Joan Rivers' Comedy Era Is Over -- Younger Jewish Women Comics Have Better Attitudes About Looks and Sex

September 5, 2014 5:46 PM

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Joan Rivers' Comedy Era Is Over -- Younger Jewish Women Comics Have Better Attitudes About Looks and Sex

Joan Rivers, who died Thursday at the age of 81, is being rightfully and widely praised as a sharply funny role model for female comics. Comedian Judy Gold wrote a lovely piece for CNN about how Rivers affected her, one misfit funny Jewish woman to another. What is starkly noticeable in the wake of Rivers' death is how much has changed for funny ladies since Rivers first walked onto the Tonight Show stage in 1965.

Rivers, who was born in Brooklyn in 1933 as Joan Alexandra Molinsky, like Totie Fields and Phyllis Diller -- two other funny Jewish women who became famous comics -- made it big by belittling themselves. At the heart of their acts were self-deprecating jokes about being unattractive. It is hard to i...

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