There are stand up comedians, there are stand up comedians turned talk show hosts, and there is Joan Rivers. The caustic and irreverant comedian might have left us in 2014, but her material remains some of the most timely and pointed to this day (imagine the razor sharp delivery she would have on material touching on everything from COVID-19 to the current White House resident). As a longtime LGBT advocate and supporter, Rivers remained a dedicated ally to the community through her comedy and her activism, working closely with organizations such as God’s Love We Deliver.
Right now, a sense of humor is crucial. Thankfully, Variety announced this week that brand new comedy albums would be released in 2021, containing previously unreleased material from Joan Rivers. Comedy Dynamics, the Grammy nominated production-distribution company announced late Friday that it had acquired hundreds of hours from the Joan Rivers Estate, and is releasing a box set and digital albums. Daughter Melissa Rivers shared, “While hundreds of hours of my mother on tape sounds great to her fans, to my therapist it sounds like another beach house. Thankfully, mom was meticulous about saving everything, and some of her best routines, collected over literally decades, are going to soon be available. For that we really can be grateful.”
“Joan is the icon of icons in every sense of the word,” said Brian Volk-Weiss, CEO of Comedy Dynamics. “Not only was she a comedic pioneer, she was an entrepreneur, author, actress, director and more. We’re excited to honor her career, and her life’s work for many years to come.” The 1986 landmark show The Late Show with Joan Rivers and her subsequent daytime talk show The Joan Rivers Show broke boundaries and won Rivers an Emmy respectively, but many don’t know of the other talk show that Rivers almost helmed.
In 2006, Joan Rivers Straight Talk was filmed as a pilot. A five member panel show, Straight Talk featured Rivers as moderator, alongside now well known hosts Andy Cohen and Billy Eichner much earlier in their careers. On the pilot, the panel discussed a variety of topics, with Rivers weighing in with her trademark pointed delivery and razor sharp wit. Rivers firmly showcased that in a business where many to this day still insist that “women are not funny”, she was able to set the stage for women of generations to come to prove them completely wrong.
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