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Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 4th, 2014, 3:36 pm
by Dustin Stinett
Joan Rivers has passed away at 81. And what does that have to do with magic? She often spoke of the period that she was Kuda Bux's assistant.

http://www.nbcnews.com/pop-culture/cele ... 81-n191416

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 4th, 2014, 3:40 pm
by Dustin Stinett
And imagine ... if there is a heaven ... having Joan Rivers come up to you before going through the Pearly Gates and asking, "Who are you wearing?"

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 4th, 2014, 3:57 pm
by Rick Ruhl
Robin is behind her making faces ;)

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 4th, 2014, 9:45 pm
by Bill Mullins
Dustin Stinett wrote:And imagine ... if there is a heaven ... having Joan Rivers come up to you before going through the Pearly Gates and asking, "Who are you wearing?"


I think St. Peter would walk up and say, "Joan, hon, you've spent a whole lot of time being mean to people. You need to go sit over there and think about things for a while, and quit bothering these folks."

I see obituaries focusing on her drive and work ethic, and dancing around how so much of her humor was hurtful.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 4th, 2014, 11:59 pm
by Don Hendrix
Bill Mullins wrote:
Dustin Stinett wrote:And imagine ... if there is a heaven ... having Joan Rivers come up to you before going through the Pearly Gates and asking, "Who are you wearing?"


I think St. Peter would walk up and say, "Joan, hon, you've spent a whole lot of time being mean to people. You need to go sit over there and think about things for a while, and quit bothering these folks."

I see obituaries focusing on her drive and work ethic, and dancing around how so much of her humor was hurtful.

Nothing like attacking bad taste with bad taste.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 1:36 am
by Dustin Stinett
Too soon?

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 2:21 am
by Max Maven
For Bill Mullins:

You might alter your opinion if you watch the 2010 documentary about her, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work -- particularly the scene during a casino performance where an audience member angrily denounces one of her jokes. Her reply is, in several ways, quite beautiful.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 2:47 am
by Brad Jeffers
Is this the scene you are refering to?

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 8:11 am
by Doomo
Sorry but we have become so freakin PC that we cant sit back and laff... Someone is ALWAYS going to be offended by SOMETHING someone says. So if the person is working. And they are good... Which Joan was... Shut the F+@# up!Let them work!

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 9:26 am
by Kevin Connolly
When did the easily/supposedly offended become the voice for everyone?

I'm might be a tad old though. I remember it when it was a free country. Not so much today.

BTW Joan River was great. :)

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 9:31 am
by I.M. Magician
We have lost two wonderful talents this week and both of them happened to be 81. Lubor Fiedler and Joan Rivers.

For me, both of them were brilliant people who added much to my entertainment.

I will miss them very much.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 11:35 am
by Richard Kaufman
Someone has to say, and I'll be the one.

Joan Rivers was a very funny and talented comedian--30 years ago.

For the past several decades she has embodied everything that is vile about American culture. She looked like a freak from the plastic surgery in a quest not to look her age, and she was a mean and nasty bitch who delighted in making other people uncomfortable and feel stupid.

Good riddance.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 11:58 am
by Chris Aguilar
Richard Kaufman wrote:
Good riddance.


Image

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 11:58 am
by Bill Mullins
Doomo wrote:Sorry but we have become so freakin PC that we cant sit back and laff... Someone is ALWAYS going to be offended by SOMETHING someone says


I wasn't particularly offended by her material, I just didn't care for it. My criticism wasn't meant or intended in a PC way -- I enjoy, and would recommend, a lot of vulgar and insult comedians. I about peed myself watching Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the premiere of Attack of the Clones. The Don Rickles documentary is worth watching, and so is the Aristocrats.

Don Hendrix wrote:Nothing like attacking bad taste with bad taste.


No, bad taste would have been to point out that when Joan Rivers went on life support, so did her daughter Melissa's career. (to me, that is exactly the sort of line Rivers would have used, and it exemplifies what I didn't like about her)

But taste is the operative word here. Much of Joan Rivers' comedy leaves me flat, and from reading obits this week, I think that many others feel the same way. I don't see praise for her humor the same way i did when Robin Williams died. Personal taste isn't wrong or right, it simply is. If she made you laugh, I'm glad for you and for her.

To Max -- I watched the clip Brad linked to, and there is a lot going on in it. As I am not a performer, I'm sure that my reaction is completely different from yours. I realize that she had an obligation to the audience as a whole to get the show back on track, and stomping on the heckler was her way to do that quickly and directly. From a professional standpoint, she did what was necessary, and did it well. Having said all that, I didn't find it beautiful, just skillful. I respect her ability to manage the situation (and the littering comeback was very funny). On your recommendation, I'll look for the whole documentary, but I've felt this way about her since her days as regular co-host of the Tonight Show, and I would be surprised if my opinion changed.

