Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 28th 2014 Contents B6
Guardian www.guardian.co.tt Friday, March 28, 2014
Joan Rivers, who for more than
a half-century has turned her life
inside out for comedy, is starting
her fourth season doing just that
for the reality show she shares with
her daughter, Melissa.
Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?
which airs on Saturday night on
cable channel WEtv finds Joan mak-
ing a sex tape. Attending a lacrosse
game where Melissa picks a fight
with her teenage son s coach. Con-
soling Melissa after her boyfriend
is caught in a compromising posi-
She also mourns the death of her
beloved dog, Max, then stages a
splendiferous funeral that includes
a chorus, an avant-garde poet and
a male ballerina in a tutu.
"The vet said Max could have
been anywhere from 11 to 14 years
old," says Joan solemnly, then eases
into a wisecrack: "You can usually
check a dog s teeth, but Max lived
for a while in California, so they
She and Melissa have invited a
reporter to hear about their show s
new season, which tracks this moth-
er-daughter duo in their professional
pursuits (including production of
their weekly E! series, Fashion Police,
and her online talk show, In Bed
With Joan) as well as shining a glar-
ing light into their personal lives.
"It s no-holds-barred," says Joan
Item: On one episode, Rivers, at
80-years-old, goes to heroic lengths
to undo her history as a fashionista
and a frequent flier to her plastic
surgeon s office. She wants to look
more age-appropriate to land an
acting role as a senior on a proposed
TV drama series, and prepares her-
self, stripped of any vanity, with
what she calls---no, not a
makeover---but instead "a make-
For this recent interview, though,
she is every bit the Joan the world
knows and loves: nipped, tucked
and coiffed to a T. You ask who is
A shocking pink Armani jacket,
Chanel slacks, Manolos, a necklace
from her own Joan Rivers collection
"and a Hermes knockoff that I got
in China. Come as close as you want,
mister," she boasts as she holds up
the baby-soft handbag, "you re not
gonna tell the difference!"
Joan & Melissa came about when
Joan, who lives on the Upper East
Side, began routinely crashing with
her daughter, an Angeleno, to tape
the LA-based Fashion Police.
"She d be in my house two or
three days a week," Melissa recalls.
"Then, during one of our many
moments of chaos, someone said,
This is truly like a reality show. And
the next thing you know, it s an
ACTUAL reality show."
Melissa, clad hopefully spring-ish
on this frigid day in a turtleneck and
brightly patterned Alexander
McQueen skirt, first partnered on-
air with Joan 20 years ago to cover
red carpet awards events for E!
Live fashion coverage was new to
TV, and mother and daughter were
slammed for indulging in such shal-
Joan shrugs. "What are the stars
wearing? Are they drunk, are they
high? And do they look like they re
still happy together? That s what
your friends are talking about! Luck-
ily, we were both very shallow, so
that s what we talked about, too.
And still do, as reflected in both Joan
& Melissa and Fashion Police."
"We promote shallowness across
all platforms," says Melissa with a
But living life, however shallow,
on a reality show can get deeply
complicated for those it exposes.
"You come down in the morning
and bump into crew members on
the stairs," Joan says.
"They come into my room while
I m asleep to pre-light," says Melissa.
"I pull the covers over my head."
"It s going to be easier next year,"
Joan predicts. "We re gonna use
This year, there was one devel-
opment the probing cameras didn t
catch: Joan got a tattoo.
A couple of seasons ago, viewers
saw her visit a tattoo parlor with a
chum, then, in her words, "chicken
out" before her chosen bumblebee
design found its way to her derriere.
Three weeks ago, with her same
friend in tow, she got inked.
"Margie and I walk into this Vil-
lage tattoo parlor, two old blond Jew-
ish women," she laughs as she slides
up her left sleeve. In simple char-
acters each barely a half-inch tall,
"6M" is tattooed on the inside of
"It stands for the six million Jews
that were killed in Auschwitz," she
says. "I didn t put this in the show,
because it s a serious thing. I didn t
tell anybody until it was over: Guess
what I did this afternoon? "
Since the subject has been raised,
Melissa now has an announcement:
She s considering a tattoo on her
wrist. Joan isn t pleased: It might
be too big and too visible.
"You ll be terribly sorry," she
"I already have TWO!"
"Yeah, but they re hidden. I m just
pleading with you," she persists. "You
may, in five years, not want some-
thing there. And apparently it s agony
to get it off."
"Mom! I ve had two."
"They re hidden."
"One s on my ankle."
"But we don t look at your ankles,"
Joan says. "And you can always cover
Yes, this makes a pretty great real-
ity show. (AP)
Joan & Melissa return to action
Joan Rivers, left,
Melissa Rivers are
premiere the launch
of the fourth
season of their
reality show Joan &
Knows Best? which
starts on Saturday
night. AP PHOTO
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