Tony Christopher Hair Design owner remembers Joan Rivers


Comedian, actress and TV host Joan Rivers passed away on Thursday, and her death was felt by fans around the world – especially by a right on Marshall Street in Syracuse.

Tony Christopher Hair Design first opened on Marshall Street in 1978. Tony Christopher, the owner of the barber shop, has cut the hair of hundreds of students and professors at Syracuse University, but that’s only in the late 1990s that Christopher cut the hair of his most famous client: Rivers.

“Everyone was like, ‘If you mess her hair, she’s going to ruin your life,'” Christopher said. “But all she did was joke around all the time.”

Rivers came to the Sheraton Syracuse University Hotel and Conference Center to discuss the suicide and death of her husband, when a student from SI Newhouse School of Public Communications recommended Christopher’s services to the Rivers team. Christopher said that when he got the first phone call asking if he could cut the famous comedian’s hair, he thought it was a joke. When the news finally broke, he got to work.

Christopher said he had prepared a few weeks in advance to cut her hair. He watched her on television and read his books. Even with the preparation, he was extremely nervous to go up to his hotel suite. When he arrived, he was surprised at how sweet she was, given her sarcastic humor in her act.


“She was just crazy,” Christopher said. “The whole time was so nice. She cracked everyone up.

A photo of Rivers and Christopher hangs at the entrance to the salon, along with the $ 35 check she wrote him for her hairstyling session. After Rivers left Syracuse, Christopher became a lifelong fan. He watched his show, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” and email him about one or two of the episodes that were his favorites.

Rivers answered his emails and clearly remembered who Christopher was a few years ago. The best surprise, he added, was when Rivers sent him two signed photos of her with personalized messages. They are hung next to the check on the wall.

Rivers’ death came as a total surprise to Christopher. He was following his hospital stay on TV and cutting a student’s hair when news of his death broke. Christopher said the student made sure to ask him if he was okay emotionally, as he is known on Marshall Street to be a huge fan of the comedian.

Christopher said, “She’s one in a million. No one could ever get near Joan Rivers.

Contact Jackie: [email protected] | @jackie_frere


Leave A Reply