You are here

Share Share Share Share Share Share Share
Jewesses with Attitude

Joan Rivers - the spitfire of her own roast!

Last night comedians including Carl Reiner, Gilbert Gottfried, Greg Giraldo, Jeffrey Ross, and Mario Cantone roasted Joan Rivers on Comedy Central.  As she predicted in the clip below, it was a circus of pot-shots about her age, her plastic surgery, and her vagina. 

Kathy Griffin said it best when she introduced Joan:

Joan, look, you know I adore you. You're an inspiration to me.  You have made it possible, certainly, for every female comedian to work. You're a trailblazer - the first and last women in the history of network late night to have a show.  You put the red carpet on the map.  Nobody watched the red carpet before Joan, you put it on the map. You've got a fantastic career, you're famous all over the world, and no matter where you go or who you meet, everyone says the same thing your gynecologist said the first time he took a look at you...

For the very inappropriate punch-line, watch the clip here.

I am proud to report, however, that the most fiery moment of the entire roast was delivered by Ms. Rivers herself, as she took the stage at the end and gave the crowd a piece of her mind. She displayed more energy than the rest of the comedians combined.

The following clip only shows the beginning of her set where she denounces roast-host Kathy Griffin for stealing her act. For another taste, check out this foul-mouthed clip (Warning: definitely not safe for work).

Roast of Joan Rivers Sun, Aug 9 10pm / 9c
Joan Rivers - On Kathy Griffin
Live Twitter Roast Roast Master Kathy Griffin Zombie Paparazzi Game

What followed was incredible: Joan Rivers announced that after such a horrendous performance by her roasters, she could not retire because "America needs Joan Rivers!" As a huge American flag billowed down behind her, I could not agree more.  

At the Jewish Women's Archive, we have admired Joan Rivers for many years. She is of the comedians featured in Making Trouble, the award-winning documentary produced by the Jewish Women’s Archive about three generations of trailblazing female Jewish comedians.  We are excited to announce that the film is coming out on DVD at the end of the month! Go to www.makingtrouble/getthefilm to email us to be notified when the DVD is available.

How to cite this page

Berkenwald, Leah. "Joan Rivers - the spitfire of her own roast!." 10 August 2009. Jewish Women's Archive. (Viewed on January 23, 2017) <>.


Help us elevate the voices of Jewish women.

donate now


What is the best Jewish feminist tv show currently on tv?

Sign Up for JWA eNews



1 day
“Where is the women’s movement? It is everywhere!”
3 days
"This sense of restoration and renewal deeply embedded in the Modeh Ani carries me through the day."…
3 days
Abby has been pro- since she was 8! On Saturday, January 21, her work continues at the !…