Joan Rivers’ words of mass destruction were ‘too dangerous in the wrong hands,’ say police
Soon after her death in 2014, New York City authorities sealed off Joan Rivers’ Upper East Side apartment, barring access to her famous filing cabinet of jokes and one-liners.
Referred to in many obituaries and featured in the TV documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, the wall-sized cabinet included thousands of note cards, arranged alphabetically by topic — politics, sex, religion, etc. Many incisively deflate pretension, hypocrisy and arrogance.
Wiley Norvell, a spokesperson for NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Office of Comic Relief, noted that the NYPD moved swiftly as soon as the threat was identified.
“Obviously Joan Rivers’ WMDs (Words of Mass Destruction) were far too dangerous to leave about for anyone to pick up and repeat,” said Norvell
“Look at this one,” he said. “‘A man can sleep around, no questions asked, but if a woman makes 19 or 20 mistakes, she’s a tramp!’
“Just about the entire women’s movement is in that joke.”
He went on: “And this one: ‘The whole Michael Jackson thing was my fault. I told him to date only 28-year-olds. Who knew he would find 20 of them?’ Imagine what Anne Coulter or Rush Limbaugh could do with that!”
The OCR spokesman added that Rivers’ humorously bitter observations were a “comedic time bomb” that could be lethal in the wrong hands.
“These vicious little IEDs can do a lot of personal and collateral damage,” he noted.
“Check it out: ‘My vagina is like Newark. Men know it’s there, but they don’t want to visit.’ You can’t help thinking of Anne Coulter.”
The spokesperson noted that like most Bush-radio personalities, Coulter and Limbaugh had long ago ceased to be funny or even relevant.
“Rivers’ material could well revive their flagging careers,” the spokesman said. “Neither has been even vaguely amusing in years. It takes talent to be simultaneously humorous and insulting.”
Joan Rivers’ friend, comedian Kathy Griffin, said that Rivers had promised her the joke collection, and that she was suing for their possession.
“If anyone deserves the saggy tits jokes it’s me,” Griffin said