You’ve had AIDS jokes in your act. That’s a pretty risky subject for comedy, no?
Why? Didn’t you see the documentary? That’s the whole point. Comedy is how you deal with things. If you can laugh at it, you can deal with it.
Did you lose many friends to the AIDS crisis?
A lot, a lot, a lot. I was doing my talk show during part of that, and one day we did a big thing on AIDS. I said, “Let’s put up pictures of my friends who have died.” And it just didn’t stop. I was so upset, because you don’t realize how many you lost until you really start to line it up. It was awful. It was a death sentence back then. When someone called you up and said, “I have AIDS,” it was over. My hairdresser, Jason Dyl, was wild and crazy. The minute he heard about it, he said to me, “That’s the end for me.” And it was. We didn’t know what to do, how to treat it, so he used to put on rubber gloves to do my hair. It was a horrible, black time. Don’t get me started.
Taken from a Joan Rivers interview with Advocate.com
Read the whole interview: Joan Rivers Better Work | Film | Advocate.com