December 5, 2014

Driving With Joan Rivers...

I drive a lot for work, with a long daily commute especially in snowy winter, plus often heading out of town for longer snowier lonelier drives. So... blech.

Over the last few years I have gotten hooked on audio books (yay public library system) while I drive.

This week I listened to the latest – and presumably last – audio book from the late comedian Joan Rivers, which just got a Grammy nomination this week.

It is funny. Brutal funny. And sometimes just brutal.

“It’s all over the news that Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy to prevent getting cancer. I think Paris Hilton should…step up to the plate and try to prevent STDs. It would be so easy for her. All she would have to do is have her knees fused together.”

The book is Diary Of A Mad Diva, and is formatted by date like a diary, which she says up front is fake and you are an idiot if you believe is real. This is basically a long standup comedy routine, with the diary format as a technique to jump from topic to topic; it really only means that Rivers says  'dear diary' a whole lot... though not nearly as much as she says 'fuck'... or 'Lohan'... or 'Auschwitz'.

Rivers' voice sounds rough and scratchy – which was at first very distracting – or is that just me displacing what I know about her final surgery and death?

I think you either find Joan Rivers' humour really hysterically funny, or you just don't. I loved her, and when I saw her live a couple of times, I laughed so much I peed a little.

“No one is allowed to dress up anymore during Award Season…The networks have new decency guidelines, which insist that no more breasts, buttocks or genitalia show. Luckily, because of celebrities like Pharrell and his stupid hat, we’ll still be able to see assholes.”

Here she  takes on Anne Frank (lazy, didn’t even finish her first book), Martin Luther King Jr (cheap), the church (can forgive their pedophilia but not bad fashion)... and Rosa Parks, Game Of Thrones, Jay Leno, Red Lobster, butt plugs, Eminem ... and all of Hollywood.

At times I felt uncomfortable as Rivers goes very far, sometimes too far, especially towards women. And herself. And she is very crude. So I gasped a lot. But I laughed more.

Some of this really works; the schtick on the Jewish version of 50 Shades of Grey --- 33 Shades Of Grey, cuz we want a discount --- was hysterical.

And this book, like Rivers, is oh so gay friendly ---- gay weddings, gay Passover, gay Hollywood, gay Liberace, gay funerals, gay fashion directors, and gay John Travolta.

Is this worth a listen? Yes, though I would go to her previous one, I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me, first. It is a tad bitchier. In a good way.

Diary Of A Mad Diva is rude and crude and a little creepy with a raspier version of that familiar voice... but on today's dark snowy drive home while those other people were listening to depressing news, I was laughing out loud in my car listening to Joan Rivers talk about Mother Teresa's foot fetish. And it was awesome.