The ripples from Joan Rivers‘ death are being felt far and wide, including by fellow comedienne and television personality Queen Latifah. The CBS-syndicated talk show host spoke to the press on Friday about her new season and also opened up about Rivers’ legacy and her pointed brand of humor.
“There is no other comedian I can think of that I wouldn’t mind taking jabs from or a right hook across the chin, because at least I know it would be funny,” she said in the press call. “I know that she would take shots at herself before she took shots at anyone else.”
As TheWrap previously reported, Rivers was placed on life support recently in New York after she stopped breathing during throat surgery. On Thursday her daughter Melissa Rivers revealed Joan had died at the age of 81. Many notable Hollywood names have since expressed their deepest and heartfelt sympathies.
Just days before her death, however, the sharp-tongued comedienne mocked starlets strutting down the Emmys and MTV Video Music Awards red carpets on her E! show “Fashion Police.”
“It was so surprising. I love Joan Rivers,” Latifah said. “I grew up watching Joan. I think that she was so talented and so smart and really had a heart, despite her humor that people might think is hardcore.”
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“The Queen Latifah” show debuted last season to strong ratings. Her show and “Fashion Police” were on competing networks, but Latifah only had kind words to share in regards to Rivers, who is widely credited with opening many doors for women in comedy and television.
“I already have a high respect for comedians because it takes so much courage to put yourself out there, but to do it for so long and to ride life’s peaks and valleys and to just kick ass and laugh,” Latifah said. “She was always inspirational to me.”
“I remember [seeing her] on a plane from L.A. to New York. ‘Queen, you know I love you,’ she said,” recalled Latifah. “She’s Joan Rivers and she’s funny and she doesn’t mean anything by it. She wants to make her joke and keep it moving.
“She made a name for herself and she made a brand out of that name and she made prints in my heart,” Latifah added. “I thank her for all of the years in entertainment.”
Season 2 of “The Queen Latifah Show” starts Monday, Sept. 15 and can be seen on syndicated CBS television stations.