Sunday’s funeral for Joan Rivers was attended by friends and fellow comedians, like Whoopi Goldberg, Kathy Griffin, and Rosie O’Donnell; actors Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker; TV journalists such as Diane Sawyer and Barbara Walters; and punchlines like Donald Trump. Bagpipers played “New York, New York;” the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus sang a Broadway medley; and Hugh Jackman closed with a rendition of “Quiet Please, There’s A Lady On Stage.” And Howard Stern delivered a eulogy that paid tribute to her legendary sense of humor, as well as her vagina.
As Stern explained during his show yesterday, he’d been asked to deliver the sendoff for Rivers, a longtime favorite guest, by her daughter Melissa. And while he balked at the enormous pressure at first, Stern says a conversation with Louis C.K. helped put him in the right state of mind: “He said, ‘Joan was like an aunt or a best friend who could make everything better.’ Even in times after say 9/11 or the country just seems to be going down or things just seem to be bad, when she would crack a joke … you didn’t feel so alone.”
In the morose silence Howard Stern said, “Joan Rivers had a dry pussy.”
At first, the words just hung there, as no one knew exactly what to do. Of course I started laughing hysterically, and everyone else, remembering who we were there to honor, followed suit. Howard Stern actually choked back tears as he continued – “Joan’s pussy was so dry it was like a sponge – so that when she got in the bathtub – whooooosh – all the water would get absorbed in there! Joan said that if Whitney Houston had as dry a pussy as Joan’s, she would still be alive today…” It was so wrong but so right at the same time. So Joan. So great. RIP my friend.
It was the sort of farewell Rivers would have written for herself—and in fact, she did, telling the same joke on both The Late Show With David Letterman and her triumphant return to The Tonight Show earlier this year. And it’s a welcome reminder that it’s never too soon to start crafting the jokes for your own funeral.