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
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.
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.)
- 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.