(SD) 1. Thanks for the visit! Tell us about the brand new season of Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best currently airing on WE tv every Tuesday night at 9PM EST/8PM CST.
It's going great! We’re having the best time and the numbers (ratings) are great! People are finally starting to figure out where we are and what channel we are on, which is WE tv. It has been an amazing season; we are in the middle of it now. Things have happened that we didn't expect to happen. Melissa broke up while the cameras were in the house with her boyfriend and we got ALL of that on camera, which was amazing! We got my depression about getting older, which I usually don't have, I am usually so positive. I just went to
I love the finale. Our assistant, Sabrina, is probably the only person I know that has a good relationship. We all went to Vegas and re-enacted her vows. That's going to be an amazing finale because we are all wearing the dresses we wore 21 years ago. That ended up really funny and really good. It has been an amazing season. As the show gets more popular, we have already guest stars wanting to come on the show like; Jason Alexander, Carol Burnett, Kathy
(SD) 2. Speaking of reality TV, why do you allow the public an inside look at your personal life?
Well reality TV is like the new soap opera, I mean you have the Real Housewives, the Kardashian’s, and so I think that because soap operas are not on anymore, reality TV has taken its place. I love it, I love being able to do the show and we are having a great time with it. If you don’t do it, then you aren’t keeping up with the times. (Laughs)
That is what show business is now also, it's all reality TV. It started with Desperate Housewives, then right immediately to Real Desperate Housewives. People love to follow people's lives and identify with them. Melissa and I have said for years and everyone else has said, "Boy, they should just follow us around." So we got the opportunity and we said, "Let’s go!"
(SD) 3. Is it true that you are joining Betty White on an upcoming episode of “Hot In Cleveland?”
The last time I spoke with Betty, Allen Ludden, her husband, was still alive, so a LONG time ago. We were both reaching for the same tampon. (Laughs) I think her career is a marvelous one. At 90, to be up and about and relevant she's turned into George Burns who was the last one that had this happen to them. So I am happy to be able to work with Betty White.
(SD) 4. Being one of the hardest working celebrities in show business, what gives you the motivation to continue sharing your talent?
I love the business! I love my audience! You are all having fun together when you can play with an audience when you can say, “You think that’s so bad, you can tell them to wait until this one comes up.” When you embrace them and they embrace you, there is nothing like it, nothing. It is so much fun!
(SD) 5. What’s the last thing you do each night before you go out onstage, any pre-show jitters?
I don't talk to too many people before I go out on stage. I am very nervous because I want this show to be the best show ever. So I am extremely nervous; as I am when I'm doing Joan and Melissa or Fashion Police. I am an over preparer. I learned a long time ago, I am not the prettiest, I’m not the smartest, I am not the most talented, but I think I am the most prepared. (Laughs) And that gets you through a lot!
(SD) 6. What is your definition of the perfect audience and what is a real deal breaker for you?
Having the first nine rows full of gay guys, they are the best audience; they will laugh with you, go along with you and give the best energy you can get. To have an audience that is engaged and with you is the best thing you could ask for. There is no deal breaker. I fight for an audience until the last minute. I figured if someone has paid money to come in and didn't come except to have a good time and my obligation by accepting their money is to try to give them a good time, so there is no deal breaker.
(SD) 7. What is most challenging about hosting E! Fashion Police and making fashion commentary about other celebs?
The difficulty with Fashion Police is really finding people who are dressing badly. Because especially in award shows, those are our most difficult shows because those are the shows where everyone has their own stylist and has a choice of 65 different dresses. Those are the hard shows to do because very few times you are going to find someone like an Angelina Jolie who makes such a fool of herself that it becomes iconic right there and then. You wait for the Björk; you wait for those moments and say, "Thank you God." We are also excited because Fashion Police has been extended to one hour now and it is on every Friday night at 10PM CST/11PM EST on E!.
(SD) 8. Being a fashion aficionado, what influences your personal fashion choices and who are some of your favorite designers?
I like all designers. I'm not making any joke. I am such an individualist. I don't buy one designer; also no one gives them to me. It's whatever I like. I like more classic, I will tell you that, I like very classic. I think it should be jazzed up more with accessories.
Check out part II of our interview with JOAN RIVERS below;
(SD) 9. How did you become involved with “God’s Love We Deliver” and why is the charity so close to your heart?
