Joan Rivers on Humor and Loss

GROSS: What are some of the most painful things that have happened to you that you’ve ended up making jokes about on stage?

Ms. RIVERS: Oh, where do you start? My husband’s suicide.

GROSS: Right.

Ms. RIVERS: Some man, 60 years old, that couldn’t take the business and went and killed himself. How do you deal with that? How do you deal with that when you’ve got a 16-year-old daughter who gets the call? Huh?

And I’ll tell you how you deal with that. You go through it, and you make jokes about it, and you continue with it, and you move forward. That’s how you do it, or that’s how I do it. Everyone handles things differently.

-Joan Rivers, in a 2010 interview with Fresh Air’s Terry Gross.

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