Skip To Content

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
The Schmooze

Joan Rivers’ Most Jewish Comedy Moments

Getty Images

In the world of brassy, chutzpadik funny ladies, nobody has done it better and longer than Joan Rivers. The lady is a legend, a trailblazer, who made way for the candid, feminist humor of women like Sarah Silverman and Amy Schumer and a whole generation of female comics who have the courage to get up on the stage and tell it like it is. As a woman, that is.

As we mourn Joan Rivers, we thought that it couldn’t hurt to revisit some classic moments in the comedian’s life. Because what better way is there to express our Joan love than to laugh at her jokes.

1) Joan on single girls and sexual double-standards. In 1967.

“The whole society is not for single girls. A man, he’s single, he’s so lucky. A boy on a date, all he has to be is clean and able to pick up a check and he is a winner.”

2) Joan tells a Holocaust joke.

“The last time a German looked this hot is when they were pushing Jews into the ovens.”

3) And then refuses to apologize.

“By my doing a joke it gets them talking, thinking.”

4) Joan on aging as a woman.

“Women as you get older, people get very angry with you.”

5) Joan and Sarah Silverman Talk About Funny Women and the Time Joan Got Kicked off a Live Television Show.

“I found, when I was still fertile, that men did not like a funny women in bed,” says Joan. “If I was a detective I would be like: crumpled up tissue…we know the person is Jewish,” says Sarah on Joan’s jacket.

6) Joan on giving birth.

“In my day having a child was better. They knocked you out with the first pain and woke you up when the hairdresser showed.” (1:55 – 2:55)

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.