Joan Rivers got the show business funeral she wanted, as close friends and family paid their final respects this morning in a ceremony fit for the legendary comedian. The service, held at Temple Emanu-El in New York City, included a red carpet inside and performances of "Hey Big Spender" and "That's Entertainment" by the New York City Gay Men's Chorus before the funeral began.
Opening prayers were lead by Rabbi Joshua Davidson, followed by a musical interlude by Audra McDonald who sang "Smile." Deborah Norville provided a moving tribute before the reminiscences, lead by Margie Stern, Cindy Adams, and Melissa Rivers. Hugh Jackman performed an additional musical interlude.
Many of Joan's close friends attended the service. Kathy Griffin, Rosie O’Donnell, Howard Stern, Judge Judy, Rachel Ray, Andy Cohen, Geraldo, Barbara Walters, Michael Kors, Ivanka Trump, Carolina Herrera, Donald Trump, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Whoopi Goldberg were all there. Howard Stern paid tribute to his friend, joking, "I hope Joan is somewhere chasing Johnny Carson with a baseball bat," and added, "Joan was a best friend for the world."
A large crowd of fans and supporters gathered outside the Temple to pay their final respects to Joan.
In her 2012 book I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me, Joan wrote about her funeral in a touching and hilarious passage, requesting "a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, and action..." She also requested a wind machine, "so that even in the casket, my hair is blowing like Beyonce."
In her final statement about her mother's passing, Melissa said, "Although this is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."
Joan is survived by daughter Melissa, 46 and grandson, Cooper, 13. She passed away at the age of 81 on September 4 after being taken off life support at Mount Sinai Hospital. Yesterday, Joan was cremated.
Remembering Joan Rivers 1933-2014