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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Can We Talk?

Max and Joan
photo credit: AP/MW

I like to laugh.  No.  I LOVE to laugh.

A lot of people make me laugh.  Sometimes it's the Red Skelton kind of humor that grabs me...clean, honest, funny.  Other times, my inner 12 year old boy craves the stupid humor of South Park. I like Bill Engvall and Ron White and Larry the Cable Guy as well as I like any of the comedians out there.  And there's no funnier man on the planet than Craig Ferguson.  Which I may have mentioned before. *grin*

But you know who always makes me laugh?  To the core?  Joan Rivers. There are a lot of comedians out there who can get too nasty, even for me.  They don't do "nasty" right.  They need to take a lesson from Joan Rivers.  She can do nasty and it's still FUNNY. It's not nasty for the sake of being nasty.  It's just gut-busting funny.  Because it's real.  SHE is real.  She's naturally funny, on stage and off. She's fearless!

But that's not even what I like about her most.  Until she appeared on The Celebrity Apprentice (Season 8, 2009-2010, which, by the way she WON) I had underestimated her.  She was just another one of the many comedians out there, barely on my radar, despite being around for so long.  No, what I like about her most is her work ethic and her intelligence.

Did I just say that?  Yes, yes I did.  The woman is smart. If you don't believe me, just pull up Season 8 of Celebrity Apprentice on Hulu and watch her.  It didn't matter what the task was, she threw herself into it 100%, whether it was slinging hash or scrubbing toilets.  She wasn't "above" any of it.  She decided what needed to be done and rolled up her sleeves and just DID IT.  And she had no patience for slackers, fools or prima donnas.  At 76 years old, she worked circles around everyone else.  Say what you will about The Donald, but he's no dummy.  She won the whole thing!

Nevermind her 50+ years in the business.  Nevermind her many accomplishments in live stand-up, TV, movies, radio, books and yes, even cartoons - just on street smarts alone, she's brilliant.  And the cherry on top?  She has a BA in English lit. Betcha didn't know THAT.

She acts tough, well, she IS tough.  Barbara Stanwyck would have probably called her a "tough old broad." But she's also nice.  Joan Rivers?  Nice?  Yes.  I'm not privileged enough to be in her circle of friends, but I have zero doubt that if you are lucky enough to be her friend, there's nothing she wouldn't do for you.  And she loves dogs.  Gotta love a person who loves dogs.

Moral of the story?  Well my stories don't usually have a moral.  But if I had to pick one for Joan?  Never never never underestimate a tough old broad from Brooklyn.

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