By Tim Young
Clash Daily Guest Contributor
She didn’t care what other people thought… and that’s why she was so good at what she did.
Joan Rivers passed away today at 81, and whether or not you agreed with what she had to say, you have to respect that she refused to be anything other than herself.
Rivers was an icon. The current generation only got to see her as a celebrity fashion critic, but anyone older than 30 knew she was much more. To say she was a trailblazer for both entertainment and for women is an understatement.
She was the first truly notable female stand-up comedian and she was the first female late-night talk show host. She was to insult comedy what the Beatles were to 4 chord songs. There was no one who was safe from her humorous wrath, not even the untouchable first lady Michelle Obama, who she lovingly called a “tranny.”
A genius entrepreneur; Rivers was one of the first celebrities to cash in on QVC with her massively successful jewelry line. And somewhere in the middle of building an empire through comedy, television, and home shopping, she even wrote a dozen books.
But in the end, what truly defined Joan Rivers was that she had nothing to hide. Whether it be her opinions on politics, her anger at reporters, or even her plastic surgery, she told the truth and nothing but the truth.
Personally, Joan Rivers is the model for which most of my humor comes from. Her lightning fast wit, blatant honesty, and authenticity couldn’t be matched. I’ve learned the hard way that the moment that I start caring about what other people think is the moment I stop being true to myself and I stop being funny. And although I may never achieve the same success that she had, following her model allows me to sleep comfortably at night knowing what I stand for and who I am.
She wasn’t crazy; she wasn’t evil; she was herself… and that’s something that everyone can learn a lesson from.
Known as the Republican Jon Stewart and the Young Rush Limbaugh, Young has been a guest on Fox News Channel’s ‘Red Eye,’ Huffington Post Live, RT’s The Alyona Show and dozens of syndicated radio shows.
A respected journalist and pundit, sharing his opinion on politics to millions of people every month. His writing has been featured on the cover of HuffingtonPost.com, Washingtonian Magazine, Patch.com, Voice of Baltimore and other major publications. In 2011, he was Young Member Chair of the National Press Club, representing all media under the age of 35.