Comedy legend Joan Rivers died on Thursday in a New York hospital after she went into cardiac arrest at a Manhattan doctor’s office following a routine procedure. She was 81. On radio this morning, Glenn, Pat, and Stu admitted that while they weren’t necessarily fans of the comedian, they do appreciate what she was able to accomplish.
“She’s a pro,” Stu said. “She's one of those people that I don't find funny, but people that I do find funny find her funny.”
As the Associated Press reported, Rivers was one of the early pioneers of female comedy. When Rivers got her start in the early 1960s, comedy “was a man’s game and the only women comics she could look to were Totie Fields and Phyllis Diller.” After pounding the pavement at local clubs around Manhattan, Rivers got her big break on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965.
Glenn and Pat reminisced about the power of late night TV at the time to turn relative unknowns into stars. With the advent of the internet and modern technology, however, all someone needs is a camera and a computer to create a video or piece of content that catapults them into the mainstream.
“I don't even know if you would remember this, Stu. The big deal was, if you were a comedian, and Johnny [Carson]… invited to you the couch… you made it,” Glenn recalled. “Are there kingmakers like that anymore? I don't think there are.”
While Glenn admitted it might be a “good thing” that there is no longer a small group of people who pull all the strings, Stu pointed out another major change that has occurred.
“We don't have that shared experience… when everyone used to watch the same show and everybody would be talking about that comedian the next day,” Stu said. “There are positives and negatives to that.”
“[There are] viral clips,” Glenn added. “We're starting to have a shared experience – but in a different way. [It’s] not at the same time.”
Front page image courtesy of the AP