Joan Rivers (born Joan Alexandra Molinsky) is a Brooklyn-born comedian who has written more than 1 million jokes–each individually typed on index cards and archived by subject. Popular categories include: sex, cosmetic surgery, insincere show people, 9/11, and whores. She got her big break in 1965 while working for TV’s first reality show, Candid Camera, as a gag writer and participant (she lured people into dubious situations). That same year, she appeared on The Tonight Show hosted by Johnny Carson who decades later made her his regular guest host–until she really pissed him off. She has appeared repeatedly in numerous TV shows (Carol Burnett, Hollywood Squares), an eclectic selection of movies (The Swimmer, Pee Wee Herman’s Playhouse), and hosted a variety of self-titled daytime talk shows (the abject failure of her FOX show is to blame, she believes, for the suicide of her second husband Edger). She’s also written books, performed and produced live comedy, and made albums including “Can We Talk?” – her most famous catchphrase.
Since 1983, Rivers has been devoutly loyal to her plastic surgeon, Steven Hoefflin, who occasionally moonlights (Rivers’ facial upkeep could be considered a full-time job) on the likes of her former boss, the comedian Phyllis Diller, as well as late legends Michael Jackson and Elizabeth Taylor, who Rivers once joked on Saturday Night Live “has more chins than a Chinese telephone directory.” (Former Taylor paramour Richard Burton famously credited Taylor with only a “double chin.”) Rivers has recovered from crow’s feet, bulimia, a suicide attempt and along the way earned $800 million in sales from her QVC jewelry collection. That’s no joke.