Joan Rivers earned her legendary comedic status by performing invasive surgery on a multitude of hapless prey, her favorite subject being the many celebrity subjects who had the courage to walk the red carpet at major awards programs.
Most of all, however, Rivers endeared herself to millions of people worldwide because her self-deprecating humor — including endless jokes about her own plastic surgeries — that made your liver quiver on many nights. As much as she charbroiled celebrities, she seemed to take at least as much delight making fun of herself.
As you know by now, Rivers passed away due to complications resulting from a recent throat operation in New York City on Aug. 28. She was 81.
Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, released the following statement to the press:
“It is with great sadness that I announce the death of my mother. She passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. My son and I would like to thank the doctors, nurses, and staff of Mount Sinai Hospital for the amazing care they provided for my mother.
“Cooper and I have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support, and prayers we have received from around the world,” Melissa Rivers continued. “They have been heard and appreciated. My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”
Rivers would have it no other way but to see us laughing from high up in the horizons.
Here are some of her most memorable jokes from over the years, with many of her funniest comedy bits coming at her own expense, with the help of E!
1. “I was so ugly that my parents sent my picture to Ripley’s Believe It or Not: they sent it back and said, ‘We don’t believe it.’”
2. “My body is dropping so fast, my gynecologist wears a hard hat.”
3. “I have no sex appeal; if my husband didn’t toss and turn, we’d never have had the kid.”
4. “I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My makeup team is nominated for Best Special Effects.”
5. “If you don’t want gays in the military, make the uniforms ugly.”
6. “I was getting dressed and a Peeping Tom looked in the window, took a look and pulled down the shade.”
7. “Why women don’t blink during foreplay…not enough time.”
8. “My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on.”
9. “The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are ‘age appropriate.’ For me that would be a shroud.”
10. On Donatella Versace: “That skin! She looks like something you’d hang off your door in Africa.”
11. “You know you’re getting old when you buy a sexy sheer nightgown and don’t know anyone who can see through it.”
12. “Had a friend who is going through menopause come by for lunch today. Her hot flash was so bad, it steam-cleaned my carpet.”
13. Joan Collins told a reporter that she hasn’t had plastic surgery; come on… she’s had more tucks than a motel bedsheet!”
14. “Is she fat? Her favorite food is seconds.”
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