September 16, 2012

Joan Rivers Hates Me...


I love Joan Rivers ----- she is bold and brash and outrageous and funny as hell. Sure, sometimes she goes too far, both on the stage and in the plastic surgeon's office, but she is talented and original.

I have seen her perform live twice, and laughed so hard both times I may have peed a little. I enjoyed her first book, Enter Talking, a sweet and smart autobiography of her early years, and just read her latest, I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me.



Rivers has written many books, from her autobiographies to fiction to advice on plastic surgery. This one is different; I Hate Everyone... is basically a stretched out stand-up routine, a collection of one-liners with each chapter having a very loose  theme or idea (Screw Mother Nature, I Hate Show Business, Eat Me, etc). There is no ongoing theme or idea, other than mean/funny/true, so it's better to read this one in bits. And I laughed out loud. A lot.

The jokes being with "I hate...." and then the funny comes. What does Joan Rivers hate? Florida, vegans, maitre d's, politically correct jerks, people who bring lousy gifts to parties, Sweden, camping, pilates, Hitler, Ghandi, Winnipeg (yes, Canadian content!), nicknames, airlines, boy scouts, extreme sports, Stephen Hawking, scientology, people who talk during movies, Deepak Chopra, nudists, Mother Nature, restaurants who lock their washrooms, the tip jar at Starbucks, and so much more.

One of the best longer bits is when Rivers, fully aware of the irony here, writes about how she hates old people, who she divides into four categories: (1) regular (2) old and annoying (3) old and infirm (4) just not dead yet. She hates the smell of old people, she hates early bird specials, she hates it all.

Does she go too far? Yep, sometimes, like when restaurants have you select your own seafood:  "Lobsters are like Japanese, they all look alike". Okay, I laughed... but I felt bad about it.

Oh, she loves a few things too. I don't remember any of them, because they weren't as funny.

One of my favourite Rivers rants in the book is her I Hate Tom Cruise blast, which I am not going to copy outright (that's a lot of typing) but includes Scientology, spaceships, Fire Island, Katie Holmes swearing he is heterosexual, and his shit-eating grin. It's not mean if it's funny, Tom....

I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me is not deep. It is sometimes mean. But it sure is funny. If you like Joan Rivers' humour like I do, check it out.