Joan Rivers's friends and loved ones gathered at NYC's Temple Emanu-El on Sunday to pay their final respects to the late comedienne. In true Joan fashion, her funeral was a star-studded affair, with celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick, Barbara Walters, Rosie O'Donnell, Kelly Osbourne, and Giuliana Rancic joining her daughter, Melissa Rivers, to both grieve their loss and celebrate her life. According to reports, the funeral delivered on Joan's comedic request for a "showbiz affair with lights, cameras, and action" that felt "Hollywood all the way," which she wrote about in her 2012 book, I Hate Everyone . . . Starting With Me. "It really was reminiscent of a red carpet affair — plenty of lights and cameras," a source reportedly told Us Weekly. "There were fans everywhere and people in taxis passing by, shouting, 'We love Joan!'"
Howard Stern was one of the first people to address the crowd inside the temple. He described Joan as "the best friend in the world . . . a big sister . . . [and] a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah." Howard also spoke about her legacy. "She fought the stereotype that women couldn't be funny," he said. "She was responsible for putting the red carpet into primetime." Melissa, who reportedly stuck by her mother's side in the hospital until her death on Thursday, received big laughs when she took the mic and read a letter she wrote to her mother. The most emotional part came when she shared a message for her mother and touched on Joan's connection with her grandson, Cooper. "I am grateful for every day Cooper and I have with you," she said. "You are an inspiration." The service even included performances by the NYC Gay Men's Chorus, Audra McDonald, and Hugh Jackman — the latter sang "Quiet Please, There's a Lady on Stage," a Peter Allen classic. Bagpipe players paid homage to Joan's New York roots near the end of the send-off, playing "New York, New York" as attendees exited the temple.
In honor of Joan, take a look back at these related stories:
- 25 outrageous one-liners that prove Joan Rivers will live on forever
- Joan Rivers shared her wisdom on life and death years ago
- Joan Rivers's friends and fellow comedians remember her remarkable life
- Laugh through your tears with Joan Rivers's best quotes on beauty
- Joan Rivers's 20 best jokes about sex