TL;DR -- Joan Rivers passed away. She was hard working and good at her job. Her brand of humor didn't appeal much to Bill Mullins.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 12:19 pm
by Dustin Stinett
I think it's interesting that this woman can elicit so many reactions and emotions. She would probably be pleased by that.

I brought her up out of the fact that she had a connection to magic, not because I am a fan.

I lost any connection I had with Joan Rivers when she slighted Johnny Carson by not simply asking him for his counsel before accepting the FOX show while being groomed to take over the Tonight Show.

But it wasn't just that. It was her "explanation" that she felt that had she called him first, it would have been leaked and the deal would fall through. So not only did she not want the input of the man who gave her the biggest break of her career, she made it clear that she did not trust him. I wouldn't take her call either.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 8:42 pm
by Max Maven
Richard Kaufman wrote:Someone has to say, and I'll be the one.

Joan Rivers was a very funny and talented comedian--30 years ago.

For the past several decades she has embodied everything that is vile about American culture. She looked like a freak from the plastic surgery in a quest not to look her age, and she was a mean and nasty bitch who delighted in making other people uncomfortable and feel stupid.

Good riddance.


Well... I just can't let this one slide.

Your proclamation that she "was a very funny and talented comedian--30 years ago" is not a fact, it's an opinion. Her career offers evidence that not everyone shared your view. And, of course, no one forced you to watch her perform. Indeed, given your vehement dislike of her, I presume you didn't -- which calls into question whether you saw enough of her work during the last three decades to offer anything close to an informed opinion.

One of the interesting things about comedy, of course, is that it has so many diverse forms, and different people can have contrary opinions about the same performer.

Myself, I mostly liked Joan Rivers. I admired her timing -- stylistically original and, to the end, razor sharp. I respected her commitment to a persona, a point of view, a keen sense of composition. And, she made me laugh.

The scene in her documentary where she responds to the angry audience member is, to me, beautiful. Not because it is an example of professional skill and amazing efficiency (although it is very much that), but because it displays her commitment to what I would define as an artistic vision.

Yep. She used cruelty and nastiness as prominent tools. But it was toward a purpose.

As opposed to the statement about her death: "Good riddance." Surely, that is more cruel and nasty than any joke Joan Rivers ever told.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 8:56 pm
by Richard Kaufman
I watched Joan Rivers on the Ed Sullivan Show when I was a kid. She was funny,

I watched Joan Rivers host the Tonight Show many times when Johnny Carson took the night off. She was funny.

That was 30 years ago.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 9:37 pm
by erdnasephile
I was not a fan of Ms. Rivers--too cruel and crass for my taste. YMMV, of course.

However, I did find this lengthy in-depth interview of her very interesting (although parts of it made me cringe).




It seems that much of her comedy was fueled by a lot of pain (some of which was apparently self-inflicted).

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 10:21 pm
by JHostler
Dustin Stinett wrote:I lost any connection I had with Joan Rivers when she slighted Johnny Carson by not simply asking him for his counsel before accepting the FOX show while being groomed to take over the Tonight Show..


Well, that depends on which story you believe. The other one (as told by Joan in her later years) was that Carson preferred to hang up on her rather than discuss the job.

Nevertheless... I liked her. Straightforward, calculating, sharp, generous, and often very funny.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 11:43 pm
by Dustin Stinett
As she has a third version that blames the whole thing on her late husband, I'll believe and continue to relate the story as she originally told it many times and that also jibes with what has consistently come out of the Carson camp. Any subsequent revisions—conveniently made after Carson's death—speak for themselves.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 5th, 2014, 11:56 pm
by Bill Mullins
Max Maven wrote: I respected her commitment to a persona

But how much of it was a persona, an "artistic vision"? I don't know enough about her personal life to do anything more than guess. But she came across to me as someone who took satisfaction in cutting others. Of course, it may be that she was so good at playing that character that I bought it.

And, she made me laugh.
She could be _very_ funny, and she made me laugh as well. And for a comedian, that counts for a lot. This week, at least, I should work harder on remembering that about her.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 12:05 am
by Dustin Stinett
There are tons of old clips being shared over the Internet, on the radio, and TV and most are very funny. She was at her best when she was being self-deprecating.

On my wedding night, my husband said, "Let me help you with your buttons." I said, "I'm already naked." —Joan Rivers

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 12:19 am
by Steve Bryant
I confess to watching Fashion Police and found Joan screamingly funny to the end. I've been watching E this evening, and the outpouring of love is rather amazing.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 5:03 am
by NCMarsh
Joan was, to borrow a phrase from our world, a "worker."

