Known on this side of the pond as a forceful sharp tongued wasp of a comedienne, this DVD/film is a fly on the wall look at a year in the life of this hard working seventy seven year old force of nature.
People may remember her TV show from the eighties when she repeatedly verbally filleted her co-host Peter Cook (by then often tired and emotional) and a hilarious episode recently when she demolished live on air a self regarding Darcus Howe (self appointed race expert) with her challenge to his assertion of her racism.
Not for the first time has Joan turned the tables and triumphed against presumptious and uninformed critics.
I for one applauded her defence on what was otherwise a somewhat dreary episode of Radio Four’s “Mid Week”.
Joan takes no prisoners least of all herself.
Ms Rivers is a driven woman who eats up life and steels in that furnace a tough but very funny sense of humour.
This includes her beloved husband’s suicide and her survival from it, relations with her daughter and the ongoing project that is her face with endless plastic surgery.
No one is more savage in observing the absurdity of this than Rivers herself.
We follow the comedienne as she makes rapid (if stately) progress through clubs, concert halls the West End and a Donald Trump celebrity show.
She wins it of course!
For all the bravado there is a loneliness and vulnerability present in this performer’s life and this film carries the shadows of it.
Joan Rivers is not to everyone’s taste.
On the edge humour can be wearing, but in the right frame of mind no one does better the challenging material that is Rivers bread and butter.
She won’t care if you like this or not.
I do and recommend it.
A yuletide antidote to all this season’s glitter and empty emotion.
Bah, Humbug. I’m off to Ebenezer’s place for a gin and Joan!
Joan Rivers A Piece of Work DVD Distributed by Dogwoof
STAR RATING 8/10