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Booker Shares His Memories Of Working With Joan Rivers

By Sarah Carroll

Hilarious, trailblazing, and a irreverent are just a few words that describe the legendary comedian Joan Rivers.

Rivers passed away Thursday a week after she stopped breathing during throat surgery.

One thing is clear in the wake of her death: she was universally loved and respected by a vast community of family, friends, and fellow comedians.

Our very own Booker had the honor of working with Joan Rivers just a few times, but she left a major impression with her kind heart and sharp wit.

He shared some of his favorite memories with Carson earlier this morning. Take a listen:

Booker once co-hosted a red carpet telecast alongside Rivers for the TV Guide network and described it as the “coolest thing [he’s] ever been involved in.”

During a writing round-table meeting where they tested out the jokes before the show, he worked up the courage to offer up some constructive criticism to the comedic icon.

“So, this one joke happens and I knew what she was trying to say, but it kind of missed a little bit, and this is one of the craziest moments in my life and I still can’t believe I did it, but I put my hand in the air and Joan looks at me, the whole room looks at me after this joke and I go, ‘I don’t get it.’ And everybody looks at me and I go, ‘I get it, but but I don’t think it works this way. Why don’t you say it this way?’ But Joan kind of looked at me, cocks her head sideways, and then she says the joke my way, and says, ‘He’s right. Change it.’ So at this point I feel like the coolest person who’s ever walked the earth.”

Booker had to duck out of the meeting early to interview someone, at which point, Joan announced to the room, “Chris Booker, everybody,” and started a round of applause.

“And as the door’s about to shut, you hear her yell, ‘Fire him immediately!’ The whole room just blows up laughing.”

Booker never forgot that moment and it turns out, neither did Rivers. He reached out to Joan years ago asking her to donate an autographed photo for his mother’s Relay For Life fundraiser.

After he made a call to Rivers’ assistant, a massive box showed up at Booker’s mother’s doorstep containing her entire line of products, including perfume, clothing, and jewelry.

“She sent a really nice note.’ She’s like, ‘Dear Pat, I just wanted to let you know you did a wonderful job raising your son. He’s lovely, what a great boy. He’s very funny and he did such a nice job when I worked with him.’ And just on and on. She goes, ‘You know, you’re very lucky to have a son like him. I wish you the best of luck fighting cancer. Anything I can do for you, obviously, here’s my number. Call out and reach out to me.’ That’s the kind of woman we’re dealing with.”

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