Melissa Rivers hailed her ''fearless'' late mother Joan in a speech yesterday (10.12.14).

The 'Fashion Police' producer spoke publicly for the first time since the outspoken comic passed away from surgery complications in September at the Hollywood Reporter's 2014 Women in Entertainment breakfast in Los Angeles and admitted things have been ''different, to say the least'' since she lost her famous parent.

She said: ''My mother was fearless. And I don't mean she didn't have any fears, I mean that even though she was only 5'2, she stood tall and walked through it. And that's what made her such a brilliant performer. She was willing to say what others were thinking and too frightened to admit.

''She made fun of herself first and foremost which gave her the right to joke about others.

''She never apologised for a joke, and no topic was taboo and she was fine with that.

''Truth be told, my mother never thought of herself as a woman working in a man's world. She thought of herself as a comic that had to be funnier than anyone else...she just wanted to do her job and that was to make people laugh.

''There's been tribute after tribute to my mother where she's been called everything from a legend, to a trailblazer, to a bitch. [But] the bottom line is, she was really just my mother.''

Melissa admitted her mother would have been very ''grateful and proud'' if she had still been alive for the celebration - but joked she would also have been stealing from the tables.

She concluded her speech saying: ''If my mother were here this morning, she'd not only be grateful and proud, she would be beyond herself. She would be sitting at the table beaming, while very discreetly shoving croissants and silverware into her purse. On behalf of my mother -- thank you so, so much. It's an honour.''

Fellow funnywoman Sarah Silverman also paid tribute to Joan as she introduced a video tribute to the late star.

She said: ''Joan Rivers was not done. At 81 she lived a life that could jam pack ten lifetimes, but she wasn't done, she left us unfinished. She was as funny last August as ever. In fact, she was doing her best work.

''She once said she didn't feel she found her comedic voice until she was 70. I love that.

''For true blue stand-up comics like Joan Rivers, there is no end game, it's a process, it's a lifestyle. The only thing that was going to stop Joan from being a comedian was death, so, touche death. And f**k you very much.''