Hundreds of fans lined the streets of New York City as Joan Rivers, who passed away at the age of 81, was laid to rest on September 7th. The private ceremony at Temple Emanu-El was a star-studded event as Howard Stern, David Letterman, Donald Trump, Clive Davis, Paul Shaffer, Kelly Osbourne and many more came to pay their respects to the comedian. People writes that Stern delivered the eulogy and called Rivers “the best friend in the world… a big sister… a crazy aunt at a bar mitzvah.” Stern added, “She fought the stereotype that women couldn’t be funny. She was responsible for putting the red carpet into prime time.”
The service began with the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus performing the Broadway standard “Hey, Big Spender.” The New York Times reports that bagpipers and drummers from the New York Police Department also performed “New York, New York” and “Give My Regards to Broadway” at the memorial, and that the funeral program also featured that memorable passage from Rivers’ autobiography I Hate Everyone… Starting With Me where the comedienne described her own wishes for her funeral. “I don’t want a rabbi rambling on; I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different languages” Rivers wrote. “And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.” No word whether there was actually a wind machine at the funeral.
Audra McDonald and Hugh Jackman both delivered musical interludes at the service, while Rivers was reminisced by columnist Cindy Adams, Inside Edition host Deborah Norville, and her daughter Melissa Rivers. While the funeral was closed to the public, crowds gathered outside the synagogue to pay their respects to “the Morrissey of her generation.” Across the Hudson River at New Jersey’s Met Life Stadium, where the New York Jets were taking on the Oakland Raiders, the video screens also paid tribute to Rivers.