Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 13th 2013 Contents B9
Thursday, June 13, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
"I m having a great time," Joan Rivers crows
before offering a brisk self-appraisal: "Everything
is working, my mind is fine.
"The only time I play the age card is on planes
when I m trying to put a bag above the seat: I am
80 years old! Would someone please help me?! "
Actually, she only turned 80 on Saturday, a mile-
stone that has prompted the E! network to stage a
Joan Rivers "takeover": Its regular one-hour edition
of Fashion Police (airing Friday at 10 pm) will be a
black-tie birthday salute, preceded nightly through
Thursday by special half-hours (at 10.30 pm) featuring
guest appearances by celebrities and even victims of
past fashion slams.
This means frequent-flier Rivers would soon be
back on a plane for Los Angeles to tape this five-
day marathon while she marvels at the success of
Fashion Police, which, since premiering three years
ago, has only tightened its grip in the culture as a
wicked hybrid of style and snark.
Rivers is well-served by her co-hosts Giuliana
Rancic, Kelly Osbourne and George Kotsiopoulos, all
of whom can deliver shrewd analysis as well as piercing
gibes at red-carpet infractions.
But Fashion Police is perfectly tailored to the
comedic skills of Rivers as demonstrated by her 46-
years-and-counting in show biz.
Hear her hail Uma Thurman, sheathed in Versace
at the Cannes Film Festival: "This gown is so feminine,
so silver---it s the Anderson Cooper of dresses!"
Hear her skewer a baggy, dizzyingly hued Alexander
McQueen jumpsuit worn by actress Marion Cotillard
at a Crash Magazine party: "The pattern looks like
Precious sat on somebody s butterfly collection."
Sure, it s "Police" brutality, but Rivers and her
"Joan Rangers" are never less than arresting.
At first, Rivers resisted the urge to do the show.
"I remember, I was in Vegas on a treadmill---cause
you still try!---saying to my agent and (daughter)
Melissa, cause Melissa s exec-producing, You re
crazy! I m not gonna do this! I m not gonna com-
Her mind was changed. "We do the jokes, and we
tell the truth, too," Rivers sums up proudly. "E! told
me: Whatever you want to say, you say. We re having
so much fun! And our lawyers are so dear."
Interviewed last week, she presides from an ottoman
in the den of her vast Upper East Side Manhattan
digs, a spread whose unabashed spectacle she dubs
"Louis XIV meets Fred (Astaire) and Ginger (Rogers)."
It s 9 am and Rivers, having apologised for being
"only half-dressed," has presented herself in stocking
feet and a chic, floor-length black-velvet caftan (part
of her Joan Rivers Collection, she notes; she also has
a jewelry collection).
She says her interest in fashion reaches back to
her girlhood, when, still in school in New York, she
had a job as a fashion coordinator at a department
store chain, then another job where she assisted with
the creation of Lord & Taylor s legendary Fifth Avenue
window displays every Thursday night.
"If I hadn t gotten into show business," says Rivers,
"I would have gone into fashion."
Not that any celeb should get her knickers in a
twist over fashion feedback from any loose-lipped
comedian---or so says Rivers, anyway.
"When you re making US$20 million a picture and
the dress is free, do you REALLY care if Joan Rivers
says you shouldn t wear a peplum?" she chuckles.
"I don t think Julia Roberts sits up at night thinking,
She said what?! "
To say what she has to say about couture catas-
trophes, Rivers is happy to hop a plane for the year-
round weekly tapings of Fashion Police---just one
piece of her on-the-go schedule that has seen no
letup for decades and has its roots in her showbiz
obsession as a child growing up in Brooklyn: She
wanted to be an actress.
Only by chance did her definitive role become
playing a comedian. Comedy was a way to pay the
bills while she auditioned for dramatic parts.
"Somebody said: You can make six dollars standing
up in a club, " she explains, "and I said, Here I go!
It was better than typing all day."
In the early 1960s, comedy was a male-dominated
game where the only women comics she could look
to were Totie Fields and Phyllis Diller. But after several
years of struggle, she landed a spot on The Tonight
Show where host Johnny Carson gave her his blessing,
saying she was destined to be a star. (AP)
Fashion Police fetes host
Joan Rivers at age 80
Comedian and TV host Joan Rivers from the show Fashion Police, left, and her
daughter Melissa Rivers at an E! Network upfront event in New York in April
2012. Joan Rivers turned 80, a milestone that has prompted the E! network to
celebrate. AP PHOTO
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