Joan Rivers 'laughed off' procedure the night before .......

Joan Rivers laughed about “going in for a little procedure’’ the night before she had the throat operation that left her on life support, a close friend said Sunday.

“She said her throat was bothering her for a long time. Her voice was getting more raspy, if that was possible. She said she was just going in for a little procedure in the morning, that was it,” Jay Redack, Rivers’ former writing partner,, said outside Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan.

Rivers, 81, has been hospitalized since she stopped breathing during the throat procedure at a clinic Thursday. She’s now on life support. “What’s ironic is at dinner [Wednesday night], we were talking about who goes first. I’ve know Joan so damn long,” Redack said. “I said, ‘Here’s what I’ll leave you if I go first. What’ll you leave me?’ She said, ‘I’ll think about it,’ ” Redack said.

MORE after the cut Redack described Rivers as “up and alive and having a ton of fun” at dinner. “We laughed our asses off,” he said. Redack said he wanted to visit Rivers in the hospital but couldn’t get past security. Meanwhile, Rivers’ daughter, Melissa, thanked well-wishers. “Thank you for your continued love and support,” she a said in a statement. “We are keeping our fingers crossed.”

The family could make a decision in the next few days about whether to keep the comic legend on a respirator.

A legion of fans took to Twitter to express their support for Rivers and her family. Among the entertainers who tweeted about the comedian were Cher, Charlie Sheen, Kelly Osbourne, Sarah Silverman, Giuliana Rancic and Donald Trump.

‘Jesus Christ, Joan,” tweeted Silverman. “You can’t be in the hospital — you have work to do! This is BULLS–T.”

Rivers was the picture of health the day before her procedure, performing an hourlong stand-up session at the Laurie Beechman Theatre in Times Square, where she chatted with fans after the show.

Redack said he had dinner with Rivers afterward.

“I was the last person to walk her home, that was it,” he said.