She was unafraid, hilarious, loved connecting with a live audience, and was by many accounts -- despite her on-stage persona -- a kind and classy woman.

As for her supposed meanness: we, of all people, should know that the appearance cultivated by a performer for either artistic or commercial reasons can bear little resemblance to who they are when the makeup is off...We don't ascribe to Anthony Hopkins the evil of Hannibal Lecter; but when a comedian presents a "mean" character -- because it is effective -- we somehow forget that it is a show. In a parallel to Robert Houdin's line (which I'm sure was unintentional) she described herself as "an actress playing a comedian."

She went after people who had a great deal of power, and they were in the kind of work where all attention was a help (Cher once complained to Joan when Joan had stopped insulting her in the act).

And Joan had a hustle -- both in developing her massive amount of massively original material and polishing a great act AND when it came to being an entrepreneur -- that put her on the top against long odds (you get a great sense of this in Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work -- which many others have recommended here and that I think is one of the best films, along with Jerry Seinfeld's Comedian for variety/comedy performers to see.) There's a great account of her early career here: http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/j ... son-398088 (they lead with the Carson feud because its the greatest clickbait -- but the fascinating part is her account of coming up in NY, weathering the 7+ rejections from the Carson show, etc.)

Her brilliance combined with her work ethic kept her relevant -- in a business that wasn't for women when she started and that recycles its stars every 3 years -- for more than 5 decades.

She was complicated, and driven by some of the demons that hit show people particularly hard: the need to be loved, the obsession with money. It's a shame that the most visible parts of her recent work -- the ridiculous Donald Trump show, QVC, the red carpet (bear in mind: the notion that watching people get out of limousines for two hours could be entertaining was an invention of Joan's) -- seem to eclipse her innovation and brilliance as a performer.

But at her core she was a working comedian. And a damn fine one at that.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 1:46 pm
by billmccloskey
For another, less flattering, view of Joan, there is this interview with her former Manager Bill Sammeth, who was fired during the filming of the documentary. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2 ... story.html

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 2:22 pm
by NCMarsh
As for not being funny:

In the history of television, there has been one -- and only one -- woman who has been given the desk of a late night show on one of the big four networks: Joan Rivers. It didn't come at a time when there was pressure to be diverse. It came because she was f*cking good.

Today we are swimming in amazing, wildly popular female comics. We're in a cultural environment that is much friendlier to the idea of a female major network talk show host. But even today, and even with all of the shifts in late night, no one else has landed the booking Joan got decades ago.

Johnny Carson could have chosen any comedian on earth to have been his permanent guest host. He chose Joan Rivers (though, admittedly, Carson may not know as much about comedy as those posting in this thread...)

She lived Steve Martin's mantra: "be so good that they can't ignore you."

Cheers,

Nathan

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 4:05 pm
by Dustin Stinett
Nathan, sometimes I wish we had one of those "Like" buttons.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 6th, 2014, 7:22 pm
by erdnasephile
Here's a link to the hosts of late night and their tributes to Joan Rivers:

http://nypost.com/2014/09/05/late-night ... er-rivers/

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 7th, 2014, 7:59 pm
by JFox
Getting back to this thread's very first post (by Dustin)---

Joan was in the audience at the taping of Marc Salem's "Mind Games" TV Special...and if I recall correctly, their brief on-camera chat mentioned her days of assisting Kuda Bux.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 11th, 2014, 11:40 pm
by cardmaster
Many years ago I read what she wrote about Kuda Bux. I am afraid she wasn't terribly complimentary. She said he didn't shower and he smelled.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 12th, 2014, 1:26 am
by Dustin Stinett
Whenever I heard her talk about him, it was always in the presence of another magician or in a conversation about magicians. She was never negative about him in those situations.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 12th, 2014, 11:40 am
by cardmaster
She may not have been negative in front of other magicians and that is understandable even for Joan Rivers. However, she was certainly negative about him in print. I remember reading it in a book she wrote, possibly her autobiography. Of course he fired her and that may have had something to do with it, I suppose.

This may be of interest too: Here she is saying rude things about Siegfried and Roy.

http://books.google.ca/books?id=JFAlAgA ... 22&f=false

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: September 12th, 2014, 2:03 pm
by Thurston
Max and Nathan thanks for so eloquently saying what I was thinking.

Richard, sorry but I thought your comment was cruel... she was an entertainer, I understand if you didn't care for her, but come on.

I recently dealt with the passing of my mother... can only imagine how I would feel if someone uttered those words about her.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: November 6th, 2016, 10:20 pm
by Bill Mullins
Excerpt from a new biography.

Re: Joan Rivers, RIP

Posted: November 6th, 2016, 10:58 pm
by performer
I read what she said about Kuda Bux. It wasn't complimentary. She said he smelled.