tv Tavis Smiley PBS September 23, 2014 11:30pm-12:01am EDT
[laughs] i'm going in to clean that bathroom. graham: have you seen that shower in there? -it's kind of interesting. -ugh. oh, look! [spraying] graham: now it is. the writers are ready for you when -- -i'm ready for the writers. -okay. okay, where are the writers? they're coming in here? joan: now is it just the two of us? woman: ms. rivers, the [bleep] thing? the executive producers are a little concerned about that. joan: and well they should be. i'll probably have one [bleep]. no, exactly, one is fine. and it will be bleeped for tv. man: all right, thanks, joan. see you in a bit. joan: thank you. they're all gonna be so much funnier than i am. see, when you see the lineup, and you know jon stewart had 12 writers work on this, and you know, uh, garry had six writers work on this,
and you know, all these people, look who's here. they all have professional staffs. [indistinct conversations] you know, there's a lot of his stuff that's timely. ♪ [laughs] joan, um, what is it like being a comedic icon? i'm sure comedians come up to you and say, "you were an inspiration." joan: i'm not ready to be an icon. i'm not ready to be told thank you. [bleep] you. [laughter] announcer: lewis black, margaret cho, -ben e. king... -don't know him. -denis leary... -clever. -bill maher... -brilliant. -joan rivers. -okay. -garry shandling... -brilliant. -jon stewart. -smart. -ben stiller. -eh...lucky. -and lily tomlin. -brilliant. ladies and gentlemen, george carlin! all right, folks, what's happening? [joan speaking indistinctly]
tomlin: ...the smothers brothers in "laugh-in," and it was just a great time to be in comedy. [applause] richard belzer: few people are always funny, but certainly one of the chosen people is our next presenter, the fabulous joan rivers, ladies and gentlemen. [applause] [fanfare plays] we used to play these terrible clubs. literally, we didn't get paid. you passed the hat, and some nights the hat would come back with a severed head, some nights... [laughter] they asked me to say a couple of words about george, and i kept thinking, that is so unfair. you cannot sum george carlin up in two words. give me at least seven. and... [applause] [ben e. king singing in background]
maher: you were so funny. joan: i think today went very well. i think i did not embarrass myself at all. i think i was fine. i think i was funnier than a lot of people, not as funny as a lot of people, but yeah, i was perfectly fine. i'm getting ready to go to wisconsin. i've never done an act before in mukluks. [laughs] they have no idea. they'll stare at me. when i say, "where are the gays?" they're gonna tell us, "dead, we killed them." [laughs] why am i going to wisconsin? a thing called money. they're so desperate to get me, they're paying me. that's why i'm going to wisconsin. i worked last night.
i worked in toronto till about 2:30 in the morning on the shopping channel. then i got up at 5:00 to make a 7:00 plane or something to chicago, and then from chicago, i took a little what they call puddle jumper. it was adorable. how is the gay community here? that i really don't know. joan: oh, see... ask your cousin. [both laugh] ask your wife's brother. woman: is this the most remote place? no, oh, no. woman: where's the most remote place you've ever played? reykjavik, iceland. uh, i've played 'em all. juneau. oh, are they wrong. that was called the texas motel. [laughter] they are off. [laughs] some places, as you know, better than others. this would not be my first choice of decor.
the audience is gonna be very born again, i have a feeling, very fundamentalist. they're gonna get very shaken up. [laughs] "get the check." graham: yeah, right. joan: whatever i do onstage... are they gonna clean the stage a little bit, 'cause i kind of roll around on it and stuff. it's a little... ick! there's gum. aren't you the makeup person? you win the award. that showed up with no makeup? don't you have your makeup? aren't you the makeup girl? she's the makeup girl. she didn't bring makeup. "may." [graham laughs] good month. graham: of next year. joan: may of next year. you leave new york, you leave l.a., you leave the world. but that's what makes it charming. [applause, band playing] first of all, where are, where are we?
