Christopher Hitchens, the late gasbag contrarian wrote at least twice in Vanity Fair that women aren't funny.
Joan Rivers might have suggested that perhaps Hitchens water-board himself one more time.
Maybe the next time it would take.
She didn't say that. I just did.
But I said it because of Joan Rivers, the patron saint of sassy-assed women everywhere.
Sure there were foamy-mouthed dames before Joan. Mae West. Totie Fields.
But nobody did it as long and as well as our Joan. She set the bar and kicked it over a few times.
I learned how to be funny because of Joan Rivers. I learned the smart comeback, honed the ability to cut down a stupid man about eight inches with a flick of the tongue, to demolish the swells, and to show the beautiful broads that, after all, their shit does stink.
The high road? Come on. How is the high road funny?
If you haven't got something good to say about anybody, sit next to me.
Joan didn't write that, either.
But she should have.
She was the Everywoman, the Average Joan, the girl who didn't get asked to the prom, the housewife who didn't keep the perfect house, the one who was never invited to be a fourth at bridge.
She emerged kicking and screaming out of the 1950s, where women were expected to live in Pleasantville, in a black-and-white world. Joan took that image and colorized it.
She showed you didn't have to be pretty to rearrange your face.
She spat back at all the posers.
She taught us that smarter was better than pretty.
Joanie was the ultimate Apprentice, the one who learned the trade and took over everything.
She showed us that women could roll with the big boys in comedy.
Don't like me? I'll just whip around and slice you open with my tail.
The key to the genius of Joan Rivers was what all Average Joans learn early.
Make the joke about yourself first, then nobody else can do it.
She made that into an art.
Oh yes, and always have the last word.
Thank you, Joan for being the life of my party, and the girl I always wanted to meet in the bathroom.
I'll always have your voice in my head.