The Late Show (1986–1988)
1. "Suddenly Susan" (1999)
Kathy Griffin played the (naturally) acerbic best friend of Brooke Shields in this long-running sitcom, and Rivers had a recurring guest role as her onscreen mom. Check out the clip below, and then read Griffin's tribute to her friend and idol.
2. "Curb Your Enthusiasm" (2002)
This appearance was a meta moment, showing Rivers doing her red carpet thing to comedian Richard Lewis, a regular fixture on Larry David's anxiety-fest of a show. The two were old pals in real life from the stand-up circuit. Rivers gets some real zings in during this short clip,
Rivers died at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, surrounded by family and close friends, daughter Melissa Rivers said. She was hospitalized Aug. 28 after going into cardiac arrest in a doctor's office following a routine procedure. The New York state health department is investigating the circumstances.
"My mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh," Melissa Rivers said. "Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."
Under the immobile, plastic surgery-crafted veneer that became Joan Rivers' unapologetic trademark as she aged, her wit remained as vibrantly raw and unruly as when she first broke her way into a comedy world belonging largely to men.
Joan Rivers, Forever Young
Photo credit: E! Entertainment Network
Joan Alexandra Molinsky was born in Brooklyn, New York, and was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate from Barnard College. As she developed her comic act, her agent at the time – Tony Rivers – suggested a name change, so Joan took his last name as hers. She was fired by Rivers as a result. Her training in comedy included a seven-month stint at The Second City in Chicago, but she got her feet wet in the comedy clubs in New York City in the 1960s, which included fellow comedy performers like George Carlin,
The transition from stand-up comedian to the host of E!’s Fashion Police isn’t a typical career trajectory in the land of Hollywood. But for Rivers, the move from comedian to fashion maven was perfectly natural, and that probably had something to do with the fact that it wasn’t much of a “move.” Rivers never stopped being a comedian.
Born in Brooklyn in 1933, Rivers began her career as a stand-up comic in New York City in the early 1960s, which led to regular appearances and guest hosting duties on The Tonight Show as well as various variety and entertainment shows such as The Ed Sullivan Show, The Carol Burnett Show and Hollywood Squares.
In the 1980s, Rivers became the first female comedian to perform at Carnegie Hall, and also the first female to front her own talk show, signing a bumper contract to host The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers. She would subsequently win a Daytime Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show, which she hosted for five years, picking up another six nominations as host and writer.
Whenever Joan Rivers asked that question, she wasn’t asking permission. Right up until the moment she died at age 81 on Sept. 4 in Manhattan, it was clear that she was going to talk, loudly and often, and you were going to listen.
One of the first truly transgressive female comedians, both on the stand-up circuit and as Johnny Carson’s permanent guest host on The Tonight Show in the 1980s, she was famous for bringing her whip-smart, acid-tongued wit to any subject, no matter how off-limits. Rivers could tackle abortion, 9/11, or Hollywood’s most taboo topic—aging
Legendary comedian Joan Rivers, known for her acerbic wit, boundless energy and tenacious work ethic, has passed away at the age of 81. Rivers was a trailblazing performer and writer who redefined Hollywood and society's expectations for women.
Coming of age in an era where women were quickly making inroads in the workplace, Rivers forged her own road in the male-dominated world of comedy, breaking the glass ceiling of late night television by becoming the only permanent guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. She then went on to become the first and only woman to ever host her own late night network show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers.
Photos: Joan River's 16 Best Quotes
Multi-talented Rivers didn't limit her career to comedy -- she acted, wrote hugely successful books, hosted Fashion Police and Live from the Red Carpet on E!, and starred on the WeTV reality series Melissa and Joan:
Related Joan Rivers: 15 Memorable (and Hilarious) Career Moments
Rivers, 81, had been in a medically induced coma at New York City’s Mount Sinai Hospital since her heart stopped beating during a doctor’s office procedure on her vocal cords. She had been moved to a private room on Wednesday, and was reportedly taken off life support this afternoon.
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,
Joan Rivers Dies
Rivers' tragic passing was confirmed by her daughter Melissa Rivers, who had rushed to her side following the ill-fated outpatient surgery. “It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother, Joan Rivers,” wrote Melissa, who was tasked with deciding to take her mother off of life support after doctors had placed her into a medically induced coma last week.
“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,” Melissa continued. “Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support,
Though Leno ruled late night for years as the host of "The Tonight Show," he did not enjoy the same dominance when his new show launched back in September 2009. Though the show started strong, the ratings quickly bottomed out. The low numbers upset local affiliates, whose 11 p.m. newscasts were tanking because the lead-in audience was so low.
"The Jay Leno Show" joins an elite club of spectacular talk show disasters.
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