Comedienne Joan Rivers has passed away today at the age of 81, one week after going into cardiac and respiratory arrest during a procedure on her throat. The evening before the terrible event, Ms. Rivers joked about her age and that she could die "at any second." State health officials are investigating the clinic at which the procedure took place.
Joan Rivers was basically "discovered" by Johnny Carson and was a frequent guest and guest-host of the Tonight Show in the early 1980s.
Recently, Ms. Rivers, never a stranger to controversy, made a bit of news when suggesting that Barack Obama was America's first gay president and calling Michelle Obama a "tranny." In typical Rivers style, no apology was forthcoming for the not-particularly-humorous comment.
OK, not every joke hits its target, but for decades of sometimes-shocking entertainment and breaking the glass ceiling for female comedians, Joan Rivers deserves our appreciation.
Our thoughts are with her family and friends on this sad day.