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Joan Rivers: Memorable moments
01:24 - Source: CNN

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Joan Rivers was always quick with a one-liner

Jokes were often aimed at herself, though she skewered others

Rivers died Thursday at age 81

CNN  — 

When Joan Rivers had her star-making 1965 appearance on Johnny Carson’s “Tonight Show,” he told her, “God, you’re funny.”

That, there is no doubt, she was.

Sometimes her wit was self-deprecating; other times it was directed, like claws, at other targets.

But, as she said, she was put on Earth to make us laugh.

Joan Rivers was a pointed, pioneering comedian

Here are a few of Rivers’ best jokes.

On growing up:

- I was so ugly that they sent my picture to Ripley’s Believe It or Not and he sent it back and said, “I don’t believe it.”

- My mother never told me a thing. I asked my mother, “Where am I from? She gave me a fake address in Cleveland.”

- I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

- I was so flat, I used to put Xs on my chest and write, “You are here.”

On home life:

- I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.

- I told my mother-in-law that my house was her house, and she said, “Get off my property.”

- Grandchildren can be annoying – how many times can you go: “And the cow goes moo and the pig goes oink”? It’s like talking to a supermodel.

On her love life:

- I was dating a transvestite, and my mother said, “Marry him, you’ll double your wardrobe.”

- All my mother told me about sex was that the man goes on top and the woman on the bottom. For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.

- Peeping Toms look at my window and pull down the shade.

- I have no sex appeal – if my husband didn’t toss and turn, we’d never have had the kid.

- My best birth control now is to just leave the lights on.

- My sex life is so bad, my G-spot has been declared a historical landmark.

- I got a waterbed, but my husband stocked it with trout.

- My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese: most of it’s missing, and what’s there stinks.

On aging and plastic surgery:

- Looking 50 is great – if you’re 60.

- When a man has a birthday, he takes a day off. When a woman has a birthday, she takes at least three years off.

- My breasts are so low, now I can have a mammogram and a pedicure at the same time.

- I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware.

- I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.

On reputations and stereotypes:

- A man can sleep around, no questions asked. But if a woman makes 19 or 20 mistakes, she’s a tramp.

- It was a Jewish porno film: One minute of sex and nine minutes of guilt.

- I spit on education. No man is ever going to put his hand up your dress looking for a library card. (Note: Rivers went to Barnard, the women’s college affiliated with Columbia, and was extremely well-read.)

On death:

- My husband killed himself. And it was my fault. We were making love and I took the bag off my head.

- At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.

Opinion: Joan Rivers gave misfit girls permission to dream