911 Fashion Police: What Would Joan Do?


Listen up E! Fashion Police producers! You too Melissa; or can I call you Missy? I don’t like to say “I told you so!” but that’s what I was thinking and wrote here an article in September upon hearing of the death of Joan Rivers while I anticipated the demise of the show. Now that “Fashion Police” is imploding with defections it seems that perhaps I was right in assuming that soldiering on without Joan would be like continuing the “Mary Tyler Moore” show without MTM herself. Just because it wasn’t called “Joan Rivers Fashion Police” doesn’t mean it could survive let alone thrive without her.

Obviously “Fashion Police” was nothing if not a vehicle for Joan Rivers. It seemed crystal clear to me that no one else could get away with her brand of bawdy, crass, at times downright mean jokes and her absolute refusal to apologize to anyone even when called on the “red-carpet” to do so. Joan’s comedic style was take no prisoners, suffer no fools; this was the essence of her intent. It probably helped that she would often turn that same critical eye on herself; her hilarious self-deprecation showed that not only could she dish it out, she could take it too. In fact, if Joan mentioned you at all it meant you had “made it” since she only singled out the high and mighty who had gained some level of success and notoriety. Having spent a lifetime of paying her dues to become royalty she was not about to relinquish even an inch of her fiefdom. Love it or hate it, absolutely no one was going to deny her the throne while she was still alive and kicking.

Joan Rivers and Kelly Osbourne

Unfortunately, once she was gone, the infighting, posturing for position/status/title/control/cash could no longer be contained.  Again, as it was ultimately Joan’s show, all the other players (the “Joan Rangers”) were only her foils although perhaps Kelly and Guiliana began to believe they had been ceded some associative power. Joan was the ultimate kindergarten teacher who kept order in the classroom; once the “substitute teacher” AKA Kathy Griffin tried to fill her shoes, complete and utter chaos ensued. Melissa Rivers as executive producer must have felt conflicted, wanting very much to keep her mother’s legacy alive, therefore she made the decision that the show must go on. I’m saddened that she could not see the chalk writing on the blackboard and have known that this chapter should be erased.

Not only would Joan Rivers never have put up with the backstabbing and infighting that recently took place “behind the scenes” and on Twitter these past few weeks, I’m positive that the public would never have heard about any of these infractions had she been around. She would have given co-hosts Giuliana and Kelly as well as the aggrieved and “insulted” Zendaya a look, an eyeroll and an “Ohhh Puhleeze! GROW UP!” and squelched it. Case closed! No room for argument and no apology forthcoming. Meanwhile, poor Kelly is obviously grieving for her mentor and has seriously gone off the rails (assuming she was ever on them), and Giuliana needs to take time off and deal with her serious health issues before she completely wastes away.

Joan Rivers and Cathy Griffin

While Kathy (who supposedly campaigned to host FP before Joan was even off life support), touts herself as a “freedom loving female and a gay rights activist” I wonder if that explains her relentless oral sex jokes at Anderson Cooper’s expense on New Year’s Eve live television two years running not to mention her repeated ad nauseum stand-up routine on Clay Aiken (“Clay Gay-ken”). She also claims that she’s “a feminist and a gurrrrl” who does not want to use her comedy “to contribute to a culture of unattainable perfectionism and intolerance towards difference.” This self righteousness along with the fact that she asked for supporting tweets from celebs for her decision to depart “Fashion Police” and got quite a few to sign on is laughable. The only one who called BS on her was Piers Morgan who tweeted: “This is the same Kathy Griffin whose whole career has been predicated on bitching about people and being mean, right? #HypocritePolice” and this:” Kathy Griffin’s quit Fashion Police because she doesn’t like their mean humour? Ironically, one of the few times she’s ever made me laugh.”

At least KG went out while promoting her brand. She included a plug in her resignation tweet that tickets are now on sale for her Kennedy Center performance in June. Can you say #VictimBux while laughing all the way to the bank, Kathy? It all just makes me wish Joan was alive to give us a really funny, yet totally politically incorrect zinger.

I feel bad for you E! and of course, Melissa. As you probably now realize, THIS show can’t go on without Joan.

Laurel Marcus

OG journo major who thought Strunk & White's "The Elements of Style" was a fashion guide. Desktop comedienne -- the world of fashion gives me no shortage of material.

1 Comment
  1. Like it or not Joan perfected and owned a brand of comedy that became a political social cultural art form in her heyday. In her absence we see just how difficult it was to create and deliver.

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