Saturday, September 6, 2014

Rest In Peace, Joan

A few years ago, Evan and I went to see Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. I have to admit that, until then, I wasn't a fan. I didn't really know what she did other than red carpet commentary, and that she tended to work with her daughter. I was also familiar with the very 1980s images of her in ruffled Dynasty-style evening dresses and furs and had decided (on no evidence) that she was probably arch, unfunny and likely very irritating. I was wrong on all counts. After seeing the film, I realised why my friend Jane (with her own razor sharp wit and uniquely rude but loving demeanor) identified so closely with Joan Rivers, other than politically, of course. Another surprise in that film--that Joan was a Republican, something still unfathomable to me.

From that screening on, I became a fan. I watched Fashion Police every Friday before going to bed, watching with Jane, Ben, Evan (who couldn't tolerate the others but accepted Joan) or Margo in her living room in Clapham. Sometimes I'd save it for later and watch on my own. And many times, I'd call Jane (or think of her) when Joan was particularly outrageous. I'd marvel at how someone in their 80s could get ever younger, even as their face became more like that of a drag queen. On her, it worked.

She just seemed so young, so energetic and so witty and outrageous. It seems hard to believe that a small medical procedure could kill like that and so very sad. Words really fail me--we will miss you Joan. If Jane was in NYC, I know she'd try to gatecrash your funeral.

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