Comedienne Joan Rivers wearing black mesh dress and heels, while talking on the phone in a bathtub in New York City on March 1, 1966.
Truman Moore—The TIME & LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images
By Eliana Dockterman
September 4, 2014

The world lost one of its most biting comics when Joan Rivers died Thursday at the age of 81.

Rivers acted and performed comedy for 55 years, writing most of her own material. She was known for her unapologetically blunt humor and she was egalitarian about it, too: nobody was safe from becoming the butt of a Joan Rivers joke, including Rivers herself.

Distilling Rivers’ funniest jokes into a short list is an impossible task: her best material could fill several books. So, in honor of the iconic comedienne TIME has gathered just a few of her best jokes:

I knew I was an unwanted baby when I saw that my bath toys were a toaster and a radio.

I hate thin people: ‘Oh, does the tampon make me look fat?’

People say that money is not the key to happiness, but I always figured if you have enough money, you can have a key made.

I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.

It was a Jewish porno film… one minute of sex and nine minutes of guilt.

I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My makeup team is nominated for ‘Best Special Effects.’

All my mother told me about sex was that the man goes on top and the woman on the bottom. For three years my husband and I slept in bunk beds.

My love life is like a piece of Swiss cheese; most of it’s missing, and what’s there stinks.

The first time I see a jogger smiling, I’ll consider it.

Every woman in this room tonight: Think like a second wife. You grab and you take. You grab and you take. And when you die, whatever you got out of him you have buried on you. If the next bitch wants it, make her dig for it.

Women should look good. Work on yourselves. Education? I spit on education. No man is ever going to put his hand up your dress looking for a library card.

You know you’ve reached middle age when you’re cautioned to slow down by your doctor, instead of by the police.

When a man has a birthday, he takes a day off. When a woman has a birthday, she takes at least three years off.

Half of all marriages end in divorce—and then there are the really unhappy ones.

A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to rescue two more, but I don’t want to go through menopause again.

I have no sex appeal and it has screwed me up for life. Peeping Toms look at my window and pull down the shade. My gynecologist examines me by telephone.

Write to Eliana Dockterman at eliana.dockterman@time.com.

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