Before she was known for making rude comments about how celebrities dress, for insulting fellow contestants on "Celebrity Apprentice" and for a series bizarre face lifts, Joan Rivers was known for being one of the funniest stand-up comedians around.
She's 80 years old now, and still known as one of the hardest-working people in show business -- or in any other business, for that matter. She's still doing stand-up, and she'll be at the Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall in Sarasota on Saturday.
Although she often comes off as just plain mean when doing talk shows and reality shows, her stand-up stuff on TV was always pretty funny, always a little bit edgy and often pushing the boundaries of raunchiness.
In her live shows, she's apparently a whole lot funnier and a whole lot raunchier. The great Roger Ebert, obviously a man of discerning tastes, was a huge Joan Rivers fan, but said you had to see her live shows to be able to appreciate how great she was.
Audiences still love her work, too. She's been a fixture on television for nearly a half-century, and she can still pack large venues around the country. Tickets for her Sarasota show have reportedly been selling briskly.
Details: 8 p.m. March 15, Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall, 777 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota. Tickets: $40-$60. Information: 941-953-3368, www.vanwezel.org.
-- Marty Clear