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Broadway reverses decision, will dim marquee lights for Joan Rivers

UPDATE #3: The Broadway League has reversed its decision and will now honor Rivers after all. In a statement, St. Martin said, “Joan Rivers loved Broadway and we loved her. Due to the outpouring of love and respect for Joan Rivers from our community and from her friends and fans worldwide, the marquees of Broadway theatres in New York will be dimmed in her memory tonight, at exactly 6:45 pm for one minute.”

A decision by the Broadway League not to honor Joan Rivers with the traditional posthumous tribute afforded to deceased stage celebrities has the theater community up in arms on Twitter.

In an interview with The New York Times, executive director Charlotte St. Martin explained the League’s decision not to honor Rivers with the tradition of dimming the lights on Broadway theater marquees. It’s an honor bestowed on Broadway icons typically within the week following their death, yet Rivers—a Tony Award nominee, playwright, frequent opening night guest, and vehement vocal supporter of Broadway—apparently doesn’t qualify.

“Under our criteria people need to have been very active recently in the theater, or else be synonymous with Broadway — people who made their careers here, or kept it up,” St. Martin told the Times. “We love Joan – she was very supportive of Broadway and came to a lot of show openings – but she hasn’t acted on Broadway in 20 years… When you say Joan Rivers, you don’t think comedy, television and Broadway. You think comedy and television. It’s certainly nothing against her.” READ FULL STORY

Tyler Oakley, 'Video Game High School' among winners at Streamy Awards

Though the 2014 Emmy Awards have taken much of the recent awards chatter, the Streamy Awards held on Sunday, Sept. 7 honored another form of entertainment, highlighting the best online videos and their creators.


Joan Rivers' final interview: Warm, gracious, and funny 'til the end


Joan Rivers was a kind woman—as gracious, wise, and generous as she was funny. That might sound strange to hear about a woman who could eviscerate any actress who made a misstep on the red carpet, and who famously described Elizabeth Taylor as standing in front of a microwave oven screaming “Hurry!” Her biting comedic sensibility—her art and craft—came from feeling like an outsider among Hollywood stars and New York society, even after she herself became very rich and very famous. And she sincerely believed that by skewering you in her act she was paying you a great compliment; it meant you were relevant, worth talking about. The “smart ones” got it, she said, and indeed many of her victims, including Prince Charles, counted her as a friend. READ FULL STORY

Watch Joan Rivers zing Anna Wintour in her last interview

On Aug. 27, the day before Joan Rivers went into her final surgery, she participated in a book talk with People Magazine and EW editorial director, Jess Cagle. Rivers was there to promote Diary of a Mad Diva, but also took the time to talk about fashion, how “more is better,” and how Anna Wintour isn’t always right. Of course, she did it with her usual flair.

How a backwards dress brought Joan Rivers and Jenny McCarthy together

Jenny McCarthy’s 20-year friendship with Joan Rivers actually began with an insult. “I had the privilege of being one of her worst dressed people back at the Academy Awards,” McCarthy told Julia Cunningham and Mario Correa on EW Radio (Sirius XM 105) Thursday after the news broke of Rivers’ passing at age 81.

Over the years, McCarthy would sometimes bring up the embarrassing incident when she was with Rivers. Then, this past year on The View, Rivers told it to her straight. “She said, ‘Honey, listen, if I’m choosing you as worst dressed, it means you’re in the now. It means you kind of made it. So just shut up and deal with it,'” McCarthy said.

The best part of it, though, is that McCarthy knew Rivers was right before the evening was over. “She was spot on. I wore a Valentino dress and I actually wore it backwards,” McCarthy said. “I was wondering why it was so tight in the boobs. She called me out for wearing it badly. I didn’t realize I was wearing it backwards till Valentino came up to me at the Vanity Fair party and said, ‘darling, you’re wearing my dress backwards.’ I had the privilege of winning an award from her and have been friends with her since.”

As for those who don’t know Rivers’ work or legacy as well as they might now hope, McCarthy recommends the intimate 2010 documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work. “It’s not only to get to know Joan, but to get to know what life is like with someone who is so dedicated to her craft,” she said. “I encourage anybody who’s not seen that movie to check it out. I think Joan would be happy for people to see that as her true self.”

Listen to more clips from the EW Radio interview below.


How Joan Rivers went from comedian to fashion maven

Joan Rivers was a comedian through and through, starting her journey in comedy clubs and working her way up through various talk shows. So why is it that certain generations will more quickly associate her with fashion? Well, because she conquered that world, too.

The transition from stand-up comedian to the host of E!’s Fashion Police isn’t a typical career trajectory in the land of Hollywood. But for Rivers, the move from comedian to fashion maven was perfectly natural, and that probably had something to do with the fact that it wasn’t much of a “move.” Rivers never stopped being a comedian. Rather, she simply redirected her jokes toward a new topic.

After finding great success as a comedian in the 1980’s—launching The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers and becoming the highest paid performer in Las Vegas—Rivers’ world shifted when her mentor, Johnny Carson, declared that Rivers was dead to him after her show competed against his. Rivers and her husband, producer Edgar Rosenberg, were then fired from the late-night gig. Rosenberg committed suicide soon after.

Following a deep depression, Rivers found her way back into the entertainment world through the red carpet. Rivers had worked fashion into a handful of her monologues throughout the years, but it was her daughter, Melissa, who gave her the final push into the fashion world. “Melissa knew someone at E!,” Joan told Vanity Fair. “And they were saying, ‘Who should we put out on the red carpet?’ It is a horrible job and no one was doing it then. And Melissa said, ‘My mother.’ It was a very low time for me [in my career].”

