Joan Rivers Talks About Being a Woman in Comedy with Michigan Avenue Magazine
After posing for a few photos with Charles William Bush, the outspoken comedian reflected on being a woman in the industry and her strong bond with daughter Melissa.
Check out highlights from Joan's interview below and for more head over to Michigan Avenue!
On comedy being a boy’s club when she started out:
"Look at the women that are in it: Ellen DeGeneres, lesbian. Rosie O’Donnell, lesbian. Paula Poundstone, lesbian. Jane Lynch, lesbian.… Seriously, it’s not a boys’ club, and it wasn’t then. It just didn’t appeal to women, and when I started in the ’60s, if you were pretty, you were a singer. You didn’t want to stand onstage and make a fool of yourself. Women [had to be] very strong and not attractive to be considered funny. Tina Fey’s changed that; Sarah Silverman now looks so gorgeous. It’s changed a lot now—they’ll accept funnier women."
On what she is proudest of when looking back at her career:
"That I’m still here—and I’m totally relevant. I just switched agencies, and they went to look at who watches me, who my core group is, and 22 years old is the average age. How about that one? And of course it goes all the way up and all the way out. Whatever I’m doing, I’m of the moment, and I’m so proud of that. I’m not doing Wendell Willkie jokes."
On the key to her longevity:
"Formaldehyde. [Laughs] No, I’m just lucky. I come from a family where there was always in every generation one woman with great energy. That, and eating whatever I want. I don’t believe in 'Oh, today you should eat wheat, and tomorrow don’t touch wheat, and coffee is bad for you, coffee is good for you....' I call it 'scrounge eating.' I truly eat every morning a bag of Cheetos. And airplane food I totally believe in."
On her relationship with her daughter Melissa:
"She’s very upset because she just found out she’s not adopted. Really threw her. No, we do very well. Every time we have a big fight, though, I just strip naked and say, “One day, you’re going to look like this,” and that just kills her. We’re very lucky. We have a very good mother-daughter relationship. Of course we argue—we’re very strong women. She’s the executive producer of Fashion Police, she’s the costar of Joan Knows Best, she’s on my Internet show, In Bed with Joan.... We work together, and we have differences, and we’re a mother and daughter, so you have differences over that. And she gets upset when I bring sailors home—she hates when I come to get a condom. [Laughs]"
Photo Credit: Charles William Bush for Michigan Avenue