The passing of Joan Rivers on Thursday brought with it an outpouring of reaction from fellow comedians and entertainers on Twitter. Whether they were simply fans of her work or benefited directly in their own careers from the path Rivers paved, stars such as Sarah Silverman, Kathy Griffin, Jimmy Kimmel and Lena Dunham expressed both sadness and appreciation.
The reaction was reminiscent of the way fellow comic Robin Williams was mourned after news of his death broke last month. In fact, Rivers herself used Twitter on Aug. 12 to share a photo and mark the death of Williams, saying that she would "miss him and his wonderful spirit."
The spirit of Rivers and what she meant to her family and fans was reflected in a statement issued by her daughter, Melissa, on Thursday. "My mother’s greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. Although that is difficult to do right now, I know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon."
Equal parts heartbroken and reverential, celebs who shared their feelings clearly were impacted by the life and times of the comedy legend.
Stand-up star and TV host Ellen DeGeneres tweeted a popular sentiment, in saying that Rivers "paved the way" for a lot of comedians.
Members of the TODAY family also showed the love for the 81-year-old Rivers. "What an extraordinary life," Al Roker said in one tweet.
Comedy giants Whoopi Goldberg and Don Rickles shared their condolences via statements to E! News on Thursday.
"My dear friend, Joan Rivers, has passed away," Goldberg said. "Once again, I can only quote Billy Crystal ..."there are no words." Bon voyage, Joan."
Goldberg also posted her feelings on Facebook.
"Our dear Joan is gone," Rickles said. "Knowing her, working with her and enjoying the fun times of life with her was special. She will always be in our hearts. She was a good friend to Barbara and I. Melissa, be strong and take care of your son Cooper. Joan ... we will miss you."
Fellow star of stage and television Carol Burnett said, "I knew Joan for 50 years, and she was always fun, charming and sweet to be with, and funny as hell. She was also the poster child for the 'Energizer Bunny!' My love goes out to Melissa and Cooper. I am very sad today."
Late night host Jimmy Kimmel took a moment to honor Rivers on his show Thursday night. He shared a clip of the comedy legend before telling his audience, "She was something else."
For all of the respect Rivers earned for her comedy and TV career, it was her legendary fashion criticisms which actress Anna Kendrick humorously touched on via Twitter.
Kelly Osbourne went from reality star to "Fashion Police" mainstay alongside Rivers. She told E! that she was "completely heartbroken by the loss of my beloved Joan. Not only was she my boss, she was and will always be my teacher, therapist, closest friend, inspiration and the only grandmother I ever knew. She was family and I will never forget her. Laughter will be difficult for a while but when I'm sad, lonely or upset all I will have to do is think of Joan and a smile will cross my face. ... I will miss you deeply and will always hear your voice in my head saying 'my darling get out there and be you!'"
For comic Sarah Silverman, whose brash style was clearly influenced by Rivers, saying goodbye was just too tough Thursday.
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