what the hell is going... i was out in the casino. a guy put a quarter in, fish came out! [laughter] never mind viagra. what about cialis? 36 [bleep] hours a man has an erection? an 85-year-old man for 36 hours? that's devil's work. and on these poor old dried-out, old wives? and these guys on top of them, in and out, in and out! they're gonna set them on fire! it's -- yes! [laughter] ugh, i hate children. ugggh. ugh. the only child i think i would have liked ever was helen keller 'cause she didn't talk. it is just... man: not very funny! joan: yes, it is! and if you don't -- then leave! man: it isn't funny if you have a deaf son. i happen to have a deaf mother. oh, you stupid ass, let me tell you what comedy is about. man: you go ahead and tell me what... joan: oh, please. you are so stupid.
comedy is to make everybody laugh at everything and deal with things, you idiot. my mother is deaf, you stupid son of a bitch. [applause] don't tell me. and just in case you can hear me in the hallway, i lived for nine years with a man with one leg. okay, you [bleep]? and we're gonna talk about what it's like to have a man with one leg, who lost it in world war ii and never went back to get it, 'cause that's [bleep] littering. [laughter and applause] so don't you tell me what's funny. comedy is to make us laugh. 9/11? if we didn't laugh, where the hell would we all be? think about that. where the hell would we all be? how can you not find osama? there is one... there is one outlet. he's on dialysis. there is one outlet in all of afghanistan. find the plug... [laughter]
and follow the cord. [laughter, applause, band plays] okay. -how about that? -excellent. "i have a...a deaf son!" uhh! what a good way to build. that was a very difficult moment. it throws you terribly because you know the audience is so nervous and so scared to laugh. your mind is going a mile a minute. "where am i gonna go? what am i gonna do? where am i gonna take them?" so there are two things going on -- your mouth and your head. luckily i was able to get them back. woman: thank you.
you are -- i've never laughed so hard in my life! joan: you're a good laugher and that makes such a difference. oh, i know. and that, that rotten guy. i was ready to get up and say -- tell him to leave. he has a deaf son. i know, but he's got to realize that this is comedy. comedy. i felt terribly sorry for the man with the deaf son, and of course he's angry. of course he's angry, and i get that, but don't ruin the whole act. but maybe it got it out of him, and maybe it's good what happened to him too. he had a kind of a catharsis. -and you're driving us? -yes. -have you been drinking? -no, ma'am. -have you been drugging? -no. -have you been whoring? -only today. okay, well, that's good. then you'll be relaxed. [laughs] you ought to just head for new york and just get me home. there's nothing like your own bed. nothing like your own bed.
they called my agent. they wanted to get william shatner, he said no. they wanted to get george hamilton, he said no. so i said, "a woman should do it, i'll do it." extend. woman: oh... extend, which is... you take a pill and the man's penis just grows. jocelyn: it's called penile enlargement. not penile enlargement. just lucky... "oh, look who's... look who's a big boy now!" [both laugh] jocelyn: joan will turn nothing down at all, nothing. man: she hears the clock ticking every minute of every hour of every day. joan: i'm going to palm springs for... what is this for? do you know what this is for? the betty ford clinic. this is for the betty ford clinic. so they'll be very serious about drugs. [laughs] are they lining you up like nazis? all right, that's all right. [laughter] "sorry, bitch, i'm not carol channing, but this will have to do. much love, joan rivers."
thank you. joan: so, i have s's, sibilant s's. sss! sss! even a little more. if you take out the top or the bottom, that usually works pretty well. this is the early joan, and this is me. [as joan] oh, darling, can we talk? oh, does this tampon make me look fat? woman: we're gonna go straight down this hallway. -i'll follow you. okay. love that the nails match the dress. -i think that's so fabulous. -thank you. nice to meet you. nice to meet you. woman: be careful. joan: i am, it's wet. victoria beckham, ugh, ugh! "does the tampon make me look fat?" i can't stand her! okay, up we go. and we're going to minneapolis, right? man: yes, it's cold there.
all right, and thank you. you were terrific. man: pleasure meeting you. joan: thank you. hello. i don't care if it's god himself. no one is to call my room until 6:30. man: okay save your money when you're younger, that you don't have to whore yourself out when you're old. [laughs] to be roasted. comedy central. oh, god. i know, but the money is extraordinary. i am so depressed. i can't even go there with you now. this, this is the cherry on the cake. mohammed, could you stop for a moment so i can get out in front of the car and could you just run me over?
