Monday, June 8, 2015

Joan's Birthday Cake

Born on this date in 1933, Joan Rivers managed the considerable feat of keeping her career going for more than 50 years. In the 1960s, she was a frequent guest on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show and The Ed Sullivan Show, and even briefly had her own talk show. At the time of her death in 2014, she was as busy as ever, doing her level best to stay on the cutting edge of comedy -- or perhaps step a bit over that edge.

Naturally, her humor evolved over the years, as did audience standards. In 1969, Joan was asked to provide a few of her "favorite jokes" for a syndicated newspaper article. Here's a sample:

"I had no luck baking my husband Edgar a birthday cake. While it was in the oven, the candles melted."

"I was so fat as a child that whenever I played Post Office, they sent me bulk rate."

"I never realized how bad a cook I was until Betty Crocker heaved a rock through my kitchen window."

Pretty tame stuff, next to her 21st century jokes. But whether you prefer that kindler, gentler Joan, or the later one who dropped knife-edged gags about Anne Frank and various modern-day celebrities, there's no doubt that the former Joan Molinsky fought hard for her place in the show business sun. It's not likely we'll forget her soon.

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