RIP Joan Rivers: Truly, a 'Piece of Work'

Tributes salute her remarkable, no-holds-barred career
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 4, 2014 3:54 PM CDT
RIP Joan Rivers: Truly, a 'Piece of Work'
Joan Rivers in 2005.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, File)

How to sum up a life like the one lived by Joan Rivers? Here are some of the early attempts:

  • New York Times: "... the raspy loudmouth who pounced on America’s obsessions with flab, face-lifts, body hair and other blemishes of neurotic life, including her own, in five decades of caustic comedy that propelled her from nightclubs to television to international stardom ..."
  • AP: "... the raucous, acid-tongued comedian who crashed the male-dominated realm of late-night talk shows and turned Hollywood red carpets into danger zones for badly dressed celebrities ..."

  • Reuters: " ... who became a comedic star with an act that was a mélange of insult, insecurity, over-the-top cattiness and a nothing-is-sacred philosophy ..."
  • USA Today: "... the pioneering queen of comedy, who overcame tragedy and disappointment to transform herself in late life into a comic scourge of the red carpet ..."
  • Washington Post: "While Ms. Rivers was not the first female comic to become a household name—that distinction goes to women such as Phyllis Diller—she was among the first mainstream funny women to go dirty."
  • Time: "Rivers didn’t need everybody to like her. Scratch that: Rivers needed not everyone to like her. She wasn’t about being fair or being a pleaser, and if she had an internal censor, it was a rubber stamp that said, “GO FOR IT!” She was a hoot and—as her documentary called her—a piece of work, but she was about being authentic."
(More Joan Rivers stories.)

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