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Hearing the news that Joan Rivers, the legendary comedienne and showbiz survivor, has died at the age of 81, I thought back to the time when I swore at her.

It was in 2010, at the Sundance Film Festival, when Rivers was in Park City along with the documentary about her career, "Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work." It's a great film, and a testament to Rivers' talent and tenacity.

At the Q-and-A session after the second screening, someone asked Rivers if humor is hereditary. She said yes, adding that her parents were funny and that's where she got the gift. She also credited geography: "Thank God I was born in New York. If I had been born in Salt Lake City, ..." She didn't finish the thought, but the crowd laughed anyway.

I got my turn to ask a question, and I asked it. But I also added a comment: "I'm from Salt Lake City, and I say this with love: F*** you."

The audience roared. Joan nodded, a bit sheepishly, and admitted that she should change the joke to Sioux Falls or some other city.

When the auditorium at the Yarrow cleared out, I was still shaking — stunned that I had the temerity to say that to her.

I ran into Ricki Stern, one of the film's directors, outside the theater. I apologized, but Stern was smiling.

"No, it was great. She loved it. You got a laugh," Stern said.

'Bye, Joan, and thanks for setting up my joke.


UPDATE: There is video of this incident on YouTube. Click on the video above, and go to the five-minute mark.