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Legendary comedienne unleashes vivaciously
vicious red carpet roast

Joan Rivers
Paramount Theatre
Aurora, IL
March 5, 2010
Joan Rivers Joan Rivers

Story By Andy Argyrakis
Publicity Photos

She may be 76-years-old, but comedienne extraordinaire Joan Rivers is more popular now than ever before. Between hosting countless award shows live from the red carpet to a recent victory on "Celebrity Apprentice," the increasingly brash and bawdy star is earning a younger fan base, while staying true to her stand-up comedy core. At the beautifully restored and acoustically inviting Paramount Theatre (one of suburban Chicagoland's best kept secrets), she plowed through 75-minutes of skewering every celebrity on the planet with her signature wit and sardonic sense of humor still as sharp as a tack.

The evening got underway with some slams against Liza Minnelli and her substance abuse, followed by a stab at Barbra Streisand's awkward eyes and nose. No star was off limits old or new and Rivers was sure to roast them all, from insinuating Tom Cruise's actual sexual orientation to ripping on Angelina Jolie's lips and calling Chastity Bono equally ugly as a man or women. Even though she's best pals with the latter's mother (the almighty Cher), the comic insisted it was all in love and she's far from a negative person.

Instead, she made a thousand or so fans roar until their sides nearly split, suggesting Cher should ditch her never ending farewell tour, that Madonna should find sexier procreation partners (though she did approve of Guy Ritchie) and betting that Michael Jackson could've really been a pedophile after all.

But the rich and famous weren't the only ones on her politically incorrect hit list. Rivers called all the gays to come down front, the lesbians to head towards the back and anyone who was Chinese, fat or old to leave. Of course, it was all in hearty jest and she gave plenty of wisecracks about the Jews (which she proudly upholds as her heritage), while even apologizing for being a bit tired because she just came back from Haiti, where she was busy collecting photo opportunities (rather than rescuing people from the rubble).

After literally tossing potted plants into the first few rows during her final bows, Rivers returned for a legitimately heartfelt encore, thanking everyone for a prosperous five decades in show business and encouraging anyone who's been through any heartbreak to keep standing and pressing on. Not only can she talk the talk, but she still walks the walk with more confidence and chutzpah than most entertainers half her age.

Managing Editor Phil Bonyata's picks on who deserves to win the Oscars -

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