Joan Rivers isn't one to hold back (and really, do we want her to?). In her latest book, I Hate Everyone...Starting With Me, she rants in her inimitable way about what -- or rather, who -- gets on her nerves in Hollywood and beyond. Rivers also makes fun of herself in her typical, self-deprecating style throughout her book, which is published by Penguin Group and hit bookstores on Tuesday.
Nothing is sacred to the controversial comedienne: She makes fun of just about everyone and everything, from vegans, (God gave you incisors, so what's the problem?), to the cast of Glee (You know that cute Asian boy who plays a freshman? In real life he's a thirty-year-old man and he's upside down on a mortgage in Burbank) to the late Whitney Houston (more on that shortly). Rivers' humor is not for everyone, and the book lags somewhat toward the end, but the variety of material -- from the tame to the touchy -- makes for a light and mostly funny read.
Rivers is clearly not enamored with Glee, the popular musical television show that has brought many fresh faces to Hollywood: The other thing that bothers me about 'Glee' is that everyone in that high school is happy, even the homos. On 'Glee' all the homo kids are smiling and giggly and they spend every day singing in the halls. When I went to high school the homos spent most of their days hiding in their lockers crying. If I came home from school and sang to my mother she would have slapped me in the face and said, 'Stop singing! You're Jewish! Everyone hates us.'
Rivers has seen her share of Hollywood hullabaloo over the years, especially during her red carpet commentary. She gripes about actors who lie about their ages, immerse themselves in fly-by-night Hollywood fads and generally take themselves too seriously. She knocks actors who choose to stay in New York instead of heading out west to Hollywood out of a fear of compromising their craft: Now the only 'kraft' they have is the macaroni and cheese they eat for dinner six nights a week. 'Theater actor' is an old English word that means 'cater waiter.'
She also hates the SAG Awards, even though they were named for my boobs, as the require some actors to look directly into the cameras and say I'm an actor. This is just a little too much for the funny lady: Calm the f**k down. You're actors. You're not curing cancer or solving the Middle East crisis or buying smiles for those one-toothed cleft palate kids on the back of the Enquirer. You pretend you're Batman. You wear tight pants and a cape and you pretend you're saving Gotham City from the Penguin. Get a grip.
This is among Rivers' lighter material. She's not afraid to tackle darker subjects. She takes a more controversial route by cracking jokes about subjects such as the Holocaust and Anne Frank.
I hate people who say they're 'workaholics,' she writes. There is no such thing. Hitler put in a lot of hours. Would you call him a workaholic? People who work 24/7 are not 'addicted' to work ... they either hate their families or don't have basic cable.
She makes fun of senior citizens who take advantage of early-bird specials and eat dinner at ridiculously early hours: On top of that, they only order half a chicken, take two bites, then put it in a doggie bag to take home, where it lasts them for six months. Anne Frank didn't hoard food like this, and that bitch was hungry.
Rivers even makes a crack about the late singer Whitney Houston. The comment has attracted some disapproval from those who think it's too soon to make fun of the singer, who died in February the day before the Grammys at the age of 48: I hate Houston. It's crawling with bugs. Oh wait, that's Whitney Houston; I'm sorry, my bad. (Can I just mention that Whitney looked fabulous at the Grammys? She was in mahogany from head to toe.) -- a reference to Houston being presumably in a coffin at the time.
Rivers' bawdy and sometimes cutthroat humor isn't for everyone, but the funny woman proves yet again why she's managed to stay in show business for so long. She's not afraid to push buttons, and while her material isn't always so easy to digest, it's ideal when you're willing to get down and dirty.