Joan Rivers’ daughter Melissa said Wednesday her late mother would “hate” today’s cancel culture and the fact that comedians are now criticized for making certain jokes.
“She’d hate not being able to be funny,” Rivers told People.
In an interview with the entertainment outlet, she explained how her famous mother – who died in 2014 – would’ve felt about the current political climate around offensive humor, where politically incorrect jokes can get a comedian canceled.
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Rivers claimed her mother, who was famous for her snarky, offensive humor, would’ve had complaints about the current environment. “I think she’d be very frustrated,” Rivers said.
The comedian’s daughter, who hosts the “Melissa Rivers’ Group Text” podcast, told People, “She always said, when you make someone laugh, it’s like giving them a mini vacation. So, when we all lost our sense of humor about everything, she would not have liked it.”
Despite disapproving of the idea of cancel culture, Rivers’ daughter added that her famous mother “wouldn’t give a s— if she were canceled.”
“Then again, that would only happen if I let her out of the closet and removed the duct tape from her mouth,” she added.
Reminding readers that her mother’s sense of humor was the antithesis to cancel culture, she recalled, “Towards the end of her life when she was performing, she’d come out on stage and just come up with every horrible word there was for everyone and let loose with a string of it, and you could just hear the audience gasping.”
“Then she’d say, ‘See, every single one of us, we’re all something. Now let’s get started,’” Rivers added.
The comic’s daughter also noted how her mother’s attitude toward comedy was that it was a balm for the trials of life. “Her whole thing was, oh God, everybody take a deep breath. The world and life is hard enough as it is. Everyone’s got to stop.”
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Rivers added a direct rebuke of cancel culture, stating, “There’s plenty of times that we have to take things incredibly seriously in our lives, but cancel culture, while it feels like it’s lessening up in a way, it had gone way too far.”
She also brought up the backlash to jokes comic Jo Koy made while recently hosting The Golden Globes, and noted how it was emblematic of modern society. “The Golden Globes were an example of that. People decided they weren’t going to laugh, so they didn’t.”
She added what she thought her mother would say about Koy’s treatment, “The fact that Jo Koy was taken to task for a joke that essentially complimented Taylor Swift … I know what my mom would say, ‘Everybody lighten up! We’re the entertainment! We’re not serious people. We’re not doing neurosurgery! We’re not solving world hunger! We make entertainment!'”
Rivers also noted that her mother would’ve been “disappointed and disheartened and sad” about the state of the world today, but would feel much better “if she thought she could get a tight 10-minute set out of it.”
This isn’t the first time the comic’s daughter invoked her mother’s memory to trash cancel culture. On what would have been her mother’s 90th birthday in 2023, Rivers told Fox News Digital that the late comedian would “be very frustrated.”
Knowing her mom’s penchant for controversy, she added, “I would have hoped that she would have gotten sort of grandfathered in not having to be so politically correct, kind of like Dave Chappelle. And I think she would have. But I do think it would be incredibly frustrating.”
At the time, Rivers’ daughter added her own opinion, stating, “Some people justifiably need to be canceled, some people do not. And I think we went through a phase where it was too much.”
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