Tag Archives: Joan Rivers

Melissa Rivers Puts Her All, Including Her House, into ‘Joan Knows Best’

Joan and Melissa Rivers WE photo

Melissa Rivers reports “There’s going to be a second season” of “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” reality show for the WE Channel.  Her feeling about that:  “Oh, Lord.  We haven’t even finished the last one.”

The younger part of the mother-daughter TV team, who’s also an executive producer on the show, says she’d like to get into production on Season 2 while her 10-year-old son Cooper is still in school.  “Seeing my mom trying to do math homework with him the other night was really funny,” she adds.

 “Joan Knows Best,” for the uninitiated, takes viewers into the household shared by Melissa, her boyfriend Jason Zimmerman, and Cooper — now that the 77-year-old comedy icon is “staying” with them in a regular way.  Joan’s luxurious $25 million New York City apartment is famously on the market, but of course, whether she actually gives it up remains to be seen. 

Meanwhile, reports Melissa, “In her mind she’s just staying with me, but she’s here full-time when she’s not on the road.  I love having my mom around.  She and Jason get along really well.  No one feels they have to entertain the other, or be ‘on’ or be someone they’re not.” 

Cooper’s relationship with his grandmother is “the best part of the whole thing,” Melissa goes on.  “My mom freaked out a little at first when she’d come back from a club date and he’d sort of look up and ‘Hello, Grandma’ — when she was used to a level of excitement like, ‘Oh my God!   Grandma’s here!’  I told her ‘This shows you’re part of the fabric of his life, as you should be.’

 “Me, on the other hand, I don’t think of her as an ordinary part of things.  Everyone else seems to be completely content with this situation.”

Not only is Melissa’s home more crowded these days, she’s found that using it for the production is full of challenges.

“It caught me by surprise that I couldn’t actually run my house at the same time.  We would wrap at 10 c’clock at night, and afterwards I’d try to catch up on everything and prep another show, then get ready to go to bed and there would be one damp towel.  You couldn’t run the washer or have the vaccuum or dishwasher going because it interfered with the audio.  I didn’t factor all that in when thinking about people working in the house.”

She managed with some extra household help, and such ploys as sending laundry out to the laundromat.  A retaining wall next to her swimming pool came down during production, but construction work to repair it had to wait until Season 1 shooting wrapped at summer’s end.  

 “The other problem we encountered was, when the cameras were up, they’d use up all the wireless monitors and it shut down our internet,” she says.  Jason, who works in finance, “spent a lot of time at Starbucks.  Luckily, he has an office he can go in to.” 

Her own commitment was such that when Melissa got sick “They captured it for the show,” she lets us know. ” They followed me to the bathroom.  I was down, I was green.”

But even with all the long hours and soldiering on through difficulty and stress, Melissa says, “I feel like a slacker compared to my mother.”

Joan Rivers Enjoying Career Upsurge…While She Can

Joan Rivers

If it seems Joan Rivers is here, there, ‘most everywhere these days, well, yes, and the veteran funny lady couldn’t be happier about that.

‘My career has been up and down and up and down and up and down. And I’m in an up period at the moment and, trust me, I’m enjoying it, but I also know that this moment will pass as the others have, and you just better enjoy it while it’s there,’ she says.

Rivers is the midst of a spate of highly-visible work’from her ‘How’d You Get So Rich?’ TV Land show to her ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ and ‘Miss USA’ appearances, her December-debuting ‘Mother Knows Best?’ program. And, come June 11, the limited release of ‘Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.’

The documentary by Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg has already drawn excellent response at the Sundance Film Festival and elsewhere. It has cameras following Rivers around even during unflattering moments, such as when she confronts an empty work calendar.

‘I’ve been fired a lot. I’ve had full books and I’ve had years where I’ve had empty books, and when one day your find you’re slightly older and you have an empty book, that’s really, really scary,’ she says. ‘You just have to keep on moving and keep on trying and keep on pushing.’

The one thing that she asked to have removed from the documentary was a portion referencing her husband, Edgar Rosenberg’s, suicide. ‘I was talking about how angry I still am at him. You know, I’ll walk by his picture and still say, ‘—- you.’ And Melissa got very upset with that,’ she says, referring to her daughter. ‘She asked if you could please ask them to take that out. Everything else stayed. The deal was that I would give them free access. My view was, ‘Let’s tell the truth or why bother?”

Rivers’ work ethic is in evidence on ‘How’d You Get So Rich?’– which launched its second season earlier this month, featuring her chatting with billionaires from Trump to the man who grew rich from inventing The Clapper. Visiting their often lavish digs and hearing their rags to riches stories, does she get inspired?

Rivers replies, ‘I find that when I go home, where I thought I lived well, I now spit on it. It’s shabby.’

Borgnine Keeping a Pace That Could Scare Guys Half His Age

Ernest Borgnine on

Ernest Borgnine may be 92 years old, but he’s keeping up a pace that could scare a man half his age.

