7. Joan Rivers
Always game to work, comic icon Rivers patiently presides over a guest list described by Greg Giraldo as "a couple of trolls, a fairy and a giant going after a sunken-eyed monster obsessed with jewelry. It's like Lord of the Rings." The performers aren't exactly Rivers' crowd, and there are unexpected characters working the podium such as Robin Quivers, but it actually gels; Whitney Cummings' performance was so assured (regarding the prevalence of elderly comics onstage, she remarked "I don't know if I should be telling jokes or calling out bingo numbers"), it helped launch her into the Hollywood consciousness. And unlike most of the other honorees, Rivers knows how to close: After slapping roastmaster Kathy Griffin, she delivers sharp material and gives herself a big, self-congratulatory finish that restores balance after the verbal beatdown she endured. There's a reason she's referred to as a legend.