As I said to Heather yesterday, it actually never actually occurred to me that Joan Rivers would die one day. She seemed immortal, somehow. Heather and I owe a debt of gratitude to her, a huge one, because were it not for her pioneering work in the arena of making fun of celebrities’ pants behind their backs (and, in her case, often to their face), we quite literally would not be here.
I shared this story on our Facebook earlier today — while GFY was still down — but I thought I’d share it here as well. Fair warning: The following reminiscence contains strong language (as it should, because it’s about Joan Rivers). As some of you may remember, Heather and I worked with Joan briefly during GFY’s early days, when Joan and Melissa were on the outs with E! and were doing the Fashion Wrap on TV Guide Channel — or, as Joan called it, “TV no one watches.” She said this, by the way, in front of several TV Guide network executives. Unfailingly, she was whip-smart, a total pro, legions funnier off the cuff, totally generous and kind to two young yahoos, and, not for nothing, capable of running on far less sleep at 75 than I could at 28. One awards show season, the Telepromtper guys kept IDing me incorrectly, and finally, she lost her temper. “IT’S FUCKING JESSICA!!!!!” she hollered, waving her hands at me. “IT’S. FUCKING. JESSICA!!!” Then she turned to me and apologized. What I thought but did not say was, “That’s okay. This is the best thing that’s ever happened to me.” Fare thee well, Joan. Wherever you are, we hope everyone looks just TERRIBLE.