She, alongside daughter Melissa Rivers and the E! Network, would also give birth to an entire industry in 1994 at the Golden Globes pre-show with just four simple words: “Who are you wearing?” From that moment on, the red carpet would never be the same. In fact, thanks to Rivers’ fun, witty and, yes, sometimes snarky approach to celebrities and their fashion choices, it would very often come to overshadow the event for which everyone was arriving. The comedian’s work for E! on the red carpet would eventually morph into Fashion Police, which debuted on the network on 2010 with Rivers at the helm until the day she died.
Prior to transforming the red carpet, Rivers also helped change the face of late-night TV, albeit temporarily, when, after serving as Johnny Carson‘s permanent guest-host on The Tonight Show (where she’d first been hired by the legendary comic as a writer in 1965) since 1983, she became the first female host in history when The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers debuted on Fox in October 1986. The move infuriated Carson, who hung up on her when she called him about it and never spoke to her again, getting her blacklisted from the long-running NBC series until Jimmy Fallon took over the same year she died.
Seven months later, Rivers and Edgar Rosenberg, her second husband who served as the show’s producer, were fired by Fox. (Late night has been slow to follow Rivers’ lead, at least on the network side, with Lilly Singh‘s A Little Late the first female-fronted series since The Late Show.)