I didn’t get around to watching Comedy Central’s roast of Joan Rivers, and now I’m glad I didn’t. Turns out, Rivers sat in her limo before the show began, absolutely dreading it.
She knew it was going to be a litany of cruel jokes about her age and her plastic surgery abuse—and she wanted no part of it. She took the gig for the money, plain and simple. So she put on her game face as a lineup of (mostly male) comedians barraged her with mean-spirited put-downs about her appearance. (Brad Garrett screamed at the sight of her.)
There are many such cringe-inducing moments in the fabulous new documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work—and also moments that will make you cry, cheer, and, most of all, laugh. You will leave this film remembering that Joan Rivers is one very funny woman (albeit a vulgar one). You will also see her as a woman of great strength, a true show biz survivor.
At 75 years of age, Rivers is all-too aware of her status in the show-biz arena: A has-been and...