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Joan Rivers’ comedic legacy

Everyone seems to have remembered Joan Alexandra Molinksy (commonly known as Joan Rivers) for her vicious wit and blunt opinions. Throughout her career, she acted as a female trailblazer, paving the way for a new kind of comedy and opportunities for women in a genre dominated by men. Sadly, on Thursday, September 4, the laughing stopped for Rivers. She passed away after facing complications while undergoing vocal cord surgery in Manhattan.

During her lifetime, Rivers perfected the comedic arts across several different categories. Beginning her career in 1965, she served as a guest on “The Tonight Show”with Johnny Carson. After 21 years, Rivers launched a competing program called “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” at which point Johnny, formally her mentor, cut all ties with her. Nevertheless, with this new chapter in Rivers’ life, she became the first woman to host her own late night talk show.

Rivers went on to create 12 h biographical books, write and direct a film called “Rabbit Test” featuring Billy Crystal, serve as an opening act for multiple singers on the Las Vegas Strip, and to host an episode of “Saturday Night Live” in 1983. Her accomplishments are endless, from regularly appearing on The Shopping Channel, to serving as a contestant on the 2009 season of “Celebrity Apprentice”, and even emerging on a new show beside her daughter, Melissa, called “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?

Recently, Rivers has been recognized in the TV industry as a judge on “Fashion Police,” broadcasted on E! Network. Alongside Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourneand George Kotsiopoulos, Rivers would criticize and compliment celebrity fashion. Episodes of “Fashion Police” usually consisted of Rivers making hilariously rude jabs at celebrities’ fashion sense, while also praising them from time to time.

During her 55 years in the comedic business, Rivers created her own style of humor. She would insult herself, often times by referring to her excessive plastic surgery operations. Rivers once said, “My body is my temple and my temple needs refurbishing.”

Rivers was famous for her insulting of celebrities, never being afraid to “tell it like it is.” She was criticized time after time for her truthful if nasty antics, like poking fun at the body images of public figures (Adele, for instance) or even going as far as to make jokes about the Holocaust

On one occasion when Rivers found herself scrutinized by the public, she said, “I’ve learned to have absolutely no regrets about any jokes I’ve ever done…You can tune me out, you can click me off, it’s OK. I am not going to bow to political correctness.”

Some people viewed Rivers’ humor as disgusting or inappropriate—and, for the most part, it was. At the same time, though, she should be held at a high level of respect for being able to launch such an innovative movement. Thanks to Rivers, women are now gaining attention in the field of comedy. While jumping from achievement to achievement during her lifetime, Rivers’ personal sense of humor, a unique form of art, never waivered.

Throughout the years, Rivers was dubbed a classic diva thanks to her bold comedic stunts and fashion expertise. Because of this, it’s no surprise that she left this world in the most outrageously stylish way possible. More than 500 people (celebrities included, of course) attended Rivers’ memorial service this past Sunday, September 7.

The guest list reportedly included Donald Trump, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kathie Lee Gifford, Barbara Walters, Whoopi Goldberg and Howard Stern, all of whom showed up at Temple Emanu-El in New York City to pay their respects to the late comedian.

The service featured performances by Broadway sensations Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman. At the end of the service, bagpipers marched through the streets, past crowds of fans who gathered for Rivers. Her grieving supporters left flowers, gifts and cards out of respect for her family (namely her daughter, Melissa Rivers, and Melissa’s son, Cooper).

In her 2012 book, “I Hate Everyone…Starting With Me,” Rivers talked about what she wanted her funeral to consist of. She wrote about how she wished to have “a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action…I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents.” While it appears that the ceremony maybe didn’t include this specific wish, the event seemed to be nothing short of a fitting tribute to the larger-than life star amazing.

Following Rivers’ memorial service, longtime friend and designer Dennis Basso announced the dedication of his spring 2015 collection to Rivers during New York Fashion Week. Basso asked the audience for a moment of silence before his runway show began.

“Basso delivered a collection of gorgeous cocktail dresses and evening furs-fit for a queen—or rather, fit for a Joan,” E! News reported.

Even after Rivers’ death, it’s evident her legacy has, and will continue to, live on.

Rest easy, Rivers. You will be missed.

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Joan Rivers’ comedic legacy