10 Questions With ... Joan Rivers
Andy Cohen chats with Joan Rivers.
It would have been so OBVIOUS of me to interview Joan Rivers the morning BRAVO aired her standup special, but, like George W. Bush, I don't believe in simply "staying the course."
I am an adapter. I am flexible. Andy's Blog is a fluid body of ever-changing thoughts ... so why not interview Joan the morning after her special aired if I damn well please?? I know many of you were flipping between Joan and the Cardinals game anyway, right? Have no fear, we'll rerun the hell out of the special and this taste of Joan is a perfect hump-day treat. (Note, I still haven't given away the shoe, so if someone emails me a damn good reason why they should have it, I will send it! OK, enough of this -- Joan is on the horn!)
HI JOAN. LAST TIME I SAW YOU WAS AT THE OPENING OF CHORUS LINE...
Yes and you were in the good seats!
WHAT DID YOU THINK?
I loved it. My lawyer produced it I have to be clear about that. You're taping this right?
It was great. I loved it. J'adore Chorus Line.
YOU WERE PROBABLY THERE FOR THE ORIGINAL, RIGHT?
Yes I sat on a stair next to Dick Cavett. You couldn't get a seat.
PEOPLE HAVE NOT SEEN YOU ON TV DOING STANDUP IN SO LONG ... WHY?
Because I'm banned from late night television! I am. I've never been on Leno. I've been on Conan once and Letterman once in 17 years. This is on the record, I'm telling you -- it's the truth. I had to go to England and become a huge sensation over there for Bravo to bring me back and put me on!
WHY WOULD YOU BE BANNED FROM LETTERMAN?
Because Carson's company owned it!
WOW. WHEN YOU WERE CARSON'S PERMANENT SUB, IT WAS LIKE A SPECIAL NIGHT IN MY HOUSE. MY SISTER AND I WOULD LAY ON MY PARENTS BED WITH THEM AND BE ALLOWED TO STAY UP LATE AND WATCH THE WHOLE SHOW. BESIDES HOW IT ENDED, WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM THAT TIME?
I remember how hard it was, and this is so sad, you don't remember the good times! I remember there was a fight every minute, they wouldn't give me the guests, they would keep them for Johnny, which I understood. So we had to come up with people -- I was the first to put Cher on, I was the first to put Elton John on, and Lily Tomlin, and we began to look for alternatives. It was wonderful at first because our shows were younger and smarter. I mean, anybody that does a talk show gets into a comfortable rut: "Why should we go with this new kid, Chris Rock, when you've got Don Rickles here?!" So we had to find the Chris Rocks and all the new ones, which was exciting.
WHO WERE YOUR FAVORITE TONIGHT SHOW GUESTS OF THAT ERA?
Anybody funny. Richard Pryor. Any comic that came on. There are two kinds of hosts, the hosts that don't want the guest to top them (and I'm not gonna name names) and the hosts who will lean back and say, "Go for it." And Carson was one of those who said "go for it" by the way, he was very generous to comics -- if you can give me 15 great minutes, honey, you're on!
FROM THAT AND YOUR LATE NIGHT SHOW AND DAYTIME SHOW, WHO WERE HORRIBLE GUESTS
The ones that came out of the studio system -- ugh -- Lana Turner. Not one word came out of her mouth that wasn't pre-thought-out. She really stands out. Michael Landon -- a smartass.
MICHAEL LANDON? NO WAY! HE WAS BELOVED!
God should have smote him! Ugh -- nasty, rude to people backstage, horrible man! The Mel Gibson of his day!
I LOVE THE TITLE OF YOUR SHOW BY THE WAY ("BEFORE MELISSA PULLS THE PLUG").... JUST SO WE DON'T HAVE ANOTHER BROOKE ASTOR SITUATION ON OUR HANDS, WHAT HAVE YOU TOLD MELISSA ABOUT PULLING THE PLUG?
I've told Melissa, "Keep away from me, Bitch!" She's not allowed within a 100 feet of me -- she's the Ron Galella of my life and there is a court order now that she can't give me any more than exploding firecrackers!
LET'S PLAY WORD ASSOCIATION -- I GIVE YOU A PERSON AND YOU TELL ME THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF: PARIS HILTON
My Halloween costume this year -- I'm going with my dress over my head!
Meanest white man in the history of America.
HILARIOUS people don't know how funny he is.
It's time to come and sit in the shade next to me. Put down the feathers.
YOU'VE BECOME SUCH A FASHION COMMENTATOR. HAVE YOU EVER WATCHED PROJECT RUNWAY? WHAT DO YOU THINK OF IT?
Oh, I don't miss it, I love Project Runway! It's so much fun, they're all trying so hard, it just breaks your heart. I think it's fabulous.
WHO ARE YOUR FAVORITE DESIGNERS?
Whoever gives it to me free! So right now, Michael Volbrecht for Bill Blass tops the list. He's done my last two dresses for the Emmys and the Oscars and they were amazing dresses. Vera Wang, but she leaves pins in, but I think that's cause she hates white people. And Jews. Galliano -- I was just wearing one of his jackets and I adored it. And Valentino, god bless him.
THERE ARE SO MANY BEAUTIFUL NICE SINGLE GIRLS KNOCKING ON THE DOOR OF 40 WHO CAN'T GET A MAN. WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE TO THEM?
All women must stop being sexually liberated! That was my generation -- you got married cause they wanted to get you. I know it's old fashioned, I know it's stupid, but the old proverb -- why buy the cow when the milk is free? It's just a man's market now and it's so sad.
YOU TRIED TO SET ME UP WITH SOMEONE BUT WE HAVEN'T GOTTEN TOGETHER YET, BUT I THINK WE WILL -- HAVE YOU SET UP PEOPLE SUCCESSFULLY? ARE YOU A GOOD MATCHMAKER?
I am a constant matchmaker. I think everybody should have somebody and it makes me very sad that people don't constantly try to do it. And the Jewish religion, I just found this out, I'm not making a joke cause I'm doing this for the Today Show -- in the Jewish religion, to get into heaven if you have set up three couples, you get into heaven automatically.
EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS PILOT YOU TAPED FOR BRAVO OF A GAY VERSION OF THE VIEW. ISN'T THE VIEW ALREADY THE GAYEST SHOW ON TV?
It was. It is now. It was just a shorthand way of saying great conversation and a lot of fun.
WELL, WE'LL LOOK OUT FOR THAT AND FOR THE RERUNS OF "BEFORE MELISSA PULLS THE PLUG"!