Joan Rivers - Kravis Center, West Palm Beach - March 14
How low can you go?
Is there anyone older and wiser and still on the microphone with as much vengeance as pop cultural icon Joan Rivers? There is not! Her comedy career dates back to the freaking Ed Sullivan Show. While her touring and television appearances have not slowed, the world is divided on the Rivers camp. Some can't get enough of the irreverent 80-year-old and others cringe at the thought of having to stare at her face in person for an hour.
One thing is for sure, throwing Rivers into the Kravis Center was a major shift in the dynamic. Her audience was densely populated with the exact people that she targets: her peers. That's right, Joan might be the oldest in the game but that doesn't stop her from hating old people. In fact, she hates a lot of groups. We all do, but at least she has the cajones to say it.
Joan hit the stage in a massive, pink feather, sparkly, floor length coat. Or was it a robe? It's hard to tell, we'll have to check with the Fashion Police and get back to you. First thing's first, time to put the crowd in our place, which she did nicely with "West Palm Beach, what happened to real Palm Beach where the wasps are? This is all Jews and prostitutes."
This super-senior citizen does. not. stop. She skipped, ran and thrusted her way across the stage for the entire performance while maintaining a constant ramble with intermittent claims that she's about to "do the act." While the wit is sharp, it's her age that makes it impressive. She claims to hate her own kind, even calling out "Anybody old, get the fuck out right now!" The osteoporosis and Cialis jokes pinned down the older folk, but the jabs didn't end there.
Joan made it pretty clear that she hates everyone. Blind people, take cover because she's coming for you. Gwenyth Paltrow, be happy you weren't in the room. Homeless people, just stay on the street so Joan can look at you to decide if she should grab a coat and bypass the Weather Channel. Even Michelle Obama was on the insult train. The shit talking was Mean Girls level in the best way possible.
But the moral of the Joan Rivers story is obvious. Even if you are old, it doesn't mean you have to stop. No one embodies that better than Joan. Chances are no one will. She said it herself, "You gotta look good!" And while Joan's sheer stage presence was a inspiration to grow older, the crowd was a reminder to be thankful for the journey. We overheard someone next to me say "I really should have worn my hearing aid." Good thing Joan didn't know that or she would have crushed her soul and kicked her out. Not so bad for an octogenarian.
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