News & Politics

Joan Rivers Rolls Into and Out of Town (Pictures)

The comedienne came to DC on behalf of her new book.

Joan Rivers checks out her flaming birthday “cake” at Central restaurant. Photograph by James R. Brantley.

It would be fun to say
Joan Rivers blew into and out of town
yesterday, because she is a force of nature, but in truth she rolled. As
a veteran of the club
circuit and the road she knows that sometimes the best way to
get into and out of a town is not on a plane but in a car, and
so late last night, after a party for her book
I Hate Everyone, Starting With Me and a Q&A appearance, she hopped into a limo and traveled Route 95 the four hours from DC to New York. “She got to sleep
in her own bed,” a friend said. Maybe that’s the secret to her 79 years of remarkable longevity.

And it needs to be said, because she’s so public about her many plastic surgeries: She looks good. In fact, in person she
looks better and more youthful than on television.

During the book party at

Rivers celebrated her June 8 birthday with a signature
Michel Richard birthday “cake,” which was a flaming, hedonistic mound of chocolate. She also kibitzed with friends and fans, who waited
patiently for a chance to say hello and get a free book signed.
Lynda Carter Altman, the former
Wonder Woman star, slid in beside her on a banquette to give the comedienne a hug. Dr.
David Shocket, an otherwise serious
gastroenterologist, said he was there as a surrogate for a serious
Rivers fan: his wife, Patty, who
was stuck in traffic. When he got his picture taken with
Rivers, he said, “She’s going to be so jealous.” Patty did eventually
arrive, smiling.

Central was closed for the party, which was hosted by lawyer
David Deckelbaum and interior designer
Robert Higdon, both of whom are longtime
friends of Rivers. There was an open bar—anything the guests wanted—and
servers passed platters
of crabcakes, mini burgers, flatbread with salmon, and squares
of cheesecake and chocolate mousse. Rivers couldn’t keep still,
signing books, sipping red wine, and sometimes half standing
with her leg bent back and her foot resting on the banquette—noticeable
because of her very high black stiletto blinged out with a
rhinestone ball on the heel. Were those shoes comfortable? “Of
course,” she said. Who made them? Rivers pulled one off her
foot and looked inside. “Stuart Weitzman.”

From the book party she planned to head up to the
Sixth and I Historic Synagogue to be interviewed before a paying
But before her departure she swooned about how much she loves
Washington. So we had to ask: What did she think of the presidential
election? Did she have a candidate? Rivers responded by
sticking out her tongue and blowing a loud raspberry. “Neither one,”
she said emphatically. When we asked if she’d reenact that face
for a photographer, she laughed. “No way.” The queen of the
Fashion Police knows well when to police herself.