Tags: Exclusive Interviews | Steve Malzberg Show | joan rivers | female | comic | pioneer | obituary

Newsmax's Hoffmann: Joan Rivers Was Pioneering Female Comic

Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 06:20 PM

Joan Rivers was a pioneering female comic who shot to instant fame in the 1960s, set the bar for many other women comics, and never stopped going, says Newsmax reporter Bill Hoffmann, who covered her career over the years.

"She and maybe Elaine May were the two of the big female comics that began on 'The Ed Sullivan Show' back in the '60s," Hoffmann said Thursday on "The Steve Malzberg Show" on Newsmax TV.

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"She started off with family life, talking about her husband Edgar and about the domestic bliss she had, or the lack it.

"Then later on she remade herself, going into politics and ripping celebrities, her own specials and a show with her daughter Melissa."

Rivers died on Thursday at the age of 81 in New York City following complications from surgery.

Hoffmann said that despite her caustic on-stage personality and no-holds-barred schtick — one that often got her in hot water — Rivers was really sweet and down-to-earth off camera.

"We're from the same hometown up in Westchester — Larchmont, New York — which she used to make jokes about and I always found her to be a charming, vivacious person," Hoffmann said.

"You could ask her any question. She was very, very friendly to reporters. She could be vicious on stage and she could really rip you apart in her act. But as far as a person she was very, very nice."

The last time Hoffmann saw Rivers at a party, he couldn't believe it was her at first because of her latest of many plastic surgeries.

"I said, that sort of looks like Joan Rivers, but it can't be, she's too young, she looks like [she's] 40-years-old!" Hoffmann said.

"But I went over there and there she was, it was her. The thing about her and her plastic surgery was she always admitted she had it. She didn't try to hide it and it was good plastic surgery. She looked pretty good for 81-years-old."

One of Rivers' biggest boosters, Johnny Carson, later banned her from his show when she tried to launch her own late night show opposite the "Tonight" show.

"Obviously he was the king of late night television and he shouldn't have gotten that upset," Hoffmann said.

"The moment she tried her own thing he cut her off, which I thought was a little bit mean."
 

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Joan Rivers was a pioneering female comic who shot to instant fame in the 1960s, set the bar for many other women comics, and never stopped going, says Newsmax reporter Bill Hoffmann, who covered her career over the years.
joan rivers, female, comic, pioneer, obituary
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2014-20-04
Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 06:20 PM
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