Saturday, September 6, 2014

FTT Off-Topic: A Brief and Obvious Point About Joan Rivers' Death

She's earned it
Two days ago, the legendary Joan Rivers passed at age 81, probably due to medical malpractice, given that she was in for just a minor procedure. I'm not going to get into the nuts and bolts of her comedy, or her appeal, or the role that she played in getting women their shot at stand-up. The rest of the Net's got that covered, and I'm just happy she did the job, because I love a great number of female stand-ups these days. (Short list: Maria Bamford, Susan Silverman, Amy Schumer, Natasha Leggero and Kathleen Madigan.)

Rather, I want to talk about what I find to be the best and strongest part of her legacy: the fact that she pretty much worked until she died... because she did what she loved, which was comedy.

If you love what you do, you'll never work a day in your life. The Shooter Mom told me that as a young'un, and it's the best advice I can give anyone who is just starting out. Don't look for a job that you will let you vest and rest.

Rather, see if you can find one that's worthy of your time and effort, that keeps you engaged through all of the chapters, and that you can't really imagine retiring from, because you just love it too much to go away. Some people found Rivers' chasing of every gig unseemly and sad. I found that attitude to be ridiculously and patronizing. What I do know is that she was still funny, great in that recent episode of "Louie", and thriving in the era of social media and direct contact with fans.

So I'm not sad she's gone. I'm sad that she we're going to miss some more of her jokes, that she won't take more money from casinos, miss her on roasts, and the boundaries that aren't going to be crossed. And if we're really lucky, her example will shine for others in the craft.

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