There will be many comments and tributes to Joan Rivers over the next week or so and I personally hope she gets the funeral she designed for herself – a big Hollywood send-off to the great beyond.
However, as you know, this blogger often focuses on women’s issues and for that, we must pause to say “Thanks Joan Rivers”.
To a current generation, Rivers became almost a caricature of herself. It is hard for young women to even begin to grasp how far she has come and how much change she brought to women in comedy, television and fashion.
Rivers was college educated in the 50’s and did not immediately marry. That was the first indication we had she might be a bit different. Like many educated women, she struggled to find her place. With a particular style of humor, she worked in comedy clubs in Greenwich Village and any place that would have her.
Frankly, women comedians are still outnumbered significantly today. It is harder for us to think of women as humorous – especially when they have a biting humor as Rivers did.
But Rivers garnered fame in the 60’s with frequent appearances on Johnny Carson. She busted through the glass ceiling and actually made people laugh on late night television. She also wrote and acted. She had her own show for many years.
Let’s just look at late night television today. We have had a recent shift with retirements from long-time hosts. The replacements do not include a single woman among them or even their side kicks. Sigh…….
So, Thanks Joan Rivers. Thanks for busting the glass ceiling for women, bucking the age barrier and keeping it real for all these years.