Oh, Joan.

She may have been polarizing when it came to opinions on her attitude/personality/general demeanor, but the short of it is : Joan Rivers was REALLY nice to me when I fucked up and called her three hours early for a phone interview. (Thanks, stupid west/east coast time difference.)

I have to say, I’m sad to hear of her passing. I’m so lucky to have had a chance to talk to her early last year (April) when she visited the F.M. Kirby Center. While she mostly scared the shit out of me, she also made me laugh.

RIP Joan – I hope you’re already giving them hell up there.

British Academy Television Awards - Arrivals

No business like Joan’s business

By Sara Pokorny

April 24, 2013

Her raspy voice, much like her brash demeanor, is unmistakable.

So when Joan Rivers gets on the phone and tells you you’ve called her three hours early, you can’t help but feel a bolt of fear rip through your body.

Thankfully, despite her well-known tough attitude, she’s also pretty understanding and was more than happy to disregard the blunder, launching into an easy banter about life in show business.

Rivers will take the stage at the F.M. Kirby Center on April 27 at 8 p.m. to do that very thing in her lecture “My Life in Show Business: 135 Years and Counting.”

The comedian, TV personality, writer, director and actress has actually been in the entertainment industry for the past 46 years, which for some, may mean the end of the rope. This certainly isn’t the case for Rivers, with whom one can barely get out the, “When will you know it’s time to quit?” question without her shooting back a rock solid answer.

“Never,” she said, “and why should I? If I love what I do, why should I? I have (E! Entertainment show) ‘Fashion Police,’ (WE TV show that features her daughter as well) ‘Joan and Melissa’ the reality show, and now I have inbedwithjoan.com. I’m thrilled. Things are getting bigger and better. No, no, no – no such thing as retiring.”

Rivers is widely known for her opinionated nature, never shying away from letting anybody know exactly what’s on her mind. Some view her as incredibly mean, but Rivers said it’s not that at all.

“I am a critic. The way a theater critic tells you what he thinks of a play, I tell you what I think of people’s clothes, etc. I don’t lie. I’m not going to say, ‘Oh so-and-so looked gorgeous,’ if she didn’t – what’s the point? People know that whatever I tell them is my truth. It might not be their truth, but at least I’m not bulls—tting them.

“I’m not mean. What I do obviously has worked for 46 years and people that make 20 million a movie don’t seem to mind if I don’t like their fruity dress that they’re never going to wear again.”

And what of the people who are also critics, but of Rivers herself?

“People fire back, yes. Absolutely. When I said that Justin Bieber looked like a lesbian, all the little Bieberites fired back at me, and that’s the fun of things.”

Though it may seem that her comedic style focuses on harping on others, one of Rivers biggest targets is herself, evident in her 2012 book “I Hate Everyone…Starting with Me.”

“That’s what humor is,” she said when asked why she takes aim at herself. “Humor is poking fun at everything. Even this lecture that I’m doing about show business and the anecdotes, it’s funny. Everything should be laughed at in life. We’re in a very bad moment; we have the North Koreans, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan – we could get blown off the face of the earth. If you don’t laugh, you’re an idiot.”

Fast and furious opinions:

On why she’s stayed in the entertainment industry for so long:

“I love the business. I’m one of the lucky people that loves exactly what they do and I’m very lucky to be doing it and, my God, everything is just going great.”

On the red carpet:

“There’s always someone, thank God, that looks terrible, and there’s always someone that looks amazing. The fun is when they do both. Tilda Swinton went from looking truly just, like, a crazy lady, to being the best dressed.”

On fashion itself:

“Fashion should be silly, fashion should be fun, and it should be ‘Oh, look what I’m wearing and I’m having a good time wearing it,’ rather than, (lowers voice to a serious tone) ‘This is fashion.’”

On working with her daughter Melissa and whether it’s hard to separate business and family:

“It’s both. I think a mother and a daughter working closely together is very difficult and it’s also amazing because we understand each other, and we’re very frank with each other. I trust her. She’s an incredible interviewer, she’s an amazing executive producer, and that’s why I think ‘Fashion Police’ is flying now because she’s so good. She’s so good at it.

On her newest venture, ‘inbedwithjoan.com’:

“All I do is sit in bed and talk to comedians. They come and sit in bed with me, and you know you never tell anybody the truth the way you do when you’re sitting on a bed with them.”


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