On Jimmy Kimmel’s talk show last Thursday, Sarah Silverman paid tribute to Joan Rivers, who had passed away earlier that day:
I think a lot of people, when they die at 81, you go, ‘Well, she was 81, she had an amazing life.’ But she wasn’t done. She, right now, was at her most vital.
Sarah added that she watched Fashion Police every Friday for the legendary comedian’s “hardcore jokes.”
JB and I were also loyal “Joan Rangers.” Fashion Police was our guilty pleasure, and we often watched it as if it were a game show, trying to predict Joan’s next zinger. Her insults were usually much more offensive than anything he or I could come up with; however, we once accurately guessed that Joan would compare an actress’s red carpet gown to a bloody tampon.
(OMG, I can’t believe I just typed that.)
When Robin Williams committed suicide a few weeks ago, everyone was heartbroken (myself included) because his death was so tragic and unexpected. Joan’s death feels equally tragic and unexpected. Yes, she was nearly twenty years his senior, but 81 doesn’t seem so old anymore. Ninety-one, maybe. My paternal grandmother is 99 — now, that’s old.
Plus, like Sarah said, Joan Rivers wasn’t done. She was still relevant. And she worked so damn hard to make sure of it. Just watch the 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work and you’ll see what I mean.
After her death, I came across this quote:
I succeeded by saying what everyone else is thinking.
There’s a lot we can learn from Joan Rivers, starting with telling the truth. I’m not suggesting we all should be (or could be) as bold and brash, and I’m certainly not condoning meanness. But we could all take a lesson from Joan on not being afraid to say what on our minds — especially since others may be thinking the same things.
When it comes to blogging, being honest and open has always been my guiding principle. However, I wouldn’t mind being a little more fearless like Joan. I frequently worry about sharing an unpopular opinion or digressing from the popular topics other lifestyle bloggers are covering. But why should I censor myself?
Joan could teach us so much more, from being authentic and pursuing one’s passions (and sticking with it for the long haul) to overcoming setbacks and reinventing yourself. I’m going to miss her colorful commentary on Fashion Police, as well as her 140-character zingers on Twitter. She was a true original, and the world is a little bit less funny (and a little bit more politically correct) now that she’s gone.
RIP, Joan Rivers.