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."


Interviewee(s)
Highlights
Joan Rivers on her catchphrase "Can We Talk?" and building her humor
Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show
Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Joan Rivers on maintaining longevity in show business
Joan Rivers on her celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered
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

Ed Sullivan Show, The aka Toast of the Town

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
Joan Rivers on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show

Emmy Awards, The (Primetime and Daytime)

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Joan Rivers on winning a Daytime Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show

Hollywood Palace, The

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Joan Rivers on appearing on The Hollywood Palace

Hollywood Squares, The

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Joan Rivers on appearing as the center square on Hollywood Squares

Jack Paar Program, The (1962-65)

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Joan Rivers on her first appearance on television with Jack Paar

Lucy Show, The

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Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show

Nip/Tuck

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

Saturday Night Live

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Joan Rivers on guest-hosting Saturday Night Live

Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, The

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Joan Rivers on becoming permanent guest host of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson and her difficulties with NBC
Joan Rivers on her relationship with Johnny Carson
Joan Rivers on her final appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
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

Censorship / Standards & Practices

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television

Characters & Catchphrases

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

Emmy Awards

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Joan Rivers on winning a Daytime Emmy for The Joan Rivers Show

Fame & Celebrity

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

Historic Events and Social Change

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

Pop Culture

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

Television Industry

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Joan Rivers on dealing with censorship on television
Joan Rivers on her celebrity and how she'd like to be remembered
Joan Rivers on maintaining longevity in show business
Joan Rivers on how show business has changed since she started
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
People

Lucille Ball

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Joan Rivers on guest-starring on The Lucy Show

Johnny Carson

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Joan Rivers on her first time appearing on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Joan Rivers on her final appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Joan Rivers on her relationship with Johnny Carson

Allen Funt

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Joan Rivers on appearing on Candid Camera

Jack Paar

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Joan Rivers on her first appearance on television with Jack Paar

Ed Sullivan

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Joan Rivers on appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show

All Interviews

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