The Funniest Insults and Roasts from Joan Rivers

No one was spared from her comedic wrath
The Funniest Insults and Roasts from Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was proof that hell hath no fury like a 5-foot-2 woman from Brooklyn. The late comedian, who rose to fame through the Manhattan circuit alongside greats like George Carlin and Richard Pryor, was known for being quick on her feet with her acerbic wit — so much so that she became known as “The Queen of the Barbed One-Liners.” This wit carried her to her own late-night talk show, helped reinvent the award show red carpet and turned her into one of the best-known comedic personalities of all-time. 

No one was safe from Rivers’ crosshairs either — not friend, not foe, not family. Especially at her own roast, she chopped, skewered and fileted the very people who were supposed to be roasting her, running circles around them with her comebacks.

To celebrate what would have been 90th her birthday, we’ve assembled a few of her many, many, many hard-hitting roasts.

Mario Cantone

“And speaking of men in fishnets. What am I gonna say to you Mario? Welcome to the dais. Dorothy, you’re not in Ken’s ass anymore, you’re in the big time. You took a shit last week and Rock Hudson came out.”

Brad Garrett (and Carl Reiner)

“I don’t know why I’m here. Which brings me to Brad Garrett. You have the nerve to criticize me? The only thing lower than your show’s ratings are Carl Reiner’s balls.”

Bo Derek

“Why bother? The woman studies for her blood test. The woman is an (idiot). I had her on The Tonight Show with me, which is a show I do, and she turned down the role of Helen Keller because she couldn’t remember the lines.” 

Nick Cannon

“You’re a new father. You must be having so much fun with Mariah and those two bouncing bundles of joy. And I bet you like your twins too.”

Betty White

“I bet you’d be funny on a date if you ever had one.”

Helen Hunt

“I mean that forehead. She looks like an Easter Island statue.”

Jeremy Clarkson and James May

“(Aging) is very hard if you’re attractive. You guys don’t have to worry.”

Kate Gosselin

“Every time they swung her around on Dancing with the Stars, I was scared three more kids would come out.”

Her Roasters Writ Large

“I was going to retire. I was just gonna sit back. But after tonight’s show, no, no, I cannot leave comedy in the hands of these untalented people, no. Comedy — and I say this with humility — needs me!” 


“I always wanted to do a sex tape, and eventually even Stevie Wonder said, ‘Pass.’”

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