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August 5, 2011 - April Diodato
Can we talk? Because let me tell you, Joan Rivers puts on one heck of a show.
The laughter was uproarious in the Reg Lenna Civic Center theater in Jamestown on Thursday night as a very lucky audience got a chance to see an icon right here in Chautauqua County. Nothing – and no one – was off limits, as Joan joked about everything from Mother Teresa to Kathy Lee Gifford and the convenience of using child labor. As I scanned the crowd, I wondered if anyone was scandalized by Joan's brand of humor – if so, they had no business being there! This is what she's known for – but as far as I'm concerned, all humor should be irreverent (in fact, the more irreverent, the better). And that's exactly what she delivered.
“I kept thinking, this is my favorite joke!” my friend said after the show. “And then she would tell another one, and that was my new favorite joke.”
I don't think anyone can hold a candle to Joan when it comes to shock value. These were some of the dirtiest jokes I've heard to date. There wasn't a dull moment, hilarious from start to finish, and the woman is a master of physical comedy. She also looked completely fabulous. For the show, she donned a deliciously over-the-top leopard print, ruffled coat, and when she came back onto the stage for a brief moment as she was showered with applause, she wore a hot pink feathered number.
Joan always gets flak for her fondness of plastic surgery, but she looks fantastic in person. I'd be willing to wager that she looks more fresh and youthful than Lindsay Lohan is looking these days! Following the performance, at a meet-and-greet event backstage, Joan graciously posed for photos with each fan who wanted one and took the time to chat as well. This woman is a class act.
Joan is known for her generosity – just watch the documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” – and I heard a report of her benevolence last night. After the show, a friend of one of Joan's hairdressers for the evening said that Joan gave her a tip big enough to cover a semester of college. (Sorry, no exact figure here – just gossip). People came from all over the world to attend the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy, of which Joan is the headlining act. While queuing at the theater for Joan Rivers, Dave Emke and I spoke to a couple from Sydney, Australia, who came just for the event – the young lady, a professed Lucy super-fan, had a tattoo of Lucille Ball's face on her wrist. We also met a reporter from BBC who traveled to Jamestown to pay homage to the legacy of Lucy and see Joan Rivers.
For tickets to other events at the Lucille Ball Festival of Comedy and a complete schedule, visit www.lucycomedyfest.com.