Joan Rivers's funniest fashion criticisms

Joan Rivers, self-appointed fashion critic and all-round funnywoman. (Reuters)

Joan Rivers, self-appointed fashion critic and all-round funnywoman. (Reuters)

The late, self-appointed fashion critic, comedienne Joan Rivers, was loved, feared and loathed by many. Her often below-the-belt critiques ruffled many feathers, especially come award season on Hollywood’s red carpet.

As the host on E! celebrity fashion show Fashion Police, with co-hosts Giuliana Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, a withering look or devastating one-liner often had her co-hosts and guests wriggling uncomfortably in their seats or laughing uncontrollably.

According to, her family was appalled when she began moonlighting as a stand-up comedian in between secretarial jobs. But she stuck with her love for comedy, which earned her Daytime Emmy award-winning show The Joan Rivers Show in 1990. 

Rivers broke down barriers in her career. She was the first woman to host her own late night talk show, The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, in 1986 on Fox Network, paving the way for other women on late-night TV.

She went on to reinvent herself in the 1990s by taking to the red carpet, reporting on what Hollywood’s A-listers were wearing to award shows. This took her career to new heights and earned her fashion police authority. 

She and daughter Melissa Rivers first hosted the E! Entertainment Television pre-awards show for the Golden Globes in 1994 and, according to E! Online, Rivers created and hosted Live from the Red Carpet for E! Network from 1996 to 2004.

As inappropriate as she was hilarious, her unfiltered remarks are what kept viewers glued to Fashion Police. Extra TV presenter Mario Lopez once asked Melissa what she though was her mother’s best quality. Joan interjected: “That she is almost dead.” Melissa summed up her mother to Lopez in one sentence: “My mom’s best quality is she is funny, caring and loving and crazy in a good way, most of the time.”

On the last episode of Fashion Police, the Emmys and MTV Video Music Awards edition, the originator of the “who are you wearing” line took a jab at Orange is the New Black star Taryn Manning’s Emmys gold dress. “Check the hem, the dress is just like Jackie Chan’s penis, it needs two more inches.”     

Our top 10 funniest one-liners dished out by Joan Rivers

  1. On rapper Big Sean dating actress Naya Rivera: “When you started dating her [Rivera], she was still playing a high school kid on Glee. Did you feel like R Kelly? Like, I shouldn’t be doing this?”
  2. On rapper 2 Chainz’s 2013 VMAs head-to-toe Versace outfit: “The only ugly Versace I have ever seen is Donatella in real life.” 
  3. On Downton Abbey actress Michelle Dockery’s sideboob-showing dress at the 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards: “The last time I saw that much action on the side was Brad Pitt who was still married to Jennifer Aniston [on the] screen actors guild awards carpet.”
  4. On wrestler Stacey Keibler’s 2012 Oscar dress:  “Stacey’s dress I loved; it was gold and shiny just like the wedding ring she will never get.”   
  5. On Princess Beatrice of York’s headgear at Prince William and Kate’s wedding:  “Beatrice, she is so desperate to get married but she is wearing an IUD on her head.”   
  6. On actress Lupita Nyong’o's dress at the MTV Movie Awards 2014: “She looked like she was covered in more hard candy than you’ll find in a paedophile’s pockets.”
  7. On Mariah Carey and her children: “Isn’t it ironic that her last name is Carey? Considering she’s never picked up either of those kids. The bodyguard is there to keep the kids from touching her.”
  8. On Kim Kardashian’s pregnancy: “She really is pregnant. I saw the sonogram of her womb. It looks just like MC Hammer’s house: There was no furniture and it looked like a lot of people have partied in there.”
  9. On John Mayer and Katy Perry attending the 2013 Grammys together: “The fact that John was there shows that they are really together and it also unfortunately shows the hypocrisy of the networks. They wouldn’t let the women show breasts or vagina but they had no problem showing us an asshole.”
  10. On Kelly Rowland looking good at the 2014 Grammys: “I have never ever ever seen her look better and it’s very hard for her to do because she has to arrive at the Grammys, like she does every year, in a sidecar attached to Beyoncé‘s limo.”
Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi

Katlego Mkhwanazi is the Mail & Guardian's arts, culture and entertainment content producer. She started her career in magazines, before joining the Mail & Guardian team in 2014. She is an entertainer at heart. Read more from Katlego Mkhwanazi


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