Stern is best known for using shock value to grab all the attention he can, and Rivers’ funeral was no exception — but it was an absolutely perfect sendoff for a woman who herself shocked by saying what everyone else was thinking.
“Joan Rivers had a dry pussy,” he began.
Margaret Cho explained, “At first, the words just hung there, as no one knew exactly what to do. Of course I started laughing hysterically, and everyone else, remembering who we were there to honor, followed suit. Howard Stern actually choked back tears as he continued — ‘Joan’s pussy was so dry it was like a sponge — so that when she got in the bathtub — whooooosh — all the water would get absorbed in there! Joan said that if Whitney Houston had as dry a pussy as Joan’s, she would still be alive today…’
“It was so wrong but so right at the same time. So Joan. So great. RIP my friend.”
A roast as a funeral? Absolutely, stunningly perfect for the woman who mocked herself just as much as she mocked others.
On his show, Stern talked about what led him to give the eulogy in the first place.
“I had gotten a call from Melissa like a day and half before the service, asking me if I would speak,” he said. “I said to her, ‘Melissa, you are asking the wrong guy.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it, I would do anything for Joan, I will do anything for you.’
“[Melissa] said, ‘No, I want you to do it,'” he added. “It was a lot of pressure because I wanted to come through for Melissa and come through for Joan.
“I didn’t want to say the wrong thing,” he said. “I was in touch with Louis C.K. and he said, ‘You know, Joan really deserves a great send-off.’ He said something very profound. He said, ‘Joan was like an aunt or a best friend who could make everything better.’ Even in times after, say, 9/11, or the country just seems to be going down or things just seem to be bad, when she would crack a joke… you didn’t feel so alone.”
He added, “It just made you feel better knowing Joan Rivers was making a joke about it.”
Rivers died Sept. 4 at the age of 81.