Joan Rivers is still going strong 

Joan Rivers is like creative Viagra for a numbed-out nation. She never fails to rise to the occasion.

There are her countless stand-up gigs, and now, the comedy legend is hot off the heels of two monstrous television hits, “Joan Knows Best?” — a surprisingly delicious reality outing airing on WE — and E’s high-rated frock fest, “Fashion Police.”

Rivers remains one of the busiest women in show business, something  The City will embrace when she returns for a lively evening at the Castro Theatre — subtitled  “Unscripted, Uncensored and Unpredictable!” — on Saturday. Expect a juicy stew of pop culture. (Charlie and Lindsay — duck!)

Asked how she juggles it all, Rivers just laughs.

“You juggle it with joy,” she says. “Because in this business, it comes and goes away so fast. When I hear things like the cast of ‘Grey’s Anatomy’ not being happy, you want to go, ‘Are you out of your mind? And Charlie [Sheen] — he’s got the brass ring, and you’re not happy? Get over it … and start tap dancing in the street.

“So, I never worry if I have time for everything,” she adds. “I have time.”

Funny thing is, Rivers also has heart. She isn’t just wired to go in for the kill. Last year’s illuminating documentary “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” certainly proved that and in conversation, the comic reveals the depth of wisdom that runs alongside her wit.

In fact, she admits that her WE tv reality show, which found her moving in with daughter Melissa in Los Angeles, taught her a great deal.

“I think that what makes mother-daughter relationships work is that you have to remember that they’re adults and that’s very hard,” she says. “It’s not your child anymore. The minute they don’t have to ask you whether they can have an ice cream cone, it’s a changed relationship.”

She’s also candid about how the entertainment business has changed since she stormed the scene decades ago.

“It’s getting much rougher,” she notes. “The world’s gone wild.  Things have changed. Pornography, now, makes you a star rather than kicks you out of the class.”

So, what’s the trick to longevity? She says that it has to do with finding “humor in most everything.”

“Christina Aguilera, Charlie Sheen — everything makes me laugh,” she chuckles. “I mean everything. I just find it to be a ‘cure.’  If I was at Auschwitz, I would turn to somebody and say, ‘Do you smell gas or is it just me?’”


Joan Rivers

Where: Castro Theatre, 429 Castro St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Tickets: $35 to $76
Contact: (415) 392-4400,

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Greg Archer

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