Howard Stern: I cried 'like a baby' at Rivers' funeral

Story highlights

  • Howard Stern, Margaret Cho attended Joan Rivers' funeral
  • Stern gave a eulogy leading with an off-color joke
  • Cho: "It was so wrong but so right"
  • Stern: "Really, really, really rocked by her death"
Howard Stern cried. Margaret Cho laughed.
Stern, the famously irreverent radio host and comedian, said that he "was crying like a baby" at Joan Rivers' funeral service Sunday.
"I was thinking about Joan, all the appearances she made on the show, being invited to her home," Stern said on his radio show Monday.
Rivers' memorial at New York's Temple Emanu-El was a star-studded tribute that included a New York Police Department bagpipe procession and the New York City Gay Men's Chorus singing "Hey, Big Spender."
But Cho? After some initial tears -- "We all wept -- like professional mourners. We should have gotten paid!" she wrote on her website -- the laughs started flowing when Stern gave his eulogy.
Stern opened with an off-color joke about Rivers' genitalia, and "I started laughing hysterically, and everyone else, remembering who we were there to honor, followed suit," Cho wrote.
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"It was so wrong but so right at the same time," she added. "So Joan. So great."
For his part, Stern -- who described Rivers as a "remarkable friend to (my) show" -- said that Rivers' kindness always meant a lot to him.
"She was so gracious and nice, and made me feel like I was part of show business, which quite frankly I never feel like I am," he said on his show. "I'm really, really, really rocked by her death. It was a very upsetting time when I'd heard that she died."
The funeral, he said, was "the most remarkable service I had ever been witness to."
Joan Rivers' daughter, Melissa Rivers, asked if he would speak, Stern said, and Louis C.K. offered some words of wisdom.
"Probably the loneliness and the unhappiness of life -- what else could ease that despair than a great comedian?" Stern said Louis C.K. told him.
Rivers died last week at New York's Mount Sinai Hospital. She was undergoing an apparently minor elective procedure August 28 at a Manhattan clinic, Yorkville Endoscopy, when she suffered cardiac and respiratory arrest, according to the New York Fire Department.
The state health department is investigating whether there was any malpractice by the doctors or staff at Yorkville Endoscopy, according to New York law enforcement officials.
Despite the laughs and tears at her service, Rivers didn't get all she asked for. The funeral was "Hollywood all the way," as she'd requested in her book, "I Hate Everyone ... Starting With Me," but there was no "Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents" nor Bobby Vinton singing "Mr. Lonely."
Even her request to have a "wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyonce's" couldn't be fulfilled.
Rivers was cremated.