There have been plenty of tributes to comedian Joan Rivers after her passing. But I have yet to hear the media report on the “hurt” she caused to the stars that were the butt of her jokes.
You don’t have to search far into the past to read the hatred from Joan Rivers’ critics:
“No matter how fat Liz got, it took a lot of guts for someone as skanky as Joan Rivers to make jokes about such a beautiful woman. I think women like Joan gloried in Liz getting fat.”
“Rivers is a sad, desperate, lonely old woman.”
“I wonder what people will say when Joan dies? Ding Dong the Bitch is Dead, comes to mind.”
Rivers’ jokes could be cutting and mean. Here is a small sample:
“Look at Gwyneth Paltrow being named the most beautiful this year. She got Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder to vote.”
“Madonna is so hairy. When she lifted her arm, I thought it was Tina Turner in her armpit?”
“Bo Derek is so stupid she returns bowling balls because they've got holes in them.”
“Katie Holmes is not a very good actress. Did you see her try and play John F. Kennedy's wife? She was so bad he shot himself in it.”
Here are just a few of the jokes she made about Rivers’ favorite target, Elizabeth Taylor:
“Elizabeth Taylor has more chins than the Chinese telephone directory.”
“Elizabeth Taylor was so fat that whenever she went to London in a red dress, 30 passengers would try to board her.”
“I took Elizabeth Taylor to McDonald's and she got stuck in the arches. I had to butter her thighs to get her out. I stood in front of her with a Twinkie and said, 'Come and GET IT.'”
“Mosquitoes see Elizabeth Taylor and scream, 'Buffet!'”
But guess what? These insults made Taylor an even bigger star (although in Liz’s case it was hard to get much bigger.) Most up and coming show business types would have given their left pinky to be the butt of one her jokes. Being the aim of her jokes meant that you had arrived. I’ll bet Elizabeth Taylor laughed as hard as anyone at these jokes at her expense. Even though Liz had already arrived.
Rivers also made herself the object of much of her own humor:
“I don't think I'm good in bed; my husband never said anything, but after we made love he'd take a piece of chalk and outline my body.”
“Before we make love, my husband takes a painkiller.”
“I have no sex appeal and it has screwed me up for life; my gynecologist examines me by telephone.”
“My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.”
A sense of humor helps whether you are a comedian, baseball player, business woman or artist.
Most importantly, I hope the passing of Rivers helps us dial back the politically correct restrictions where there is too much concern about never hurting anyone’s feelings, no one can ever be laughed at (other than George W Bush and Joe Biden), and no group that was oppressed 200 years ago should ever be the source of your laughter.
I don’t want my kids to be bullies. But the last thing I want them to be is so sensitive and soft that they can’t laugh at themselves or their “group”. I want my sons and grand-kids to grow tough, stay tough, and laugh especially hard at themselves. Above all, I want my family to never think of themselves as victims.
Teach your child well the children’s rhyme:
"Sticks and stones will break my bones
But words will never harm me."
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