Legendary comedian Joan Rivers is in critical but stable condition after she stopped breathing during throat surgery this week, and reports say that just 12 hours before her health suddenly took a turn for the worse, she performed at a New York theater and joked about her mortality.
45-year-old Shade Rupe was in attendance at the show just hours before Rivers was placed in a medically-induced coma, and according to his account, 81-year-old Rivers had joked about dying.
“She did a joke onstage, she goes, ‘I’m 81 — I could go at any moment. I could fall over right here and you all could say, I was there,’” said Rupe to the NY Daily News.
Wednesday night’s show took place at the Laurie Beechman Theatre and was in front of an intimate 99-seat venue. Rupe says that after the show, he was able to get a picture with the legendary comic.
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“She looked fantastic,” said Rupe. “I saw her leaving and I just wanted to say hi. I said, ‘Would you mind doing a picture?’ and she did it. She was so on. If you had me guess her age, I’d say she was in her 50s. She didn’t miss a step, she didn’t go ditzy, she didn’t forget anything and her timing was amazing. She was perfectly in control from the moment she walked onstage. It’s amazing what can happen in 12 hours.”
81-year-old Rivers was placed in a medically-induced coma at Mount Sinai Hospital after going into cardiac arrest during a throat procedure at a different location. Rivers’ daughter Melissa, herself a successful television star, said on Friday that her mother was “resting comfortably.”
Reports still say that Rivers is in critical but stable condition.