The death of Joan Rivers has prompted the creation of two petitions requesting that Sept. 4 be named National Joan Rivers Day. Over 8,000 fans of the legendary comedian have already signed the Change.org and official White House petition, including Rivers’ longtime “Fashion Police” co-host Kelly Osbourne.
The Change.org petition, started by Los Angeles publicist Richard Harlow, begs President Barack Obama, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives to declare the date of Rivers' passing a national holiday. “Let’s give Joan the recognition she deserves and the fanfare she said she wanted,” says Harlow, who claims Rivers' description of her perfect funeral in her 2012 book, “I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me,” sparked the idea.
“I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, camera, action,” says Rivers in an excerpt from the book. “I want craft services. I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene!”
“Rivers pioneered the way for many of today's most successful comedians. She was a trailblazer, an innovator,” reads the petition, which as of Friday morning had wildly surpassed its goal of 1,700 supporters, securing 8,238 signatures. “Joan Rivers is an icon, a legend, and should be remembered as such. Creating a national Joan Rivers Day in her honor on September 4th will forever keep her spirit and memory in our hearts and minds forever.”
Seeing how the first petition immediately took off, Harlow created an Official White House Petition Thursday. The petition needs 100,000 signatures by Oct. 5 in order to be viewed by the Obama Administration.
Osbourne has already touted Harlow’s work, begging fans of Rivers to participate in the petition via social media. “Please sign and [retweet]!” Obsourne, 29, posted to Twitter Thursday night. “I love you with all my heart @Joan_Rivers. My life will never be the same without you!”
Rivers, 81, died after several days in the hospital following an allegedly botched vocal chord procedure. Rivers' daughter, Melissa Rivers, announced her mother had been removed from life support and passed away in the company of family and close friends at Mount Sinai Hospital Thursday afternoon. Her funeral will reportedly take place at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan Sunday.