Joan Rivers was remembered in a private memorial service at Temple Emanu-El in New York City on Sunday. The 81-year-old comedy legend, who was placed in a medically induced coma after she stopped breathing during vocal cord surgery, passed away on Thursday, Sept. 4 at Mount Sinai Hospital.
The star-studded event included a eulogy delivered by Howard Stern and performances by Hugh Jackman and Audra McDonald. Bagpipers from the New York City Police Department played “New York, New York” and the New York City Gay Men’s Chorus sang Broadway hits including “Hey Big Spender.”
Deborah Norville, Cindy Adams and Joan’s daughter, Melissa, all spoke in Joan’s honor.
Joan, born Joan Alexandra Molinsky, first gained popularity as a guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. She won a Daytime Emmy in 1990 for Outstanding Talk Show Host for The Joan Rivers Show which ran from 1989 to 1993. At the time of her death, she was the host of the E!’s hugely popular Fashion Police.
Of her own funeral, the comedienne once joked, “When I die (and yes, Melissa, that day will come; and yes, Melissa, everything’s in your name), I want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights, cameras, action. I want craft services, I want paparazzi and I want publicists making a scene! I want it to be Hollywood all the way…I want Meryl Streep crying, in five different accents…I want to be buried in a Valentino gown and I want Harry Winston to make me a toe tag. And I want a wind machine so that even in the casket by hair is blowing just like Beyonce’s.”