Joan Rivers died last week at the age of 81. I refuse to believe it. Someone like Joan Rivers can never die.
But, if it's true, it's a tragedy that anyone would pass that young.
Joan was a brilliant, shocking comic who's career spanned more than half a century. She started on the The Ed Sullivan Show back in the 1960s and ended her run on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon this year. Now that's longevity. She taught people like Howard Stern everything they know. Only Lenny Bruce stood as her peer.
A simple Jewish girl from Brooklyn born in 1933, Joan's parents wanted nothing more than from their daughter to marry a nice "doctah" and be good housewife and live a quiet respectable life. Instead, she took the harder route -- becoming a stand-up comic, a woman comedian -- at a time when women weren't supposed to be funny. But Joan persevered.
She did everything. Nothing was beneath her. Stand-up. Acting. Talk show host. Red carpet interviewer. Seller of awful jewelry on TV. Game show contestant. A worker. A very hard worker.
And she worked herself into being a legend.
Joan Rivers was also a great New Yorker. Her voice, her shtick was the epitome of the city. She was the outer-borough striver, the kid from the neighborhood, who had a dream to become big -- and did. She was what this town was all about. Believe it or not, Joan was a landmark. Yes, the New York Landmarks Conservancy named her a living landmark many years ago and she'll always be one. We'll always remember her.
After all, Joan wouldn't let us forget!