Joan Rivers would have celebrated her 90th birthday on June 8, but the late famous, fashionable comedian probably would have kept things quieter, according to her daughter.
“No, it would not have been a big blow out,” Melissa Rivers told Fox News Digital. “She would not have appreciated that.”
“I think she probably [would have] wanted to spend it with some friends, me, and Cooper [Melissa’s son]. You know, I’m sure we would have done something, but not some big, huge celebration.”
There is another honor on the horizon for the late comedian that is cause for celebration. Joan is being inducted into the National Comedy Center museum, with a dedicated exhibit honoring her life and work.
“I’m incredibly honored and excited that she will be a part of it. It’s a wonderful place to properly store the archives so that they are preserved,” Rivers said.
“And in a funny twist of fate, my mother headlined their comedy festival in 2011… And at that festival they announced that they were going to do this museum. And it’s really about the craft of comedy. It’s just a very nice bow [on it] that she was there when it was announced and that the archives are going to be on display there.”
Joan is being inducted on her 90th birthday, with the exhibit – along with an interactive element – launching in 2025, allowing visitors to comb through the archives in detail.
“Joan Rivers was a master of evolution who ascended—again and again—to the heights of success in an industry that was not structured in her favor, blazing a wide and clear trail for generations of artists who would follow,” National Comedy Center Executive Director Journey Gunderson said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “She is not only a role model for women in comedy, but for all artists who desire to wield comedy’s expressive power to communicate something vital about the human condition. We are very proud that the National Comedy Center will be the home of Joan Rivers’ career archive, so that we can showcase her extraordinary body of work.”
BIOGRAPHY: JOAN RIVERS A WALKING CONTRADICTION
Joan saved and cataloged much of her material, from jokes to photos to letters and more, throughout her career. Fans got a glimpse of her system in the 2010 documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” where she explained her filing system for her jokes.
That card catalog, filled with a reported 69,000 quips to ensure she never repeated herself, could get the comedian in trouble from time to time.
Regardless of her criticisms of celebrities, fashion, or both, Joan always seemed to avoid being canceled, at least as the public handles it today.
For Rivers, she feels her mom would have found the current comedic climate troubling.
“I think she’d be very frustrated,” Rivers said. “I think she would be happy that it’s swinging back towards the middle from such extremes.”
Knowing her mom’s penchant for controversy, she added, “I would have hoped that she would have gotten sort of grandfathered in not having to be so politically correct, kind of like Dave Chappelle. And I think she would have. But I do think it would be incredibly frustrating.”
WATCH: JOAN RIVERS’ DAUGHTER SHARES HOW MOM WOULD REACT TO CANCEL CULTURE AND CURRENT STATE OF COMEDY
DAVE CHAPPELLE REPORTEDLY BLASTS SAN FRANCISCO AT SURPRISE SHOW: ‘WHAT THE F— HAPPENED TO THIS PLACE?’
“Some people justifiably need to be canceled, some people do not,” she said. “And I think we went through a phase where it was too much.”
Dave Chappelle has faced ongoing backlash and outcry over jokes that have been labeled transphobic, including canceled live shows. It kicked off after he released his stand-up show, “The Closer,” on Netflix in 2021.
Rivers gave another example of a comedian previously facing backlash: Kevin Hart.
Hart was called out for past tweets and stand-up bits that were considered homophobic when he was announced as the host of the Oscars in 2019. Ultimately, Hart apologized, after previously apologizing for the content years prior, and stepped down from the hosting job.
“The material was taken out of context because at the time that [the jokes] was okay,” Rivers said. “Would he have made those jokes now? No. At the time he made those jokes, those were okay. And the audience laughed. And I think that’s where she would have gotten frustrated. I don’t know about you, but I am not the same person I was even five years ago.”
KEVIN HART TALKS CANCEL CULTURE FOLLOWING HIS 2019 OSCARS HOSTING SCANDAL: ‘IT’S ABOUT GROWTH’
She continued, “And that doesn’t mean things people didn’t say were wrong or outrageous or offensive or any of those things. But it’s very hard to judge people, including judge yourself, most importantly, of who you were 20 years ago. The person I was when I started college was not the person I was when I left college. The person I was when I got my first job is not the same person.”
“I mean, people have to evolve,” she concluded.
Joan certainly evolved throughout her life and career, beginning as a club comedian in the 1950s and 60s, before becoming a popular guest on “The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson,” and going on to be the first woman to ever host her own talk show, “The Late Show with Joan Rivers” in 1986.
