Joan Rivers died this year on September 4, 2014 after falling into a coma during a medical procedure. Although she was 81, Joan had a lot more living to do, and the entire world knew it, so her sudden death sent the entire comedy world into a spiral. For a week, while Joan’s condition remained uncertain, celebrities and fans from the comedy world, the fashion world and the entertainment world prayed for Joan and sent out their wishes for her recovery. Joan was an inspiration and a role model for women in all industries, and for many men as well for her unflinching belief that you don’t apologize for comedy, as well as her incredible talent, stamina and work ethic. Comedian Lynne Koplitz was one of Joan’s close friends, and Lynne considered Joan both a mentor and a role model. She talked with us about how much Joan meant to her.
It’s funny cause, you’re asking me to tell you something about Joan and I looked over, and I have sayings on cards and I have them next to her invitation to her 80th birthday party and right next to it, it says, in a gentle way you can shake the world. And that to me was Joan. She just had such a way of shaking the world with a wink. She was like my crazy aunt that I could count on no matter what. No matter what! I don’t care how busy she was, I would get an email or a text at 4:00 in the morning that said, “I’m in Michigan, where are you? How are you doing? How’s the dog? Do you need money?” And that was Joan to me. Always do you need money, how’s the dog, how are you doing? And if I called her and told her where I was doing comedy the question she would always ask is “did they laugh?” What made her such a legend, I think was that Joan, first of all honestly, when I was at the funeral, I think Joan would have been shocked at how Iconic she was. I don’t think she realized. I don’t think she would have ever expected the turnout that was there. The first 5 rows she expected, but the rest of it? The paparazzi outside, the full pageantry, how many people showed up how many people were so heartbroken, and want her back.
I think — look, I get verklempt talking about it — I think what makes her a legend is that at 81 years old, she was still relevant. I mean, it’s really difficult as a comic to stay relevant your whole career and Joan is and was. And you look at Melissa and the way Melissa is handling everything. I think Melissa has honestly been one of the classiest people I’ve ever met. I honestly have never seen anyone carry a mother’s legacy so beautifully Joan was an amazing mother and an amazing person, and if any of us can just leave a quarter of the legacy that Joan Rivers has left, we should all be proud.
More on Joan Rivers. Read our post from this past September about losing Joan Rivers. Just a few months before she died, Joan recorded an hour long interview with Ron Bennington for Unmasked. More on Lynne Koplitz. You can follow Lynne Koplitz on twitter @FunnyLynne and hear her on SiriusXM satellite radio on Jenny McCarthy’s Dirty Sexy Funny Radio.