September 4, 2014, - 5:35 pm
Very sad to hear of the death of comedienne extraordinaire Joan Rivers. She was a proud American, proud pro-Israel Jew, and one of the very few female comedians who was actually funny. I had the great privilege of meeting her and getting to know her for about an hour, way back when, and she was nice and classy and nothing like she was on the air. She was also a lot more conservative than people realize, totally anti-PC, and she is the one who first called Barack Obama, “America’s First Gay President.”
Joan Rivers Defends Israel on TMZ – Fabulous! . . .
Joan Rivers on Israel on Splash News – EXCELLENT! . . .
Joan Rivers on the Obamas, PETA, CNN . .
In September 1999, in my very first national TV appearance on ABC’s “Politically Incorrect,” I met Joan Rivers. I was on the show with her, Alan Dershowitz, and singer Edwin McCain. Joan and I met in the green room, and she was so nice and friendly, very unassuming. And, as always, she was dressed, coiffed, and bejeweled perfectly, looking like a million bucks. This was, I think, two faces ago–I can say that because Rivers famously joked all the time about her obvious plastic surgery, though at the time it wasn’t as obvious. On the show, we ganged up on Dershowitz who continued to defend O.J. Simpson, Bill Clinton’s impeachment-getting behavior in the White House, race-based affirmative action, and the WNBA. Joan Rivers was on my side on all of these things.
Joan Rivers Defends Israel on Planet Hollywood/X17 Online (which is owned by Muslim Arabs) . . .
Joan Rivers on Israel’s Channel 10 . . .
When I said that Bill Clinton played the race card during his impeachment, just like Dershowitz and the rest of O.J.’s legal team did during his murder trial, Dershowitz denied it. Rivers let out a loud shriek, picked up her chair and moved it away from Dershowitz, saying, “Are you kidding me? You didn’t play the race card during the impeachment?! or during the O.J. trial?!” Everybody in the audience loved it and burst out laughing. She was a great partner on that show. She and I kicked Dershowitz’s ass, and she did a lot of the “heavy lifting” kicking.
The show was taped around the time of the Jewish High Holidays, Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur, and after the show, Rivers and I wished each other the traditional Hebrew greeting, “Shanah Tovah!” [A Good Year!], wishing each other a happy new year. She told me, “You’re a very smart girl. I loved doing the show with you,” which was an incredible compliment coming from her. But her responses on that show were the wittiest. She was always quick and witty. Rivers told me that I should stay in touch and come meet up with her whenever she was in the Detroit area, but to my regret, I never did. I thought some day I would, as I figured she’d be around for a long time. She had the boundless energy that people half her age did not.
The thing I’ll remember best about Joan Rivers isn’t that I met her for about an hour and what a nice person she was–so fun to talk to. I’ll remember that her Jewish New Year wishes to me weren’t just lip service. She was a proud Jew and very quick to stand up for Israel and the Jewish people, in addition to being a proud American. Yes, she was a secular Jew (she paid a million bucks for her daughter Melissa’s wedding to a non-Jew, where the meal was chock full of fancy shrimp and lobster–neither of which is kosher; and Melissa has long since divorced the guy). But when Israel fought off HAMAS’ rockets in a mini-war this summer, Joan Rivers more than once stood up for Israel to whoever would listen and did it better than anyone. She did it on TMZ and on Howard Stern and everywhere in the celebrity media (see the videos posted above). And she never backed down, regardless of the criticism she received for it.
After she made these comments defending Israel, Arab and Muslim groups attacked her mercilessly and were still calling for her head–trying to get her fired from her fashion police and other shows on E!–even as she remained in a coma these last few days.
Joan Rivers disappointed me only a very tiny bit when she made a documentary about herself that I didn’t like all that much (read my review), and when, out of political correctness, she decided to stop using a joke about Michelle Obama that I originated on this site (I called Mrs. Obama, “Blackie O,” and then so did Rivers). But that’s her only lapse. Other than that, Joan Rivers never fell prey to political correctness. She bucked it at every opportunity. And that’s one of the main reasons–along with her quick wit–that she was so popular and successful. She could make a boring, stupid, tired show, like NBC’s “The Apprentice,” entertaining, just because she was on it and was willing to say what others were thinking but wouldn’t dare say, sometimes because they were wimps.
But Joan Rivers was never a wimp. She survived the suicide of her husband and manager, the long blackball curse that Johnny Carson imposed on her and Jay Leno honored, and many other setbacks. She was a fighter. Sadly, she lost this last fight after a throat surgery mishap.
But at age 81, she lived a long and full life. She will definitely be missed.
Joan Rivers, Zichronah LiVrachah [Hebrew for "Blessed Be Her Memory," which we Jews say when other Jews die, instead of Rest In Peace].
I will try to dig up a photo I took with Joan Rivers when we did “Poltically Incorrect” and the video from our show. If I find these, I’ll post them on this site.
Tags: Israel, Joan Rivers, Joan Rivers anti-PC, Joan Rivers dead, Joan Rivers Israel, Joan Rivers RIP, Joan Rivers Z"L