Joan Rivers envisioned her funeral as a Hollywood extravaganza in her 2012 book, “I Hate Everyone …. Starting with Me.”
Instead of a rabbi giving a eulogy, she wanted “Meryl Streep crying in five different languages” and a “wind machine so that my hair is blowing like Beyonce’s, even in a casket.”
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However, her actual funeral, scheduled for Sunday, will be at Manhattan’s Temple Emanu-El, and few details are divulged, even the exact time, although certainly the press will be crawling over themselves to find out. Joan River, 81, died due to complications during surgery on her vocal chords. The New York Health department is currently investigating the circumstances. She was active and out working days before the catastrophe, and her sudden decline was a cause of shock to many, but Rivers wrote in her book that death was a “grand finale, act three, the 11 o’clock number — if you are going to die, die interesting! Is there anything worse than a boring death? I think not.”
Comedian Chris Rock recalls making his first talk-show appearance on her “Late Show Starring Joan Rivers” on Fox. Rivers experienced a rift with long-time friend and colleague, Johnny Carson, over her decision to have her own show, which made her the first female late night talk show host on network televisoin. Rock appeared the evening she received the news in 1987 that her show was cancelled, and that her husband, Edgar Rosenberg, committed suicide.
Chris Rock recalled, “Her show had just gotten cancelled and her husband had shot himself in the head. And for whatever reason, she decided the show must go on. Boy, did I learn the show must go on that day. She had it together on camera. When we were on a commercial, she was losing it a little bit. I can definitely say I saw her staring to cry. But she kept it together.”
In lieu of flowers, Joan Rivers request was that well-wishers should donate money to God’s Love, We Deliver, Guide Dogs to the Blind, and Our House. The work she did, hands-on, for God’s Love, We Deliver, which provides meals for those who cannot prepare food themselves, was truly moving, according to the organization’s director Karen Pearl, “She’d be in there packing up food, or making up bags or packing the truck.”
The world will not be the same without Joan Rivers in it.