Joan Rivers then hosted the 1994 Golden Globes red carpet alone before Melissa joined her for the following year’s Oscars. Bringing their comedy and staunch criticism to the carpet, Melissa and Joan quickly revolutionized red carpet coverage. In fact, the duo is often credited with coining the phrase, “Who are you wearing?”

Joan explained the thinking behind the often-criticized question by saying, “Other reporters always said, ‘I’m not going to ask that. I’m going to ask how [the actors] feel politically!’ But actors don’t want to hear that! They’re nervous. They haven’t eaten for three days. They’re trying to remember who the damn designer [who made their dress] is. Their hair is held together with extensions. You can’t ask them anything difficult!”

After a couple of shows, Joan and Melissa became their own brand, with their critical approach being recognized by all involved. Actors began asking Joan and Melissa what they thought of their attire. Suddenly, everyone needed to know the opinion of the Rivers duo.

It was only after the red carpet became so packed with publicists and reporters that Joan recalled having to reach out and grab celebrities that the duo decided to leave. “I remember almost pulling Cate Blanchett’s arm out of her socket to talk to her, because BBC had her other arm. The girl almost had two dislocated shoulders,” Joan told Vanity Fair. “And I just thought, I am standing here, an Emmy winner and a Tony nominee, nearly dislocating someone’s shoulder to ask her, ‘Who are you wearing?'”

But having fully immersed herself in the world of fashion at that point, Joan simply redirected her career. In 2010, E! launched Fashion Police. Hosted by Joan, the show ran the day after red-carpet events and discussed the looks from the night before. From there, it became a weekly program.

There’s no word yet on whether Fashion Police will continue in the wake of Joan’s death, though Joan’s feelings toward the show were obvious. She once described it to Access Hollywood the way she described many a dress on the red carpet: “It’s just fabulous.”

Barbra Streisand, Amy Poehler, more remember Joan Rivers (Updated)

Joan Rivers died Thursday at age 81, and her famous friends and admirers, ranging from Fashion Police co-host Giuliana Rancic to comedian Amy Schumer, remembered her for her sharp, energetic humor and for being a pioneer in both comedy and feminism. Here is a list of the statements so far, with updates to come:

Giuliana Rancic
“It is almost impossible to describe how much I adored Joan and how much she has meant to me. She was not only the funniest women I have ever met but was incredibly loving, honest, and lived her life with no regrets. Working with her for the last 13 years has been one of the true joys of my life. She could put a smile on your face instantly no matter how hard your day was. My heart goes out to Melissa and Cooper, who have lost something that can never be replaced. Their bond was truly one-of-a-kind. They had the greatest mother and grandmother anyone could have ever hoped for. My life is so much fuller and happier because I got to share it with this beautiful person, a true genius. I woke up today unable to grasp what the world will be like without her and, at the same time, feel so privileged to have called her my friend.” READ FULL STORY

'Time' remembers Joan Rivers as an 'unladylike' leader in feminism

Joan Rivers was never short for words, but there were some she didn’t like being called. She told PBS in 2012, “It upsets me to say I’m a pioneer because I’m so current now, you know?”

The comedienne, who died Thursday, is remembered now for paving the way for funny women all over the world. In a touching tribute, Time  looks back on Rivers’ life and career, from her “unladylike” desire for success that made her a feminist icon to the way she reinvented red-carpet coverage. Through her outrageous comments and willingness to always take it the next level, the landscape of female comedy would be completely different today. “Rivers blazed trails for other women in the comedic industry by bringing taboo topics like abortion to light onstage. Without her, there would be no Sarah Silverman or Chelsea Handler or Amy Schumer.”

Rivers was often criticized about some of the priorities she had in her life, especially when it had to do with her physical appearance. She once said, “Women should look good. Work on yourselves. Education? I spit on education. No man is ever going to put his hand up your dress looking for a library card.”

Click here to read the full Time tribute.

Joan Rivers' fans and friends remember her best jokes

Fans and colleagues everywhere were devastated to hear the news on Thursday that Joan Rivers had died at age 81. But, as any true fan of the witty comedienne would know, she wasn’t one for melancholy. (In her statement announcing her mother’s death, daughter Melissa wrote, “I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon.”) With that in mind, many chose to honor the queen of the pointed zinger with tweets capturing her funniest and most powerful quotes.


Joan Rivers: Where to watch her best work

When news spread on Thursday of the death of Joan Rivers at age 81, fans, co-stars, and fellow comedians remembered her legacy as a sharp-tongued leading lady in comedy. As you look back, here is a list of some of Joan’s best work, and where you can watch them online.

Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work - Netflix

The 2010 documentary followed a year in the life of Rivers as she recalled the death of her husband and chronicled the filming of The Celebrity Apprentice with daughter Melissa.

Spaceballs - Netflix

Rivers provided the voice of droid Dot Matrix in Mel Brooks’ space parody and later reprised her role in the animated series.

Joan Rivers: Don’t Start with Me - Netflix, Hulu Plus

Returning to what she does best, Rivers is as sharp as ever in this 2012 stand-up special.

That Show with Joan Rivers - Hulu

All 65 episodes of this 1968 gabfest featured a theme (i.e. nudism, natural childbirth) with Joan welcoming both experts and celebrity guests to discuss the subject.

Emmy Legends Interview - YouTube

For many, Rivers will also be remembered for her pioneering coverage of celebrities and red-carpet fashion. In this part of the interview (the entire thing is available in pieces on the TV Legends YouTube channel), she shares how she got her first opportunity on E! and how she revolutionized that part of the business.

Comedy Central Roast - YouTube

This time, it was Rivers who was the butt of the jokes as Kathy Griffin hosted a roast in her honor. The entire thing is available in parts on YouTube.

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