Joan Rivers may never admit that she was a pioneer in comedy, but she did take pride in being one of the first successful female comediennes of the ’70s.
In 2012, Rivers wrote a candid piece for The Hollywood Reporter, detailing how her relationship with former “Tonight Show” co-host Johnny Carson turned sour after she left to host her own late-night show on Fox, which at the time existed as several small station.
Rivers didn’t tell Carson about the news until rather late. In response, Carson was so mad he famously banned Rivers from “The Tonight Show,” a ban which stayed in tact for nearly three decades until her appearance on the show this year when Jimmy Fallon took over as host.
In her THR piece, she recalled how it hurt, but that she believed his anger was aimed at one simple thing: She was a woman and she tried to rival his show.
“He didn’t like that as a woman, I went up against him,” Rivers wrote.
She goes on to say it’s tough to be in the business, commenting on how difficult it can be for women to break into comedy. At the end, she lays out a series of advice to any other woman trying to make it big.
Here is her advice via The Hollywood Reporter.
1. “Don’t worry about the money.”
“Love the process. You don’t know when it’s gonna happen. Louis C.K. started hitting in his 40s; he’d been doing it for 20 years.”
2. “Don’t settle.”
“I don’t want to ever hear, ‘It’s good enough.’ Then it’s not good enough.”
3. “Don’t ever underestimate your audience.”
“They can tell when it isn’t true.”
4. “Ignore your competition.”
“A Mafia guy in Vegas gave me this advice: ‘Run your own race, put on your blinders.’ Don’t worry about how others are doing. Something better will come.”
5. “Ignore ageing”
“Comedy is the one place it doesn’t matter. It matters in singing because the voice goes. It matters certainly in acting because you’re no longer the sexpot. But in comedy, if you can tell a joke, they will gather around your deathbed. If you’re funny, you’re funny. Isn’t that wonderful?”
“If there is a secret to being a comedian, it’s just loving what you do. It is my drug of choice. I don’t need real drugs. I don’t need liquor. It’s the joy that I get performing.”
Read the full article from The Hollywood Reporter, here.
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