Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Mouth That Roared. . . Joan Rivers, Talented American . . . RIP

I've been bothered—actually, haunted—for weeks about the senseless death of Joan Rivers. An attractive, charming, gifted Jewish girl born in Brooklyn, unlike her female predecessors—Sophie Tucker and Fanny Brice—she wrote her own material. She pursued a career as an actress, dancer and singer. She urged women to barter sex for rewards. "Marry rich. Buy him a pacemaker, then stand behind him and say BOOOOH!"

I was not a big follower until I learned that her demise occurred only one block from my home on East 93rd Street!!! Since her death I've become an ardent fan.

All the fascinating facts that have surfaced in the media about this remarkable woman:

  • Born to Russian immigrant parents, Dr. Meyer and Beatrice Molinsky
  • A brilliant student, graduated from Barnard College a Phi Beta Kappa
  • A woman beloved by millions, who gave a great deal of her wealth to the needy of this planet
  • A lifelong fighter, a woman who fought with honor on all levels of a woman's professional life
  • Called in the reknowned paper, The Jewish Week, 'Yente-in-Chief'
  • Known as a very pretty woman before multiple cosmetic surgeries
  • Devoted to her daughter, grandson and relatives
  • Her humor was unsurpassed

"You've heard of A Cup, B Cup, and C Cup. Well, you're looking at demitasse!"

"I want a Jewish delivery… to be knocked out in the delivery room and wake up two weeks later at the hair dresser's!"

"Dress by Oscar de la Rental; body by Oscar Meyer"

Joan Rivers peppered her routines with Yiddish words to proclaim her Jewish identity.

Of Elizabeth Taylor, she said, "Her thighs are going condo!" and "She wears stretch caftans!" "She has more chins than a Chinese phone book!"

I've grown this last month to have a new and tremendous respect for this woman, who was funnier than most of us will ever be!

I'd love to hear from you… what is your feeling about Joan Rivers? How were you affected by her sad and untimely death?

Thelma J. Straw, who doesn't have the funny gift but loves those who do!


  1. Have you seen Sarah Silverman's SNL salute to Joan Rivers hosting celebs in heaven? It just aired last night. I loved it, plus she "gave good Joan Rivers."

    In the past ty (gasp!) years, people either loved or hated her, but I always loved her even when I wasn't sure I wanted to feel the acid. When I was a child, I watched those daytime talk shows Merv Griffin and Mike Douglas. She was the only woman performing standup comedy, so she was a welcome guest in my living room. I was raised with a mix of midwestern and southern manners, so her more caustic work made me blink, but I stiill respected her work, her changing voice.
    Rock on, Joan.

    1. Rhonda, thanks for stopping by! You add more to our regard for this talented woman! Thelma

  2. NOT me. Though I laughed at the crack about the Chins in the Chinese phonebook when I read it just now, I find that You're-fat-and-I'm-not kind of attack cheap and cruel. And even worse coming from someone who was otherwise privileged and gifted. There were so many less nasty oaths she could have taken. I love watching the Academy Awards, but I would not tune in 45 seconds early for fear of having her nasty voice spoil my good time. I am sorry she died. I understand there were millions who loved her. But as I said, NOT me.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, talented Annamaria. Your comments only prove what a wonderful land we live in, that we can all have such different thoughts, yet be sisters and brothers under the USA flag!

  3. Great blog about Joan Rivers. I was a fan and saw her in person couple of years ago. She was an equal opportunity insulter.
    She was a great comedian, trailblazer, and designer.

  4. Thanks for stopping by, Merrily. Love your phrase - equal opportunity insulter! That she was! Thelma

  5. Joan was a hard act to follow. Some times, listening to her was like having a fork dragged across my back and yet, I giggled and laughed at her wit, and the crazy way she looked at the world. I will miss her input in this crazy world. I'm sure she would have had something quite caustic and biting to say about anyone else who had died in such a strange way as she did. With Joan nothing was off limits.

    1. Thanks, Margaret - very apt phrase --- like having a fork dragged across your back! Thelma

  6. Had a nice note from our friend at MWA-NY - Jonathan Santlofer." Liked your Joan Rivers blog a lot!" Thelma

  7. Another nice note --- from Bella Browne in NYC... " Very much enjoyed your blog! Keep them coming!" Bella Browne

  8. She was a remarkable woman, although honestly, I don't follow celebrity personalities. As for humorists, I miss Bob Hope.

  9. Thanks, Nancy, for taking time to join us! I know how busy you are and how much you contribute to MWA in Florida!!! As you see in my blog, I became her fan only after reading about that horrible senseless way she died! Thelma

  10. Thelma, Thanks for this. I was a big fan. She was part of my growing up. Her death was sad and senseless, but her humor will live on.
    Barbara Bent

  11. Thanks, Barbara. A part of your growing up is fascinating... did you ever meet her? Did you see her on TV or in person? The more I read, the more I see she was a force in many lives. Take care, Thelma