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Why You Should See Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work

Updated on July 28, 2010


I admit it, I’m a documentary junkie. More when it’s about a specific person or a subject that interests me but what I find the more I watch actual documentaries is just how wrong reality television gets it and how we as a culture have begun to believe that reality television is a documentary when it’s just like any other television show that is produced, cast, edited and re-shot to make us believe it’s reality but if you peel away the thinnest layer you’ll find it couldn’t be further away from reality. I also know that people will not find it difficult to believe that I’m biased based on the fact that I’m a Jew and Joan Rivers is a gay icon but I would have to say that for anyone who wants fame and fortune or to know what it takes to maintain and sustain a career, stop looking at American Idol or Justin Beiber and you may just find out what becomes as they put it in the film, “A semi-legend” most. Why you should see Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work – Don’t Get Me Started!

Although the youngsters of today think that this is the tiny woman who stands on red carpets and hawks big jewelry on QVC, from the start of this film those who know more about her roots and the fact that she is comedic royalty will discover that everything you suspected about Joan Rivers is true, she is one of the most driven women in show business. And guess what? She’s a good business woman.

As I sat in the dark laughing more than I have at any comedy movie I’ve ever seen I was also thrust into a world of an old school comedian who made it by her own sheer determination, a little thing called luck and fighting tooth and nail to keep holding onto her career all the while the establishment and others conspired to send grease down the wall she was holding onto with her finely manicured nails in their attempt to send her careening into oblivion. But they didn’t know who they were dealing with here. No matter how much shit they’ve thrown at her, her claws have kept her in place and you won’t find a chip in her polish.

“Do you want to see fear?” Joan Rivers asks as she opens up her calendar book to two pages that have nothing on them. When you see the schedule she maintains you marvel at her not because although she has a staff of assistants, agent and manager, but because you understand that every appointment was driven by Ms. Rivers herself on some level due to her own drive. She shows a day that she approves of on the calendar, one that has between four and six appearances, book signings and other meetings. You get that she’s not just talented, she’s smart and more than anything else she’s working…constantly.

I don’t know what the answer is to the fact that she seems to get overlooked by Show Business insiders when it’s she who helped define and create the comedic portion of that industry. Is it because she’s a woman? Is it because she’s told her version of the truth unabashedly and unashamedly for so many years? Who’s to say? I just think that what I’ve thought for years has been confirmed watching this movie. Joan Rivers deserves more from all of us because she has not just paved the way for other comedians back in the day but because she has continually forged new roads and taken us laughing in directions we had no idea were possible and has stayed more than current and ahead of the curve.

More than anything else, seeing her passion for her life and what she does made me look at my own life. Am I doing enough? Not a chance. Not when I see what this woman does every day to keep the Rivers machine going, supporting not only her own lifestyle but the industry that is Joan Rivers.

It’s sometimes easy to dismiss comedians as joke tellers and nothing more but I ask you to stop for a moment and understand what that person who got up on that stage to make you laugh came through in order to stand there. The braveness it takes and the fact that in a day and age where everything is manufactured for most comedians by a staff of writers, some are still doing it on their own and Joan Rivers has the thousands of jokes typed out on 3 by 5 cards to prove it.

As we left the theatre I felt as though I knew more about this woman I’ve watched for years and I wondered how she makes it all look so easy. Talent is the answer I suppose but whatever it is, I can only hope she continues doing it for years to come and that at some point she realizes that she is not a semi-legend but a full-fledged legend! Why you should see Joan Rivers: A Piece Of Work – Don’t Get Me Started!

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    • Earth Angel profile image

      Earth Angel 7 years ago

      Good Morning Scott!!

      Thumbs up from me!! For YOU and Joan!!

      Blessings always, Earth Angel!!

    • profile image

      Amber 7 years ago

      Grew up in Vegas so I know she's more than what you see today. I wonder what it takes to have, get, maintain that sort of drive? I was watching Gene Simmons' "reality" show, the one where they celebrate his 60th birthdy, and they keep comparing him to Joan Rivers---it was definitely meant as a compliment. Anyway, good post and when the movie is out on DVD, I'll put it in the queue.