Local

Locals Remember Legendary Comedian Joan Rivers

(Photo Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

(Photo Credit: Rob Kim/Getty Images)

Paul Martino Paul Martino
Paul joined KDKA-TV in 1984 as a general assignment reporter and later...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — People around the world are remembering legendary comedian Joan Rivers who died Thursday at a hospital in New York. She was 81.

Rivers stopped breathing during outpatient surgery on her vocal chords at a Manhattan clinic last week.

Fans have been placing flowers on Rivers’ star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame and outside her apartment in New York City.

Rivers made several appearances here in Pittsburgh over the years and touched many people, both on and off stage.

For Pittsburgh concert promoter Rich Engler, Rivers sold out three shows in Pittsburgh. But her act was scary.

“Nobody knew what was going to come out of her mouth,” said Engler. “It was just like, what will she say next? She took everybody on.”

Engler had to give refunds for some concert-goers who found her too offensive.

Even so, he cherishes his autographed picture from Rivers. And he says she was about to return to Pittsburgh. No joke.

“I recently talked to management down at the Byham and I was going to bring her down there for a show, and I negotiated a price and everything and looking for dates in the spring, and here you go,” he says.

Scott Noxon, of McKees Rocks, made friends with Rivers on a cruise ship. He got her to come to town for a charity show. He says she was hilarious.

“It was the best time, the best night of my life I had here in Pittsburgh,” said Noxon. “She was non-stop jokes. If she was on stage or off, she was always funny.”

Engler, meanwhile, can’t forget the backstage antics with, of all things, Rivers’ little dogs.

“Joan had two Yorkies with her, and in her contract, we had to have special lunch meat or special ground meat for those little Yorkies,” he said.

Even in death, Rivers continues to make us laugh. She left instructions for her funeral.

In her book, she writes in part: “I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action. I want craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want [Pittsburgh's] Bobby Vinton to pick up my head and sing ‘Mr. Lonely.’ And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket my hair is blowing just like Beyoncé’s.”

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CBS News’ Obituary of Joan Rivers
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