Joan Rivers

E! Networks

Joan Rivers doesn't feel she needs to apologize for a joke she made about the Holocaust.

Controversy erupted on Monday when the Fashion Police cohost made a comment on the E! program about the dress Heidi Klum wore to the Oscars.

"The last time a German looked this hot was when they were pushing Jews into the ovens," Rivers said.

The Anti-Defamation League subsequently called the remark "vulgar and offensive to Jews and Holocaust survivors."

Rivers first responded with the following statement, "My husband lost the majority of his family at Auschwitz and I can assure you that I have always made it a point to remind people of the Holocaust through humor."

And when E! News' Alicia Quarles caught up with Rivers, it was clear she sees the uproar in a more positive way.

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"I was very glad," she told E! News while promoting the new season of Joan & Melissa. "I think the Holocaust is being discussed more than it has in 20 years. I'm not making a joke about this."

What's more, Rivers believes you can't go too far when it comes to comedy.

"No. And none of us do. No. Go back to Lenny Bruce, go back to George Carlin, go to Chris Rock. No. Go back to the greats...that's what comedians do," she said. "No apology. And if you're not laughing, tune out."

Rivers famously made essentially the same point onstage to a heckler who objected to a Helen Keller joke she told, an exchange that was featured in her documentary Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

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