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Kathy Griffin Pays Tribute to Joan Rivers: 'She Knew She Had to Work Harder, Jump Higher' Than Male Comedians

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Kathy Griffin is remembering Joan Rivers in a new documentary premiering Friday.

In an exclusive sneak peek at Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing, Griffin remembers watching her mentor on TV when she was a younger – and being inspired how the late comedian broke ground for female comics.

“No matter what she did, she had that fire in her eye. That’s what you would see in the male stars as well, but it was a little unique to see it in a female star. She had the same kind of drive that the boys had,” says Griffin. “What that said to me though the screen was, ‘If I decide to do this, I have to do what the boys do, and I’m pretty sure I’m going to have to fight three times harder. ‘ She knew she had to work harder, jump higher – and she did.


Rivers died Sept. 4, 2014, after complications from a surgical procedure. Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing is the first documentary to be produced on her legacy following her death.

The documentary also features Sarah Silverman, Lily Tomlin, Don Rickles, Whitney Cummings, Gilbert Gottfried and more.

Joan Rivers: Exit Laughing premieres Friday on the New York public television station Thirteen at 10 p.m. ET. It will be rebroadcast on New York’s WLIW21 on Sunday at 11 p.m. ET and on New Jersey’s NJTV on Tuesday, April 19 at 10 p.m. ET.