routine throat procedure.   Influence Rivers' influence though continues. She revolutionized red-carpet reporting mixing her love of fashion with her love of snark and carving out a niche that was hers alone. 'She transcended the male comedy world' said Virginia Commonwealth University professor Emilie Raymond. 'She opened a whole new realm of what was acceptable for women to talk about: politics sexuality and the notion of poking fun at celebrities in general.'   Though she was known for and known to joke about her love of plastic surgery she said aging didn't really matter in comedy. 'It matters in singing because the voice goes. It matters certainly in acting because you're no longer the sexpot' she wrote in 2012. 'But in comedy if you can tell a joke they will gather around your deathbed. If you're funny you're funny. Isn't that wonderful' Further tests are needed to pinpoint comedian Joan Rivers' cause of death the New York City medical examiner says.   Rivers who was 81 died Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. She had been hospitalized since Aug. 28 when she went into cardiac arrest during a routine procedure at a doctor's office. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances. Spokeswoman Julie Bolcer said that the 'cause and manner of death' will require further studies. Rivers' funeral is set for Sunday at Temple Emanu-El; services will be private and no other details were released.   As notables continued to post condolences and memories fans created a makeshift memorial on the doorstep on Rivers' Manhattan apartment building. Among those sharing their memories of Rivers: Prince Charles whose 2005 wedding was attended by Rivers. 'Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit an unstoppable sense of humor and an enormous zest for life' he wrote in a statement. 'She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable.' Britain's Prince Charles paid tribute to 'utterly irreplaceable' US comedian Joan Rivers on Friday after her death at the age of 81. Rivers attended Charles's wedding to the then Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005 and also performed at a special show to mark the heir to the British throne's 60th birthday in 2008.   The couple were 'deeply saddened' by her death royal officials said. 'Joan Rivers was an extraordinary woman with an original and indefatigable spirit an unstoppable sense of humour and an enormous zest for life. She will be hugely missed and utterly irreplaceable' Charles said in a statement. Rivers died in New York on Thursday. She had been in hospital since Aug 28 when she reportedly stopped breathing during a medical procedure on her vocal cords. Charles eldest son of Britain's Queen Elizabeth II is known for his love of comedians such as Spike Milligan and Robin Williams who died last month in a suspected suicide.   Chris Rock spoke to Variety about his new comedy 'Top Five' which premieres at the Toronto Film Festival on Saturday night. During the interview he took a moment to reflect on the death of Joan Rivers this week at 81: 'I met Joan Rivers on the worst day of her life. I did the very last 'The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers' on Fox. It was my first time on television. Her show just gotten cancelled and her husband had just shot himself in the head. And for whatever reason she decided to go and do the last show. Boy did I learn about the show must go on that day.   'She had it together on camera. When we were on commercial she was losing it a little bit. I can definitely say I saw her start to cry. She kept it together. That was the first time I met her. 'There's a weird thing that happens in art when you meet somebody and they are 30 years older than you. But if you last in the business long enough one day you're the same age-you're peers. The last few years I would bump into her and talk comedy. I just loved Joan Rivers. My family we watched 'The Tonight Show' for Rivers. We liked Johnny Carson but we loved Joan Rivers. I know I'm going to get shit for that. But that's how it was in Bed-Stuy.'


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