Joan Rivers, comic, Dodge spokeswoman, dead at 81

James Raia

Throughout her long and often raunchy career, Joan Rivers maintained the ability to laugh at herself. She even did so as a spokesperson for what seemed out of character — promoting Dodge.

Rivers, who died Sept. 4 at the age of 81, didn’t know anything but full-speed ahead.

She ripped celebrities. She told dirty jokes. She had more plastic surgery than Tammy Faye Baker.

And in this 30-second commercial for Chrysler, she compares the car’s leather to the leather on her face.

Rivers could be polarizing. Her humor was funny, biting, and often cruel.

Joan Rivers promoted the Dodge Dart in the 2013 television commercial.
Joan Rivers promoted the Dodge Dart in the 2013 television commercial.

Johnny Carson helped make Rivers famous, with the late night legend booking Rivers on the The Tonight Show often. But comedy duo never spoke in the years leading to Carson’s death in 2005 after Rivers began a late night show without telling Carson.

In one infamous exchange on The Tonight Show, Carson asked Rivers if men really liked smart women more.

Rivers shot back: “No man has ever put his hands up a woman’s dress looking for a library card.”

As an automotive spokesperson, Rivers was controversial while pitching the 2013 Dodge Dart. With Rivers in the spot, the product wasn’t going to be forgotten. But critics said her humor fell flat and didn’t do anything for the car’s sales.

At one point in the spot, Rivers says: “Look at the leather! It’s softer than the leather on my face.”

The Dodge Dart commercial last aired in April, 2014.

RIP, Joan Rivers. You were unique and made people laugh.

Article Last Updated: September 4, 2014.

1 thought on “Joan Rivers, comic, Dodge spokeswoman, dead at 81”

  1. Interesting how this article referred to Carson as a “legend,” while letting Rivers hang out there as a wannabe. History will show, someday, Joan Rivers did more for American comedy than Johnny Carson ever thought about.


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