Tears, laughter flow on Joan Rivers ‘Fashion Police’ tribute – USA TODAY
Melissa Rivers stood alone at the start of E!’s Fashion Police: Celebrating Joan special on Friday night, behind her mom’s chair – the one with the big J pillow resting on it, empty.
“For the last four years this set has been home to the funniest, most outrageous voice in comedy. This chair was a place where a woman spoke the truth about celebrities and fashion and did it in a way that was hilarious and absolutely 100 percent original.”
She went on to say: “Tonight we want to say goodbye – the only way my mom would want us to: by remembering the incredible jokes, the unbelievable guests and all the moments on set and behind-the scenes that made Fashion Police must-see television around the globe.”
“So for the next 90 minutes we’re going to do what my mom loved to do most: Laugh.”
Cut to a clip of Joan in her chair, saying, “Welcome to fashion police. I searched my heart and I realized this set is where I belong. This is where I can truly make a difference in people’s lives – by pointing out who looks ok and who looks like a (bleeping) slut. I’m not going to stop until this job is finished.”
There were snippets and scenes of interviews Joan did with Sarah Silverman, Fergie (who threw a cake in Joan’s face), Nicki Minaj, Zendaya, Martha Stewart, Raquel Welch, Howie Mandel, Snooki, Miss Piggy, Nene Leakes, Big Sean, Kevin Hart, Adam Lambert, Red Foo, Kate Walsh and more.
To singer Brandy, she said, “Will you come back and visit us?”
Brandy’s reply: “No! No! No.”
To Naomi Campbell, she said, “You don’t say sometimes, ‘Gee, I want a Cinnabon?”
“A what?” asked the supermodel.
For much of the special, Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos reminisced. Some of the highlights:
Said Osbourne: “She would always say the worst things and then look at me and say, ‘Kelly, what do you think?” Later, Osbourne burst into tears.
Kotsiopoulos: “Joan was the youngest 81-year-old you’d ever meet.”
Rancic: “She was the best, the absolute best. Her attitude was always, ‘Let’s give them a great show.'”
At one point, they all recalled that Joan had white wine in her coffee cup for the 7 a.m. shoot of the show.
There were clips of Joan and raunchy jokes, Joan being bleeped, Joan with crazy props, Joan bloopers.
And among those watching: Rosie O’Donnell, who weighed in on Twitter:
In the final minutes of the special (which ran two hours), Melissa returned to chat about her mom.
“I have so many memories on this set with my mom, but honestly nothing made me smile more than when she would crack herself up.”
Cut to clips of Joan being nearly unable to get out a punchline again and again because she was laughing so hard.
“Her genuine laugh was so infectious,” said Melissa, recounting that she had received a hand-written note from President Obama praising her mom for not only “making us laugh” but “making us think.”
She also said,
“There were a lot of targets, but … her favorite target was me.”
There were many clips of Joan giving Melissa a hard time, with Melissa – both on-camera and behind-the-camera as a producer – shaking her head.
Melissa closed the show by thanking fans one more time, asking the cast and crew to come on set and salute Joan, literally. After they did, Melissa said they needed to end on a laugh. The final clip showed Joan as a judge on the topic of Lindsay Lohan, and a celebration as Joan told her one-millionth vagina joke.
E! announced earlier Friday that Fashion Police will continue without Joan, starting on Jan. 12 with Golden Globes coverage.