Passing away at the age of 81, Joan Rivers left behind a very important comedy legacy, overshadowed perhaps by her later years, in which she enjoyed feuding with many celebrities and hurling insults at them, either on E!’s “Fashion Police” or on Twitter.
In her 2014 book “Diary of a Mad Diva”, Rivers calls Jennifer Aniston “stupid”, Tyra Banks “bulimic”, and claims that “Kanye West’s new son is going to be named P***y in honour of where he came from.” Her acerbic style wasn’t a hit with everyone, and some celebrities fought back, ending up in some pretty vicious exchanges. Check out the most famous of Joan Rivers’s celebrity feuds.
After claiming that “Fashion Police” is teaching young people “that it's OK to point at people and call them ugly or fat,” Jennifer Lawrence got a taste of Joan Rivers’ sharp tongue. The comedienne quickly retorted: “I love that she’s telling everyone how wrong it is to worry about retouching and body image, and meanwhile, she has been touched up more than a choir boy at the Vatican. Look at her posters!”
In one of Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds that turned really bitter, Chelsea Handler was upset at the comedy legend for correcting her after calling herself the “first woman ever to do a late-night show”. Rivers had been a guest host on “The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson and ever had her own show on FOX in 1986, but Handler refused to acknowledge it. “She never spoke to me again,” Rivers explained.
Few people got as many insults out of Joan Rivers as the Kardashians. The comedienne joked about Kim’s daughter being “ugly” and ripped the entire family to shreds on “Fashion Police”. Eventually, Kim and Khloé started making requests to be kept separate from Joan at public events.
After calling Rihanna an idiot for getting back together with Chris Brown and tweeting that “if he hit you once, he’ll hit you again”, the singer seemed glad to become part of one of Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds. Rihanna tweeted back “slap on some diapers” and “wow u really do get slow when you’re old huh?”
Rivers was never a big fan of Lindsay Lohan, and called the actress “so dumb” that her “idea of being sworn in is cursing at the judge.” The actress decided to take a shot at both Rivers and her own estranged father, tweeting “Joan Rivers and her ‘stargument’ make me believe that she and Michael Lohan are a match made in heaven.” As Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds tend to go, it quickly escalated, with even Samantha Ronson getting involved and tweeting “Hey Joan Rivers — you have collagen older than Lindsay, pick on someone your own age. Oh wait, I guess people that old can’t hear.”
Few of Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds ended up with legal issues, but Kristen Stewart threatened to sue the comedienne after Rivers claimed that Stewart “got a whole career by being able to juggle directors’ balls” in her “Diary of a Mad Diva” book. Rivers laughed it off: “I can't wait to get her into court because I’m gonna get a puppet and I want her to show me on the puppet where she thinks I claim she touched her director.“
The singer wrote an open letter condemning Kelly Osbourne and the entire “Fashion Police” team: “It glorifies you and Joan Rivers pointing in the camera, laughing, and making jokes about artists and celebrities as if we are zoo animals.” Rivers replied “Fashion Police is a comedy show; anyone that comes out of an egg should figure that out,” referring to Gaga’s red carpet appearance at the 2011 Grammys.
After taking the first shot, Gwyneth Paltrow also got entangled in one of Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds. She claimed that after trying botox: “I looked crazy. I looked like Joan Rivers!”. The comedienne replied that the reason Paltrow was on People’s 2013 Most Beautiful List was that it had been “voted by Helen Keller and Stevie Wonder!”.
Johnny Carson and Jay Leno
Leaving NBC’s “The Tonight Show” to host her own talk show ended with two of Joan Rivers’ celebrity feuds. Johnny Carson never spoke to her again, and banned her from appearing on NBC. Jay Leno continued the ban, but once he left, Rivers was back, giving him the finger: “Well, Jay, 23 years. I’m still here and you’re gonna be selling cars.”