Tag Archives: Melissa 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.’