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Joan Rivers always had a joke at the ready, and daughter Melissa Rivers has proven, even in the wake of tragedy, that the apple didn't fall far from the funny tree.
Attending her first public event since Joan's death on Sept. 4, Melissa turned up Saturday in Los Angeles to co-emcee the Our Grief Support Center's annual gala. More than 500 people gathered at the Skirball Center for the benefit, which raised more than $640,000 to go toward the center's goal of being able to provide counseling and other forms of support to children and adults who are grieving the death of a loved one.
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"About seven weeks ago I lost my mother," Melissa, dressed in a black cocktail dress with a retro-cut skirt and bodice, addressed the audience. "And I feel like I'm in the Hair Club for Men ad. Not only am I the ambassador, but I'm a client too, now. It's a little awkward."
Joan would have loved that Melissa went for the laugh.
Chuckling through her tears, Melissa added, "Does everyone know what the drag queen cry is? So you don't mess up your make-up, you have to lean over. So I'm crying like a drag queen."
Our Grief just honored Melissa at last year's gala with the Good Grief Award, recognizing the way in which the Fashion Police executive producer and reality TV star handled the death of her father, Edgar Rosenberg. He took his own life in 1987.
Melissa "was incredibly beautiful and strong," Our House executive director Michele Prince told The Hollywood Reporter following the celeb's show of strength and positive vibes at the event. "She knew that we are a room full of people who love and support her and I think she felt that."
Andrew Krasny co-hosted the gala with Melissa, and Dancing WIth the Stars pros Karina Smirnoff and Tony Dovolani opened the benefit with a routine dedicated to Matthew Geffner, a former Our House volunteer.
Melissa also did her comedic legend of a mother proud at Joan's funeral, delivering a somewhat riotous eulogy that combined sentiment and sweetness with snark.
"I love having you live with me, and I am grateful for every minute Cooper and I have with you," she said at the service. "You are an inspiration. You are also 30 days late with the rent."