Aug 30, 2014

No Matter How Dark the Present

      You probably have no idea who Joan Alexandra Molinsky is, but I'm pretty sure you know who Joan Rivers is. Guess what? It's the same person. Joan Alexandra Molinsky was born in 1933 in Brooklyn and some twenty years later, after getting a BA in English literature and anthropology, she decided upon Joan Rivers as her stage name and embarked on a journey to mega-stardom. But the beginnings of it were all but glamorous and sugarcoated.
      In the sixties, she performed in a bunch of bars around New York and once said herself that she was "starving and working in strip joints and clubs" before she finally caught a break and appeared on the Johnny Carson show in 1965 and slowly but surely elbowed her way to the title of America's rudest and wittiest woman, which she still proudly and firmly holds in her grasp today, if you ask me. I wish I could show you a clip of her performance from that 1965 Johnny Carson show, but you can see three minutes of her performance on the Ed Sullivan show just two years later here and her appearance on the Johnny Carson show in 1986, twenty-one years after Carson helped her get her career started, here. Have a look and you'll see how little has changed — she's just as sassy and cheeky now as she was way back when. But something has changed and changed a lot — her appearance.
      Over the years, she has had numerous plastic surgeries and she once jokingly said that she had had 739 procedures done, which is clearly not true but she has in fact had several nose jobs, an eye tuck, liposuction and a few face lifts done and now swears by Botox injections. I'm sure you're dying to see a before and after picture so here it is and you can also scroll through her transformation over the years here.
      I will let you be the judge, whether the numerous procedures did her a disservice or not, but judging by the extent of work she has had done, one thing is undoubtedly clear — she hasn't been the biggest fan of the way she looks. Which also explains her early struggles with bulimia and countless jabs at her own appearance she has made throughout her entire career. But maybe the most surprising joke of them all is the one she made after her second husband committed suicide (her first marriage was annulled after only six months because her first husband failed to tell her that he didn't want children before the wedding took place).
      Her second husband took his life after twenty-two years of marriage and Joan talked about that in one of her stand-ups saying: "My husband killed himself. And it was my fault. We were making love and I took the bag off my head." Joan later explained that humor helped her and her daughter, Melissa, cope and get through that horrible time. As for her daughter, her only daughter, Rivers once remarked: "I have no sex appeal. If my husband didn’t toss and turn, we’d never have had the kid."
      But she has given the world a lot more than 'just that one kid': she was the first woman in history to host a Late Night show, worked on over twenty films and over forty TV shows, published over ten books, performed in theaters around the globe and is a comedian, writer, producer and TV host still this very day — at eighty-one, people. Kind of makes you respect the woman more, doesn't it? Kind of makes you feel a bit lazy, doesn't it? Anyhow, below you can read through some of Joan Rivers quotes I've selected and decided to post. Because I admire and adore her. Because I simply can't get enough of her. Joan Rivers everyone:

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