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Diatribe: Joan Rivers, Immature At Eighty, Has Gone Too Far.


JoanRiversI stumbled upon a rerun of E!’s Fashion Police last night while I was bumbling around the house.  The program features Joan Rivers and a selection of other co-hosts critique and comment on the wardrobe choices of Hollywood’s most beautiful women and other celebrity fashion.  I really don’t understand the appeal of this program particularly because Ms. Rivers is so MEAN.  It’s true that her reputation is built upon a brand of humor that is shocking and off-color, but she appears to have turned a corner toward hateful in her old age.

I used to be a big fan but Rivers, who will be eighty years old on June 8th, has fallen from the ranks of the most gifted observational humorists to one of the most crass insult comics working today.  Recently, Rivers placed pop star and new mom, Adele, in her crosshairs by cruelly mocking her during an appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman.  Rivers had met the 24-year-old singer at the Academy Awards.

“She was very scared because she was singing at the awards.  She kept saying, ‘My throat, my throat – I don’t know if I can swallow.’ Oh, yeah.  You can swallow.” – Joan Rivers

Rather than defend her hateful attack, Rivers instead continued to criticize the British singer because of her appearance.

“It’s not mean.  She’s a chubby lady who’s very, very rich, and she should just calm down — or lose weight!  She wanted an apology, so I took an ad out on her ass.  I said, ‘You are not fat.’  And then I had room for a lot of other ads.  Adele is beautiful and successful and has what, $100 million?  Let’s face reality … she’s fat!” – Joan Rivers

I would think that I woman who has struggled in the public eye to break glass ceilings throughout her fifty-plus year career would have a little respect for others in similar situations.  Furthermore, it is my opinion that Rivers is in no position to criticize anyone based upon their appearance.  She is quite open about her multiple cosmetic surgeries, the first of which was an eye lift in 1965, and should have learned by now that it’s what’s inside that counts.

Adele is positioned to be a role model for self-confident and talented young women the world over … proof positive that the contents are just as important as their packaging … while Rivers appears eager to replace her legacy as one of the first truly successful female comedians with a career coda of hateful remarks and attention-grabbing silliness.  For a woman of eighty she’s incredibly immature.


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From → Diatribes

  1. I’m kinda Team Joan here–though I loves me some Adele–because you know exactly what you get from her: crass, off-color, objectionable humor.
    If you like it–and you understand that it’s a joke–then you watch; if you don’t, you don’t. But remember that her biggest target is Joan Rivers herself; she makes more fun of herself than of anyone else.


    • I don’t know … young women have enough reasons to feel bad about themselves without worrying that mean old ladies will humiliate them if they’re not model-thin. Rivers may well be competing for the title of “World’s Oldest Bully”. I was a big fan of Rivers … when she was funny instead of hateful.


  2. Paul permalink

    Joan may target herself, but when the target is someone else, that’s no consolation to the victim of her vicious attacks. It hurts. Plain and simple, Joan is a bully.


  3. Barneysday permalink

    Agreed, Rivers has become a parody of herself, a mindless, crass, cruel joke. I used to be a fan, but not for years now. She is cruel for cruelty’s sake. I don’t think she ever recovered from her flop TV show after dissing Johnny Carson all those years ago.


    • She won an Emmy in 1990 and it’s been downhill since then. In her continuing quest to remain relevant she’s tried everything from writing self-help books, hawking plastic jewelry and voice-over work for cartoons. She refuses to quietly fade into obscurity with dignity.

      To her credit, she’s still “working” at 80 but, perhaps, she should consider permanent retirement before she alienates all of her long-time fans.


  4. Another funny woman, Florynce Kennedy, once said: “The motto of the aging southern woman is: If you can’t be sexy, cause trouble.” Who knew Joan Rivers was southern? Of course, she isn’t, but it appears she has adopted this motto for herself.

    I suspect JR has always been this vitriolic, but the decorous lid that prevailed on public statements in the 50s and 60s managed to keep her acidity level down. Now, with that lid rolling around on the floor, Joan, like so many others, feels free to say whatever crosses her brainpan.

    Poor Joan, after all that cosmetic surgery she’s probably not even biodegradable anymore. But, one day, she will run out of steam — or venom — and I hope that we will then remember the younger, funnier Joan. The one who, when Johnny Carson said to her on the Tonight Show, “Really, Joan, men love intelligent women,” replied: “Oh, come on, Johnny. No man ever felt his way up a woman’s leg looking for a library card.”


  5. Like you, I used to find Joan Rivers funny. She poked fun at herself as much as anyone and was always a great guest host for Johnny Carson. Now, she is more mean than funny and I don’t care much for what she says. That is kind of sad in a way, to be such a caricature of yourself. Good post, BTG


  6. I am a fan of Fashion Police, but I tend to tune out what Joan Rivers says if I can because she is mean. I do enjoy the comments & cutups of the other people on the show. Kelly Osborne has become quite funny!


  7. I think you hit the nail on the head, though. She’s had surgery after surgery, and she’s obsessed with appearances. It’s funny you write this, because not too long ago, she posted a photo on facebook of her dog or cat or whatever and it was climbing over the gifts hanging out under her Christmas tree.

    Now, maybe that doesn’t mean anything to you, but Joan is Jewish, and while everyone can say, “Oh, there are SO many Jews in Hollywood,” well, that might be so but not many of them act PROUD of it. If you look at most Jewish male stars, they marry non-Jewish women. They don’t discuss being Jewish, none of them discuss if they observe or keep kosher… it’s like they try to cover up when they think it might be inconvenient.

    So, am I surprised that Joan, who posts photos of Christmas trees, focuses on the easy-grabs of Adele’s weight and has a show entirely about appearances? No. If she ever was as talented as you say she was, she lost that gift long ago. Now she’s just mean. I don’t know anyone who watches that show for the commentary; they watch to see the pictures of the outfits.


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