end it now, mohammed. jocelyn: you can't be... oh, do you know the jokes? every joke is gonna be plastic surgery or old. comes back at you, doesn't it? jocelyn: yep. god. man over p.a.: miss rivers to the set, please. [bell rings] man: slate in. stand by. and action! [spits] this tastes like urine! you crazy [bleep] bitch. the crew loves me. they keep telling you it's an honor. i'm telling you that if i had invested wisely, i wouldn't be doing this. woman: by the way, did you know that i've never done a roast in my life? -they're so disgusting. -they're not disgusting. it is an honor, i'm telling you. -no, don't make that face. -but the money's very good. the money is good, which is an honor. i mean, i'm an artist doing it for the art like you are. couple of artists with easels, sitting around collecting our money.
man over p.a.: joan will cross to her seat, all right? let's say three, two, one, go. joan: talk about lucky! brad and angelina are having a sale! look at them! go on down now. auntie joanie's busy. oh [bleep] okay? no, no. don't go yet. we're just...and this is at this point, that's when you would go... could somebody help me here please? no, no, no, wait. don't bother. you know, if everybody's giving you a standing ovation, that joke probably won't read that well. i beg you, it will read. i will wait till the standing ovation is over. i will get up here... they will not sit down till you sit down. well, then, they're gonna stand till i sit. i'm pleading with you, don't knock every joke or it's not gonna be funny. i'm begging you. i'm pleading with you. i will thank them, and then i will either sit down and miss the chair... i will do something funny 'cause i am a funny person. [laughter and applause]
hello, hello, hello! we are here to celebrate the career of a groundbreaking comedian and a legendary bitch. [laughter] man: how much worse could your real face look than that clown mask you've had welded onto your head? look at her, she's a cougar. freddie cougar. joan's face has been lifted so many times that when she sneezes, she has to blow her [bleep]. [laughter] joan: i get mad at myself. i think, "at this age, you've been doing it since 1966, and you shouldn't let them upset you anymore," but they do. i did the comedy central roast, okay? [cheering and applause] which was great. i was -- they said such mean, disgusting filth. they called me a whore and a [bleep] and a this and a that. i kept thinking, "how do they know me?" it's just...
[laughter and applause] oh, oh, oh, sure, turn against the queen. [laughter] it's like marie antoinette. yeah, like you're gonna do better with kathy griffin. [bleep] you! it is just... when she lasts 45 years, then go stand on my grave. just kidding! i love kathy. melissa: where's billy these days? joan: i have no idea. he's no longer really part of my career. he, he can't be. i spend too much energy looking for billy and too many phone calls coming in from people that haven't heard from billy, and, uh, can't deal with it. you know it's bad when people say something to me. i run into people and they're like, "oh, we were trying to reach billy and he never called us back." yeah, but let us know. yeah, just say, "call jocelyn." yeah. joan: billy, unfortunately, is no longer part of my team. i sent him an e-mail saying
we're no longer in business together. he just can't be counted on and, uh, it's killing me. i'll tell you why it really upset me... [tearfully] billy is one of the last links that i can say, "do you remember?" and i had to cut that off. and i think that's -- it's not the business. that's where i... i cannot tell you, i will never not miss billy. he was there when melissa was born. he was there for edgar's funeral, you know? he's a link... i have no one to say, "do you remember when bernie brillstein gave his party and edgar was the only one that came in black tie?" i know it sounds... he was my last memory bank, and i have no one, no one to say that to now,
and that is very difficult for me. tonight is the live finale of celebrity apprentice, and it is between me and annie duke. if i win, i'm back. i'm back in spite of being a woman, in spite of being 75, and in spite of being blackballed from nbc. i'm back, you bastards. and it's been a tremendous, tremendous season. annie, do you know what i'm going to say? no, i have no idea. i'm gonna say, annie... no,you're fired.ea. [applause] ♪ it's great. this is wonderful.
cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, cluck, splash. it's great. it's terrific. [sighs] here we go. but it's just celebrity apprentice. i mean, it's not the academy award, but it was wonderful and i'm very happy i won. -congratulations! -thank you. larry: and i've always said, you can't get hit by lightning if you're not standing out in the rain. nobody can stand in the rain longer than joan rivers. she will stay there. she's the last person standing. she'll let it rain, she'll let it rain, she'll let it rain, because she knows lightning can hit, 'cause it's hit her more than once, but she knows you have to stay out in the rain, and she did. jocelyn: line two. joan: line two, okay. hello, my sweetheart. yeah. all right, so tell me. tell me yes or no, just tell me fast. [screams] that's fabulous! are you ki-- [screams] jocelyn! we were, we were picked up!
-no way. awesome! -yeah, we got it! kathy: you know what the real pinnacle in a comedy career is? it's not an oscar. it's not one thing. it's the fact that you're still doing it. that's really what's so "rock star" about her. she's really the master of sticking in there. jocelyn: oh, wait, let's talk about what this is gonna entail. it's a photo shoot for the new york times? joan: i could do it monday afternoon if they want. i'm still in town. right now, everything is absolutely wonderful. i am the golden girl, but i have been here before and i know nothing is yours permanently and you better enjoy it while it's happening. so, next week...
mondaregis and kelly, book signing, qvc; tuesday: wor, rachael ray, howard stern, cutting room; wednesday: florida, breakfast lecture, do an afternoon book signing, back to miami, perform two shows; thursday: l.a., the doctor's, radio show, red-eyeing home, qvc, corporate booking, then back to cutting room.
okay, that's fine. is that locked? get him out of the picture. [laughter] it's me alone. it's an artist alone shot. grabbing you, mohammed. thank you. i am opening for don rickles, and when they say "opening," what it is is, he and i split the money, and years ago when we
started, i said, "well, i'll open, 'cause that means i get out earlier," and he's still pissed about it.
[laughs] theater is wonderful here. it's a vegas-sized theater. it's, what, 1,800 or 2,000? jocelyn: no, it's 4,000, yeah. it's a 4,000-person theater. i'm nervous. [laughter] but i go way back with joan, when she was in vegas and she was a struggling comedian and we got to know each other. she's done an outstanding job with her career. i mean that. she has outstanding timing, and she takes her work very seriously, and if i didn't marry my barbara, i would have married joan, and with that remark... ack! ack! god! oh, god, i was kidding around! ah, god, why? joan: don rickles is in his late 80s and he is still hilarious. he's like george burns, who was amazing until he was in his late 90s. and phyllis diller, till she was 92, she just laid it down. and i'd like to beat them all. and i think i will. [laughs] that's what's so sick, i think i will.
first wife is always some poor, dumb bitch who he married on the way up. second wife is always like, "hello [gibberish]," and he's a [bleep], he marries her. and the third wife, he's 96, the balls are on the ground, she's 11, she's chinese. "i ruv you." [cheering and applause] thank you. a pleasure. [orchestra plays] this is where i belong. only time i'm truly, truly happy is when i am on a stage. why can't you do a good job once? it's embarrassing. i keep saying, "she's wonderful," and you always fail me. joan: i am a performer. that is my life. that is what i am. that's it. [orchestra continues]
[duo vocalizing melody] you know their names... whoo! because their spirit just wouldn't be tamed. you know who they are. because of us. that one picture belongs to the public, really. we're "american masters." ♪ ...the wild side ♪ said, hey, honey ♪ take a walk on the wild side ♪ "american masters" is supported by the corporation for public broadcasting. and by...
for $24.98 plus shipping. to order, call 1-800-336-1917 or write to the address on your screen. they're doing a documentary of my life. and you said earlier that they're just waiting for the moment, right? they're praying that i'll die during this, this filming. wouldn't that be great? wouldn't that be amazing? they got the last year of joan rivers. it would give them such a hook. -people would watch. -people would watch. that's sick. i know, but still, it's sick but very commercial. -you'd watch. -i'd watch. [rivers chuckles]
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