I love that charity and long before fatso, Elizabeth Taylor (Laughs) was working with them, I was. Before anyone was talking about them I had been involved with the charity. They have delivered hundreds of thousands of meals to people. They used to call it Gay Pneumonia, (AIDS) a long time ago before anyone knew what it was. We used to deliver meals to people on bicycles. It has grown where we now have over 3,500 meals going out to clients daily. It has been amazing to watch this charity build. The nicest thing about it is that it is AIDS is now chronic rather than a death sentence so we’ve now included other people who have very bad illnesses. You don’t have to have AIDS to get food delivered to you. Our food is delicious, it’s made in our own kitchens and we have wonderful chefs. We have lots and lots of volunteers. I also have signed on with Wounded Warriors project which is a wonderful cause that treats these nineteen year old boys who come home from war with a missing arm or no legs and wonder what the hell happened to them, it’s terrible.
(SD) 10. What do you believe one must strive for or practice in order to maintain longevity in show business?
Oh who knows (Laughs), you have to love it, you have to want it, you have to want it more than anything and you have to be able to take a lot of rejection for everything. I call the rejection "balloons," you throw up a hundred of balloons and if one stays up you go, "Oh good, this is good." You can look at anybody's career, you can see there are a lot of downs, you just never hear about.
(SD) 11. You’re very close to your daughter Melissa and grandson Cooper, what does family mean to you and what do you value most about the time you share with them?
All of it, I love them both very much and I am so thankful to have them in my life. We are just a family, so we have good times and bad times, Cooper is very young so you hope that he will remember some of them. It is nice just being a family and being a part of that whole fabric.
For 20 years I was on the east coast and Melissa was on the west coast, so it was much more difficult. Since we have 3000 miles between us, I make every effort to spend time with them when I am out in Los Angeles and I cherish that time. Cooper is at an age where looks are starting to count, and he’s realizing that he is liked by other girls.
I want Cooper to know there is more to life than surfing and lacrosse. He lives a great Beverly Hills/ Malibu lifestyle, which is wonderful. Its outdoors, the kids are very active and very athletic. I want Cooper to also know New York is there, the theater is there and it's a sharper, stronger environment. I am thrilled whenever he comes to visit me.
(SD) 12. What would you like to achieve next in your career?
To have Joan and Melissa be the longest running reality show in history, they will be wheeling this old lady around until the end. (Laughs)
(SD) 13. Life is full of challenges, how has being a comedian taught you to overcome those difficult moments in life?
It is just the opposite. Comedy has made me overcome, allowed me to overcome the difficult moments. My family, all of it; Melissa, Cooper, my mom, my father who was hilarious, my sister, my husband we all always laughed at everything and that’s how we get through. I think laughing is so important to get through all the terrible things. It has taught me everything and if you don’t have that, the laughter in life, then you have really nothing.
When 9/11 happened I was in New York working a little club and that night I went on with jokes. I’ll never forget somebody came up to me backstage and said, "That is the first time I laughed." Comedy gets you through it. It brings things down to size where you can deal with it. If you can laugh at something, it’s not so important.
(SD) 14. Where do you find inspiration to have creativity for all the different things you are involved in? (Fashion, jewelry, clothing, E! hosting gig, writing, acting, etc)
I love all of them really. I think about one, how to improve the other, what I can do with the other and so I am always coming up with ideas on how to make them better or change this or that. I love being able to do more than just one project and I enjoy the creative aspect of it.
As for inspiration, losing my luggage for 18 hours most recently (Laughs), just look around. (Laughs) We had a woman on the plane that kept coughing and you just wanted to punch her and have them land the plane and put her in a hospital. It goes on and on; everywhere you go there is something funny. At my hotel today, they are having a body builder’s convention; you should see what the lobby looks like. (Laughs)
(SD) 15. What are your thoughts on the comments that Celine Dion made on GMA recently regarding Whitney Houston’s passing? (See video; http://tinyurl.com/7uvrugf )
Read Celine’s comments to GMA’s Robin Roberts below:
“Whitney has been an amazing inspiration for me. It’s just really unfortunate that drugs, bad people or bad influence took over. It took over her dreams. It took over her love and motherhood. Taking pills to go perform and taking pills to wake up and taking pills to go to bed. It’s so unfortunate. I’ve always said you have to have fun and do music and you can never be part of show business because you don’t what it’s going to get yourself into. You have to do your work and get out of there.”
I had a whole slew of Whitney jokes ready to go before she died. I stand with what Celine said. I think Whitney had all the cards on the table before her, she had beauty, the voice, the figure, the brains, she grew up in a show business family, I mean she had everything and lost it all. It is a shame and yes she was very talented, but we can’t ignore the fact that she was troubled. I mean should we start honoring serial killers after they die next?
(SD) 16. What would you like to say to your fans that are reading this?
Thank you for being fans and get ready for a lot more! (Laughs)
Joan Rivers pictured with her Spring 2012 Showbiz Deluxe cover: