By Meg O’Neil
Organizers from the Newport Summer Comedy Series are gearing up to kick-off a summer of laughter at the Newport Yachting Center on Saturday, July 7. Sure to receive the red carpet treatment is legendary comedienne Joan Rivers, who will make her Newport debut as the season’s opening act.
A force of nature who has worked in the industry for nearly 50 years, the 79-year old Rivers has been an Emmy-winning television talk show host, Tony-nominated actress, best-selling author, playwright, screenwriter, motion picture director, radio host, jewelry designer, red carpet fashion laureate, and much, much more.
In addition to starring on E! Entertainment Television's “Fashion Police” every Friday night, Rivers has most recently been on a nationwide publicity tour, promoting her eleventh book, titled, I Hate Everyone … Starting with Me.
Never one to shy away from belittling herself, she writes that her dislike for herself began almost immediately after birth: “When I was born, my mother asked, ‘Will she live?’ The doctor said, ‘Only if you take your foot off her throat.’”
It’s that type of edgy, no-holds-barred approach to comedy that has kept Rivers in the game for over four decades. And of late, she's been on a roll.
In 2010, Rivers was the subject of a critically acclaimed, 2010-documentary titled Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, which chronicled a year in the life of the comedienne and showed her meticulously organized filing cabinet of every joke she has ever told and written over the course of her career.
A year before that, she emerged as the winner of the popular NBC reality show The Celebrity Apprentice, where she donated all of her winnings to charity. That same year, she was put through the ringer, as she was roasted and honored in The Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers.
Today, she keeps up-to-date with her 1.1 million followers on Twitter: rattling off jabs to Hollywood starlets, sharing behind-the-scenes pictures from around the country, and promoting her upcoming standup gigs.
Her first appearance here in Newport is sure to be a memorable one according to Joe Rocco, Newport Comedy Series President: “We are thrilled to have a terrific talent like Joan Rivers with us. What a way to get our 12th annual series underway.”
Rivers’ show is just the first of a laugh-packed summer at the Newport Yachting Center. Also slated to appear in the coming weeks are Dennis Miller, Bill Burr, Seth Meyers, Lisa Lampanelli, Kevin Hart, and many more.
Tickets to see any show at the Newport Comedy Series are on sale at www.NewportComedy.com, www.TicketMaster.com, The Newport Yachting Center Box Office, 4 Commercial Wharf, Newport, RI; and (800)745-3000.