Nothing -- and I mean nothing -- was off limits last night at Bass Hall. Joan Rivers joked about it all, from falling vaginas to fat people needing two airline seats to Michael Jackson kiddie sleepovers.
The show opened with Brad Upton. He did the whole bitter, old guy humor thing. And not in the good George Carlin sort of way. He joked about how much women love chore-play (gag); living in a household with a daughter going through puberty and a wife going through menopause at the same time; how women have too many pillows; and how cats like to vomit in the middle of the night. He was kind of an asshole, mediocre at best.
But then Rivers took the stage and immediately we were off to the races.
She looks an awful lot like Carol Channing these days, in a black top and pants with a long, gold lame, leopard print coat. She sounds more hoarse than ever and is as funny as her voice is hoarse.
She invited two short gays to fill the two front and center empty seats. You had to wonder if they were left empty on purpose just for her to do that gag. And then she started picking everyone off one by one.
After the jump, the 10 most memorable Rivers-isms of last night:
(In chronological order)
1. "I hate kids," she said, talking about the ones kicking her seat on her entire flight to Dallas. "Where's Susan Anthony when you need her? Oh wait. No, not Susan Anthony. Casey Anthony."
2. "I'm seventy-eight-years-old and I'm not going to perform for people I don't want to perform for any more," she said and then proceeded to figuratively weed out the audience. She wanted all of the gays in the front; the lesbians in the back, and the old people and the Chinese people out of the theater.
"Lesbians, you know who you are. You have a tool belt on. Go to the back. They don't laugh. They appreciate and say, 'That's funny.'"
"Chinese women brought anal sex to this country. Don't you love anal sex? You can double task while you do it. 'Take your time, I have Netflix,'" she said as she leaned over a stool and pretended to watch TV. (Many of the jokes, like this one about anal sex also appeared in her documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.)
"Old people, out. I hate fucking old people. I'm old but I don't see me. I see you."
"Blind people, out. Start tapping and someone turn them around so they don't come at me."
"Skinny people, out. And you know who you are because your finger smells of vomit."
3. She talked about sleeping with old, ugly guys because they have money. "Who gives a shit who's on top of you. Think of it as a bone density test. As long as you you can see the TV." Then she pretends to lick her hand and says, "Sperm. I know whose that is. One swallow is 148 calories or two points if you're on Weight Watchers."
4."Feels on wheels. Sex for old people. We go to a stranger's house, ring the bell, and jerk them off. It's very meaningful. But bring a book." She then proceeded to act it out, flipping pages with her chin and switching hands when one got tired.
5. Her wildest routine, which was also in her film, was about vaginas dropping: "Did you know vaginas drop? One morning I look down and say, 'Why am I wearing a bunny slipper? And it's gray. It's a good thing though. You can have sex in the bedroom and watch TV in the living room."
6. I was thrilled to hear her make fun of The King's Speech, which I hated. "He's a king. So he fucking stutters? I'd cut my tongue out for Rhode Island."
7. The requisite potty humor: "Don't you hate farts? Noisy surprise farts? At 60 it all starts. And vagina farts? Those are the worst. You can blame the farts that come out of the back on other people. But a vagina fart comes out of the front. You gotta own it."
8. Very few people got any love. Although her dog did. Sort of. "I love my dog. I have two tits that sag. She has eight."
9. The Virgin Mary, on the other hand, did not fare so well. She explained how she got a Christmas tree complete with a manger scene below. But she was terribly dissatisfied with the shmata Mary had on. "You're the mother of God. Look it." So, she says she put her in a "Chanel suit, Jimmy Choo shoes, and a fabulous Fendi bag." Only Rivers.
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An hour later, Rivers said goodnight to a fierce standing ovation. But she quickly returned to the stage wearing a long, hot pink, feathered robe, of sorts.
10. "Only in America could I say what I want and get paid for it," Rivers said and then proceeded to open her robe to reveal a Statue of Liberty-style dress along with a scepter and a crown. All the while the band played "Deep in the Heart of Texas." Rivers proceeded to toss the potted mums decorating the stage to nearby audience members before she disappeared backstage once again.
"It was a blood bath," my girlfriend said as we left the theater. Indeed. But the great thing about Rivers is that she is an equal opportunity and highly skilled slasher. No one was left uncut and even those diced to smithereens couldn't stop laughing.