The memorial service held Sunday in New York City for the late Joan Rivers was everything the comedienne and television host would have wanted: a star-studded affair complete with celebrities galore, expletive-filled tributes, and yes, even paparazzi.
Rivers, who died on September 4 at age 81, had outlined detailed wishes for her funeral in her 2012 book "I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me."
"I want craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene!" she wrote. "I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don't want some rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents."
While Streep wasn't present Sunday, plenty of other celebrities were, including Kathy Griffin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Hoda Kotb, Whoopi Goldberg, Diane Sawyer, Rosie O'Donnell, Barbara Walters, Sarah Jessica Parker, Matthew Broderick, Michael Kors, Bernadette Peters, Alan Cumming, and Donald Trump. Stars that offered personal tributes to Rivers during the ceremony included Howard Stern, TV anchor Deborah Norville, and Rivers's daughter, Melissa.
Stern in particular set the tone for the service, with the New York Daily News reporting that the shock jock "opened his remarks with an appropriately vulgar - and unprintable - crack about the effects of aging on one of Rivers' body parts before lavishing praise on the showbiz legend."
"She was my hero. A trailblazer," Stern's tribute continued, while also making jokes about Rivers's longstanding feud with a former "Tonight Show" host. "I hope Joan is somewhere right now chasing Johnny Carson with a baseball bat," Stern added.
There was also music galore, including several songs from the New York City Gay Men's Chorus (who performed Broadway tunes including "There Is Nothing Like a Dame"), the New York City Police Department Emerald Society bagpipers and drummers, and solos from Broadway star Audra McDonald (who performed "Smile") and Hugh Jackman (who performed "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage" from the musical "The Boy From Oz").
Goldberg later wrote on Twitter that the service was a "truly funny, truly loving send off" that was "deeply moving, much like" Rivers. Gifford, meanwhile, wrote that the funeral was "a perfect combination of the sacred and the profane."
Joan Rivers given a truly funny,truly loving send off by folks who loved her, funny&deeply moving,much like her. gift laughter 2some1 2day- Whoopi Goldberg (@WhoopiGoldberg) September 7, 2014
Still laughing and crying after the memorial for @Joan_Rivers. It was a perfect combination of the sacred and the profane. What an original- Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) September 7, 2014
Rivers died last Thursday at a New York City hospital following complications from an outpatient throat procedure. She leaves behind her daughter and a grandson.
via: New York Daily News, E!
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