The “Marty” Oscar winner just wrapped up work on “The Genesis Code” big screen drama with Louise Fletcher and Fred Thompson in Michigan, and he leaves next week for New Orleans to start work on the comedy “Snatched” — his 202nd picture.

He’s also been busy this summer with book signings for his recently-launched “Ernie, the Autobiography.”  “I love being out meeting the people!” he enthuses.

He helped launch “Another Harvest Moon,” his ensemble drama with Anne Meara and Cybill Shepherd, at this month’s Rhode Island International Film Festival — where Lifetime Achievement Honors were bestowed upon him.  And he squeezed in a visit to Naval Station Newport, where he went through boot camp some 74 years ago.

“This time, they were saying, ‘What can we get for you, Mr. Borgnine?’  None of the finger-pointing and ‘Hey you’s!’ I remember from before,” says the Navy veteran of 10 years, including WWII.

With all that going on, he’s barely had time to celebrate his Emmy nomination for Outstanding Guest Actor in a Drama.  He tells us he and wife Tova will definitely be on hand to see whether he’ll win the honor for his portrayal, on the final episode of “ER,” of a man whose wife of many years is dying.   He played it with such honest simplicity, it was a four hankie job, for sure.

“It was hard in the sense that it never happened to me and to make it look like it was real, I had to really dig into my heart and my head,” he says.  “It turned out fine.”

So fine, he got nominated — while returning stars George Clooney, Eriq LaSalle and Noah Wyle did not.

“I know,” he says and smiles.  “I shouldn’t gloat, believe me.”

Nevertheless, Ernie’s competition is fierce – Michael J. Fox on “Rescue Me,” Ted Danson on “Damages,” Jimmy Smits on “Dexter,” and Edward Asner on “CSI: NY.”

He assures, “I’m just glad I was nominated.  I was also nominated for the Golden Globe and I missed out on that one.  People were saying they were sorry, but I said, ‘Hey, man – I won the nomination!  Are you kidding?’”

BAD BOY: Moviegoers who remember Daryl Sabara as Juni, the cute younger brother of Robert Rodriguez“Spy Kids” movies, are in for a paradigm shift of perception if they see him in “World’s Greatest Dad” starring Robin Williams, opening tomorrow (8/21).  Sabara plays the teenage son you wouldn’t wish on your worst enemy, a profane and mean-spirited kid whose departure from this earth could only improve it.  So how did writer-director Bobcat Goldthwait come to know that the 17-year-old actor had this ability to play rotten?

“Daryl is a funny guy.  He came in and lied, saying he wanted to play Andrew, the sweet kid in the movie” – when in fact, he had his sites set on terrible Kyle instead.  Bobcat let him read for the latter, and found “he was such a convincing creep – a teenage Gary Oldman, you know?  I had him come in again just to meet with him.  I needed to know he wasn’t really a jerk.”

Goldthwait also tells us there was a surprise when it came to casting Robin Williams as the beleaguered, bereaved title parent in the truly twisted black comedy that was a Sundance Festival hit.  According to Goldthwait, Robin recently confessed, “he thought he was going to help me out and do a cameo.  But then he read the script and said, ‘I’d like to be the guy.’  It really changed everything.”

These days, Goldthwait does stand-up if he needs to support his efforts as an auteur filmmaker.  Admits the show business veteran once thought of as a way-too-out-of-control comic, “The early part of my career, I had the kind of career you usually have when your career is ending.  Having a new career now at 47, I have much more appreciation.”

READ NO EVIL:  Joan Rivers, the queen of jabs, tells us she has one big secret to her success.  If you’ve written something about her, she wants no part of it.  “I don’t read it.  I absolutely don’t read it.  I don’t read good reviews and I don’t read bad reviews,” admits Rivers.  “Obviously I’m told about good reviews,” she adds.  “I know when it’s been a good show and I know when it’s been a bad show.  I don’t need an outsider to tell me.  I can come off stage and tell you how it was and what went wrong a lot faster than somebody else can say it.  I’m sure they say terrible things about it.  I don’t need it.  I don’t need to look at it.”  So, there!

Rivers currently can be seen enjoying the high life with some fellow hard workers in the TV Land series “How’d You Get So Rich?” “We go to their houses and we see all of their toys.  It’s fascinating how differently they spend their money. One man made all this money so he bought himself a Lamborghini for every day of the week,” she says.  “I think it’s very uplifting that in this day in age you can do it if you’ve got the right attitude and the right product.  But it teaches you a good lesson that you’ve got to work for it or win the lottery.”

A WEIGHTING GAME: Angie Dickinson was one of those perpetually perfectly lean ladies in her heyday on small and big screen, but now the still-beautiful septuagenarian complains that she’s 20 pounds overweight.  “If I lost 20 pounds I’d be more viable.  I’m serious about that,” she says.  “I watch ‘The Biggest Loser’ and I am so enamored of those incredible people, how they shame themselves and go through whatever it takes to get in shape.  I could no longer get out there in a little top and shorts.  They expose their worst sides and I admire them beyond belief – but I still don’t lose the weight.”

With reports by Emily-Fortune Feimster