5 things you might not know about Joan Rivers

The groundbreaking female comedian is back on tour

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5 things you might not know about Joan Rivers

1 Born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, she worked as a tour guide, wrote for an ad agency and had a stint as a fashion consultant before entering showbiz. Having changed her name to Rivers (on the advice of agent Tony Rivers), her first break was playing opposite Barbra Streisand in a late-50s play called Driftwood.

2 She thought about quitting comedy early on while appearing in an act called Jim, Jake and Joan. After one particularly bad night in front of a tough crowd, Lenny Bruce sent her a note that said: ‘You’re right, they’re wrong.’ The note stayed in Rivers’ underwear for six months as an incentive to keep going.

3 She made her directorial debut with Rabbit Test in 1978, in which Billy Crystal plays the world’s first pregnant man. ‘Inconceivably funny’, claimed the film’s tagline.

4 Proving she still has some balls about her, the ‘79-year-old’ was recently given a police escort from a US store that had refused to stock her memoir, I Hate Everyone … Starting With Me. Her protest included selling copies outside and conducting an impromptu signing session inside while bellowing through a megaphone about condoms, Marie Antoinette and the First Amendment.

5 While she entertains the troops in Glasgow, Andy Zaltzman will be doing likewise in Edinburgh on the very same evening. What’s the big deal with that? Only that the professor-haired comic (Zaltzman) was the support act when JR performed in Scotland for the very first time 11 whole years ago.

Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Sun 14 Oct.

Joan Rivers

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