Celebs, crowds and cameras at Rivers' funeral
JOAN Rivers' directions for her own funeral service were printed in the programme the ushers handed out on Sunday at Temple Emanu-El in Manhattan.
"I want my funeral to be a big showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action," the paragraph-long directive said.
"I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way. I don't want some rabbi rambling on."
But for all Rivers' specificity about her service, it was more Broadway than Hollywood, down to bagpipes and drums from the New York Police Department's Emerald Society, playing New York, New York as the officers marched out at the end.
Rivers died on Thursday at Mount Sinai Hospital after going into cardiac arrest on Aug 28 at an outpatient-surgery clinic. She was cremated on Saturday.
Outside the synagogue, fans and photographers crowded the sidewalks behind police barricades.
Cameras clicked wildly as the guests went in, among them Joy Behar; Mario Buatta; Kathie Lee Gifford; Whoopi Goldberg; Hoda Kotb; Rosie O'Donnell; Mehmet Oz; Sarah Jessica Parker and her husband, Matthew Broderick; Charlie Rose; Diane Sawyer; Chuck Scarborough; Paul Shaffer; Donald Trump and Barbara Walters.
The New York City Gay Men's Chorus performed several numbers, including What A Wonderful World.
Later, Broadway luminaries Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman appeared. Rivers' daughter, Melissa, spoke.
Howard Stern, who delivered the eulogy, described her as a "troublemaker, trailblazer, pioneer for comics everywhere, never apologising and never caring what people thought".
"She did everything on her own terms," said Stern. "She fought the stereotypes that women can't be funny, they should stay in their place, stay home."
While Rivers could be scathing and even acidulous, television personality Deborah Norville said: "Joan's jokes were never ever meant to be hurtful.
"Joan's jokes were meant to be relevant, a comedic commentary on what the world was interested in before Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert began doing that on Comedy Central."
After naming many of Rivers' accomplishments, she added: "And there was the Joan who was the creator of an entirely new genre of television, red-carpet commentary."