I’m not gonna lie. Growing up, I was not a devoted fan of Joan Rivers. I mostly knew her from her work on the red carpet at the Oscar’s, and I found that work to be accurate, but…insensitive?
But when Joan Rivers passed away earlier this month, I became acquainted with a completely different side of her life and work. Joan Rivers the philanthropist. Joan Rivers the HIV / AIDS and suicide prevention activist. Joan Rivers the stand up who worked the comedy clubs in Greenwich Village in the 1950s and 1960s, speaking openly about and lambasting gender inequality, and who became the first woman to have her own late night talk show. Joan Rivers whose major break happened when she debuted on The Tonight Show on Feb. 17, 1965, when she was 31 years old.
Her older material, satirizing the hypocrisy of gender inequality, is as relevant today as when she delivered it nearly 50 years ago. And so, of all the clips that have been floating around the web in tribute to Joan Rivers of late, this–filmed 47 years ago during her appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show–is my favorite.
Can we talk about Joan?