Instead let me share a few of my impressions of her.
I first became aware of her in the early 1980’s during her stint as permanent guest host on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. I mostly remember her telling a lot of fat jokes about Elizabeth Taylor although the two would later bury the hatchet as both women spent their time raising money for AIDS charities.
I also remember her falling out with Carson after she got her own talk show on the fledgling Fox network. She would be fired within six months and the show would eventually launch the late night career of Arsenio Hall.
But Rivers would bounce back in the 1990s on the E! network along with her daughter Melissa with their red carpet fashion shows prior to the Oscars and Emmys.
I have to admit that her humor wasn’t always my cup of tea. I recall when Rivers referred to Sarah Palin as a Nazi and “a retarded person”. For her part, Palin didn’t hold it against Rivers. They would subsequently appear together on ABC’s Wife Swap. Shortly after Rivers fell ill, Palin said she was praying for her.
With this in mind, I must also admit that I was smiling when she defended Israel in an interview with TMZ this past July noting that if New Jersey was launching rockets into New York “we would wipe them out.” She also lambasted singer Selena Gomez for tweeting her support of the Palestinians questioning if she could even spell Palestinian. That was an occasion where Rivers’ blunt manner was both warranted and welcome.
On a personal note, I did see Rivers up close and personal during the 2010 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Her float stopped right in front of me and my Dad. I was amazed by the amount of plastic surgery she had done on her face. If that seems an odd observation let’s remember it was Rivers who often joked, “I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they’ll donate my body to Tupperware.” Well, Tupperware’s gain is our loss.
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