An insanely intimate, warts-and-all look at America’s funniest woman

Joan Rivers had been around for some time when she first appeared on The Tonight Show (in 1965). She’s been

Joan Rivers had been around for some time when she first appeared on The Tonight Show (in 1965). She’s been so ubiquitous for so very long that you’d think there’d be nothing left to say about her. And yet, Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (available 12/14) is a total revelation.

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Stern and Sundberg spent 12 months with Rivers. She gave the filmmakers total access, telling them the saddest, most intimate things and letting them film her rawest, most desperate moments. They came away with a brilliant character study. There’s very little that Rivers hasn’t lived through, and absolutely nothing she won’t say (or do to herself) to stay in the public eye. She’s more fascinating—and, somehow, more heroic—than we ever expected her to be.

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An insanely intimate, warts-and-all look at America’s funniest woman