Joan Rivers

Performer / Writer


The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Foundation Presents

02:26

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About
About this interview

In her hour-and-a-half Archive interview, Joan Rivers (1933-2014) talks about her early life and influences and her interest in becoming a comedian. She recalls early television appearances on The Jack Paar Program, Candid Camera and her first standup routine. She talks about appearing on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson in 1965, and how it changed her career overnight. She discusses various guest appearances on shows including Suddenly Susan and Nip/Tuck. She outlines her FOX late night show, and the rift it caused between her and Johnny Carson, as well as the troubles she had which culminated in the show's cancellation and the death of her husband Edgar Rosenberg. Rivers recalls her career comeback, winning a Daytime Emmy, her resurgence on QVC, and covering the Red Carpet for various outlets. Allan Neuwirth conducted the interview on October 3, 2007 in New York City, New York.

"I appeared on 'The Tonight Show' with Johnny on February 17, 1965, and he said, 'You're gonna be a star,' right smack on the air. I went into the bank the next morning to kite a check, and the bank teller said to me, 'I saw you last night. Whatever you want.'  And I knew my life was gonna be different."


Highlights
Joan Rivers on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?" and building her humor
02:21
Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show
01:32
Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
01:35
Joan Rivers on maintaining longevity in show business
00:16
Joan Rivers on her celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered
00:54
Full Interview

Chapter 1

On her early life and influences; on discovering she wanted to write jokes; on getting into stand-up comedy and her first television appearance with Jack Paar
On dealing with censorship on television; on her first time on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson; on her early material
On other stand-up comedians; on her syndicated talk show; on writing T he Girl Most Likely To and "Rabbit Test"

Chapter 2

On directing the feature film "Rabbit Test"; on becoming permanent guest host of The Tonight Show; on her relationship with Johnny Carson
On her British talk show Can We Talk?; on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?" and her comedy; on getting her own talk show on FOX, The Late Show, and her rift with Johnny Carson
On preparing for her FOX talk show; on the first night of her FOX talk show; on the death of her husband Edgar Rosenberg and the end of her FOX talk show

Chapter 3

On going back to work after her talk show was canceled; on hosting The Joan Rivers Show; on starring in the biographical made-for-television movie Tears and Laughter: The Joan and Melissa Rivers Story
On her involvement with QVC and covering the red carpet; on guest-starring on Suddenly Susan and Nip/Tuck; on career highlights and regrets and how she'd like to be remembered
Shows

Candid Camera

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Joan Rivers on appearing on Candid Camera
02:37

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
02:00
Joan Rivers on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
03:16

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Joan Rivers on winning a Daytime Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show
01:11

Hollywood Palace, The

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Joan Rivers on appearing on The Hollywood Palace
00:56

Hollywood Squares, The

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Joan Rivers on appearing as the center square on Hollywood Squares
02:05

Jack Paar Program, The (1962-65)

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Joan Rivers on her first appearance on television with Jack Paar
01:06

Lucy Show, The

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Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show
01:32

Nip/Tuck

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Joan Rivers on playing herself on Nip/Tuck and her cosmetic surgery
02:46

Saturday Night Live

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Joan Rivers on guest-hosting Saturday Night Live
01:12

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
02:00
Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
01:35
Joan Rivers on becoming permanent guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and her difficulties with NBC
04:56
Joan Rivers on her relationship with Johnny Carson
02:00
Joan Rivers on her final appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
02:05
Topics

1939-40 World's Fair

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Joan Rivers on the first time she saw television at the 1939 World's Fair
00:38

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
02:00

Characters & Catchphrases

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Joan Rivers on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?" and building her humor
02:02

Emmy Awards

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Joan Rivers on winning a Daytime Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show
01:11

Fame & Celebrity

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Joan Rivers on her celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered
00:54

Historic Events and Social Change

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Joan Rivers on the first time she saw television at the 1939 World's Fair
00:38

Pop Culture

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Joan Rivers on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?" and building her humor
02:02

Television Industry

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
02:00
Joan Rivers on her celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered
00:54
Joan Rivers on maintaining longevity in show business
00:16
Joan Rivers on how show business has changed since she started
01:20
Genres

Late Night

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Joan Rivers on becoming permanent guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and her difficulties with NBC
06:55
People

Lucille Ball

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Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show
01:32

Johnny Carson

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Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
01:35
Joan Rivers on her final appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
02:05
Joan Rivers on her relationship with Johnny Carson
02:00

Allen Funt

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Joan Rivers on appearing on Candid Camera
02:37

Jack Paar

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Joan Rivers on her first appearance on television with Jack Paar
01:06

Ed Sullivan

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Joan Rivers on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show
03:16

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