Joan Rivers Comedian Joan Rivers at the Kennedy Center in Washington November 10, 2008. Photo: Reuters

Joan Rivers' current medical condition is no laughing matter, but the longtime comedian had no problem poking fun at the idea of her death just hours before her throat surgery, which left her hospitalized in critical condition last Thursday. During a comedy act at the Laurie Beechman Theater in New York Wednesday, she joked about dying onstage, Radar Online is reporting.

“It’s hard getting old,” Rivers said in audio clip obtained by the gossip site via “I’m getting so old … I am now 81 years old. I could die at any second. Pufft, like that. I could go like that.” Rivers reportedly continued her act by telling audience members they would be “lucky” if she died onstage. “Do you understand how lucky you would be? Do you understand, you would have something to talk about for the rest of your lives,” she said.

Rivers was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City the next day after she stopped breathing during a minor vocal procedure. The comedian and E! “Fashion Police” host, originally classified as being in “critical condition,” was said to have been placed on life support after suffering from cardiac and respiratory arrest. She is now listed as stable, and doctors have reportedly started waking Rivers from a medically induced coma.

“The wake-up process has begun and will take until Tuesday,” a source close to the Rivers family told the New York Daily News Sunday. “There is a real concern that the part of the brain that controls motor skills may have been compromised, leaving her either as a vegetable or in a wheelchair.”

Rivers' daughter, fellow television star Melissa Rivers, 46, is now rumored to be considering filing a lawsuit following her mother’s allegedly botched procedure. “Shock and upset is turning to anger, and they are looking for someone to blame,” said a source, adding that despite her mother’s condition, Melissa is hopeful for a recovery. “She still thinks everything is going to be okay,” said the insider.

Melissa Rivers spoke about her mother’s condition in a statement to E! News Thursday. “I want to thank everyone for the overwhelming love and support for my mother," she said. "She is resting comfortably and is with our family. We ask that you continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.”