Later she also hosted a daytime talk show, “The Joan Rivers Show” from 1989 to 1993, and won a Daytime Emmy for outstanding talk show host.
Joan was also well known for her red-carpet interviews and fashion critiques, hosting “Fashion Police” on E! from 2010 until just before her death in 2014.
Rivers appeared with her mom many times on red carpets, and in their own reality series “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” in the early 2010s.
MELISSA RIVERS’ TELL-ALL STYLE BOOK ABOUT MOM JOAN DOESN’T HOLD BACK
The mother and daughter shared a close bond since the day Rivers was born, and despite the rigors of fame, Rivers always viewed her mom as a mom, and a day on set was a day at the office.
“Well, of course you realize that your family is not like other families,” she said. “It hit my friends who had come with me [to set], even when we were little, how different it was. But again, to me, it was going to the office.”
“Everyone’s like, ‘When did you realize your mom was famous?’ It’s like you kind of don’t. You kind of just go, ‘Well, this is who they are and this is what they do.’”
The Joan Rivers audiences knew was also very different from the Joan Rivers her daughter saw at home.
WATCH: JOAN RIVERS’ DAUGHTER MELISSA ON GROWING UP WITH AN ICON
Rivers said her mother’s “sensitivity” would surprise people the most. She noted, “how vulnerable she was, how sensitive she was. The person you saw on stage was not the person she was in real life. The best way to explain it was, to the day she died, her home phone was answered. ‘Rosenberg residence.’ That tells you everything.”
The “Rosenberg residence” refers to Joan’s late husband and Rivers’ father, Edgar Rosenberg, who died by suicide in 1987. Joan dated after his death, but ultimately never remarried.
MELISSA RIVERS ON FINDING LAUGHTER AGAIN AFTER MOM JOAN RIVERS’ DEATH: ‘GRIEF IS A UNIVERSAL EMOTION’
Throughout their lives, Rivers and her mother had some ups and downs in their relationship, but she said she was “blessed” to be in a good place with her mom when she died unexpectedly at 81, following a botched medical procedure.
“I think what remains foremost in my mind is that when she passed, we were in a great space, and I said this in my book, [that] we were both lucky that I knew she loved me, and she knew that I knew she loved me and I loved her and that she knew I loved her.”
“There was nothing left to say. People are always like, ‘Did you feel like you needed to still tell her anything?’ And I was like, ‘no.’ We both knew how much we mattered to each other. And that I think I’m very blessed by. There was no unfinished business, no anything left unsaid.”
CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT NEWSLETTER
She went on to add, “I mean, there was a lot more to say. But I have taken great solace in that through the years, especially because it was so different than with my dad.”
Joan’s legacy as a comedian – she even has her own action figure – continues to inspire the next generation and leave an impact.
Fellow comedian and trailblazer Carol Burnett said in a statement about Joan’s induction into the National Comedy Center, “Joan was one of the funniest people I ever met, and a friend for decades. It’s wonderful to know that her archives will join the National Comedy Center, a one-of-a-kind museum dreamed up by none other than Lucille Ball: a woman whom Joan and I both loved and admired very much.”
“This archive is priceless not only for the history of comedy but also for women in art. Joan was a trailblazer, an icon, a true legend,” said comedian Margaret Cho. “I was lucky enough to know her and call her a friend. To be able to see her life in jokes is a tremendous honor.”
“America’s Got Talent” judge and comedian Howie Mandel also shared his excitement for Joan’s honor.
“Joan Rivers was so instrumental in my personal career, but more importantly she remains an iconic trailblazer for all standup comedy. She constantly pushed the boundaries of material, platforms and gender. Just about everything we see today in comedy has a connection in some way to Joan,” he said.
WATCH: JOAN RIVERS’ DAUGHTER DISCUSSES MOM’S NEW HONOR ON WHAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HER 90TH BIRTHDAY
There is also more to be seen from Joan’s archives, not only at the National Comedy Center museum, but in an upcoming 4-disc CD box set of her work, titled “Joan Rivers–The Diva Rides Again,” featuring five hours of never-before-released recordings of her comedy throughout her career. The box set, which is currently available for preorder, will be released on Aug. 18, 2023.
However, as Rivers noted, she hopes her mom is remembered “obviously for her sense of humor,” but also her “intelligence and that she was incredibly philanthropic.”
The National Comedy Center is located in Jamestown, New York. Tickets for the center are available at comedycenter.org
Source: Fox News