The Bitch is Back in London: Joe Posa prepares to bring his homage to Joan Rivers to Crazy Coqs in July

Stephen Vowles has a transatlantic ‘chin-wag’ with the very amusing Joe Posa as he gets ready to bring his homage to Joan Rivers this side of the pond at Crazy Coqs on Saturday 16th July.

So Joe. I have to go there, “Can We Talk?”

Yes, let’s talk!   

To say that Joan was a unique and a rather special talent and the fact she broke through into a world dominated by the likes of Lenny Bruce, was it important for you to continue her comic legacy in the way you do? 

Absolutely. I mean you mentioned Lenny Bruce. It was a man’s club when Joan started out. Women were not to talk about the things Joan talked about in those days. On television you couldn’t say pregnant, instead you would say that “soon you would hear the patter of little feet.” 

In the early days, Joan was part of Second City comedy troupe which was challenging because it was a boy’s club. They just weren’t gracious, yet the experience changed her life because she realised that she was in fact a writer.

In order to bring Joan to life, I need to feel the journey of who she was in order to create a truthful impersonation of her. Joan was not only a brilliant comedian, she was also a survivor of show business and of the suicide of her husband Edgar Rosenberg in 1987. She was a compassionate person because of those experiences, and her compassion was there in her life and if you look real close it was also in her act. She is in my head when I’m performing, I am channeling her. I’m a vessel for her work.

She paid you the ultimate compliment that your were the best that “did her”, how did that make you feel?

That is the ultimate! I mean to have the actual person that you are portraying give you such high praise… amazing. I am honoured by that, I am humbled by that and I try every night on stage to live up to that.

As far as I am aware no topic was off limits to her, is there any subject matter you would not touch personally?

It’s interesting, it was often said of Joan that she was brassy on stage yet classy off stage, which was so true. In very much the same way, in my personal life I’m a compassionate and empathetic person as well. I think that is how I am able to step into someone else’s shoes and portray them as I do. On stage it is so freeing performing as Joan for the audience knows who they came to see and they expect you to deliver Joan’s edgy humour, which of course I do.

Do you think the world of being PC has gone too far?

Well, yes, I mean young comics starting out today have a very difficult time. Everyone is so uptight. Relax! They are just jokes you A-holes! If we don’t laugh at ourselves and the things good and bad going on in the world, how are we to move forward and even heal? With Joan nothing was off limits: sex, race, religion, getting older, her vagina! Everyone is being brought into the conversation, so what is so terrible? 

You use a lot of her original material in your act. Do you think they are as relevant today as when she delivered the now famous jokes that were at the time shocking and pushed boundaries in taste?

I do use material that the audience has heard Joan tell as it’s part of the nostalgia and the tribute. People want to hear what the legend herself has said and made famous. After the show during the meet and greet people will often times thank me for those moments, as they tell me where and when they heard Joan herself on stage deliver them. It’s a huge part of what the evening is all about, honouring the woman and her legacy.

I enjoy the improvisational part of the show, which brings a freshness to the material. I seize the moment in whatever is going on in the room with that particular audience. I so enjoy this art form, it is really so much fun!

I also feel that funny is funny. It is in the delivery and it is my job to make everything old new again! 

Lastly, please tell Boyz readers where they can catch your show and when?

Sure! Saturday 16th July, showtime 7pm at Crazy Coqs. Come and see me! Click on the Boyz banner to book. See you on the night and in the bar after. London here I come! 

Joe Posa as Joan Rivers: “The Bitch is Back in London” is at Crazy Coqs, 20 Sherwood Street, London W1F 7ED on Saturday 16th July. To book tickets and for more information:

To Top