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Joan Rivers, 79, was really you-know-what funny in Salt Lake City

Published March 12, 2013 8:16 am

Review • Obnoxious as ever, comedian left no subject untouched.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Can we talk?

In front of a packed Kingsbury Hall Saturday night, comedienne Joan Rivers was offensive, foul-mouthed and obnoxious.

But, most importantly, she was very, very funny.

In an hour-long set, the 79-year-old skewered every sacred cow in our pop culture-obsessed society, including even a cow itself, which she compared to her godchild Chaz Bono's face.

While Rivers barely made mention of Utah during her routine, she did acknowledge the adoring crowd frequently, but always with a little bite.

"I'm so happy to be here, which shows you how s——- my life is," Rivers told the crowd early on.

The most unfortunate part of the night was that her routine was very similar to a routine she delivered in her 2012 DVD "Don't Start With Me," including jokes about topics that have passed their expiration date, including Winona Ryder's shoplifting, Woody Allen's fondness for younger women, and little boys in Chinese toilets aspiring to be adopted by Angelina Jolie. (Don't ask. It's a long story.)

But it was easy to forgive Rivers because of the manic way she delivered her jokes. Although she drops more F-bombs than you'll hear in a Quentin Tarantino movie, she remains eminently likable and somehow manages to seem as if she is on your side, saying things you might think but dare not say in a politically correct world.

And Rivers' gift is going beyond what you think might be too far because as far as she is concerned, anything goes, including calling Justin Bieber an unfavorable slang word for a lesbian and calling Vanna White the word that The Onion had to profusely apologize for several weeks earlier.

A comedy review wouldn't be fair if it didn't include a joke told by Rivers. One of the printable ones included:

Rivers not feeling sad for King George VI's stuttering, because he owns England, Ireland, Canada, Scotland and Australia. The real person we should feel sorry for is a person with a stuttering problem while working for a suicide hotline. And Rivers said speech impediments aren't that bad ­— she would cut off half her own tongue if she could own just a part of Newark, N.J.

And did you see how unfunny I made that seem? In Rivers' hands, the joke was told with a skill that brought the house down. Of course, she added a few F-bombs, too.

But whether Rivers told jokes about Anne Frank, Auschwitz, Mexico having the ugliest people in the world, Khloe Kardashian (whom Rivers called "Lurch"), oral sex from someone with no limbs, Adele's song "Rolling in the Deep" being adapted into "Rolling in the Deep-Fried Chicken" because of Adele's weight, and even wishing Rivers had a son so he could have been molested by Michael Jackson and thus collected millions in a settlement, Rivers showed where comics Kathy Griffin and Anthony Jeselnik get their inspiration.

Though she told the crowd that she could drop dead any minute, Rivers and her comedy lived the high life Saturday night.

dburger@sltrib.com —

Joan Rivers

When • Saturday, March 9

Where • Kingsbury Hall, Salt Lake City

Bottom Line • Rivers was offensive, foul-mouthed and obnoxious. And that made you laugh.






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