'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,' a documentary about the comedian, is being released on DVD this week. While the title implies the movie is mainly focused on her plastic surgery, it's a misnomer; instead, we learn about little-known aspects of her life, her dealings with Johnny Carson and her lifelong struggle to stay in the spotlight.
Joan Rivers is 77 years old, although you'd never be able to guess. She's enjoying a career resurgence thanks in part to her 2009 victory on the reality show 'Celebrity Apprentice,' as well as her acerbic commentary on E! Channel's 'Fashion Police.' She's slated to start another TV show this month, this time a reality show with her daughter Melissa, entitled 'Joan and Melissa: Joan Knows Best.'
She's not even archaic when it comes to technology -- her Twitter account is very active and she spends a lot of her time ripping into other celebs (Bristol Palin and Lindsay Lohan among them). One thing that's made clear from 'A Piece of Work' is that Rivers isn't going anywhere; she will be in our faces until she's physically unable to do so.
So what don't you know about Joan Rivers? [Warning: Spoilers Ahead]
She was offered her own show by Fox and Johnny Carson was so upset by the news he never spoke to her again.
Long seen as Carson's 'Late Night' counterpart, Rivers was often brought on to add color to the show. The rapport between the two was evident right from the start and many believe her stints on the show made her career. When she called to tell Carson the incredible news (or what she saw as incredible), he hung up on her -- twice -- and the two never had another conversation.
It hasn't all been smiles and sunshine for Rivers; she's undergone much heartache.
The Fox show idea was short-lived. In fact, right after telling Carson about the show, Fox pulled its offer because they disagreed with her choice in manager. That manager, her then-husband Edgar Rosenberg, killed himself when he learned about the situation. So, within a matter of weeks, Rivers was offered a show, pulled off said show abruptly and then lost her husband/manager.
Rivers keeps a 'wall of jokes' in her house.
Remember the Dewey Decimal System? Well, Rivers has so many jokes in her house she may as well have her own classification system. She has drawers, little shelves and folders filled with scrawled notes and papers that she's collected over her lengthy career. After 40+ years in the biz, that's thousands upon thousands of jokes.
Her apartment is as posh and luxurious as a royal residence.
Do you think excessive gold trim and plush, ornate furniture is reserved for royalty and the rooms of Versailles? Think again! Rivers' apartment (if you can call it that) is so lavishly decorated, one might think the Queen herself is coming to visit at any time. It's no mistake, then, Rivers continually refers to Marie Antoinette throughout 'A Piece of Work.'
Despite it all, Rivers can be very sweet.
Sure, she rips into fellow comedians (i.e. Kathy Griffin, who she claims is now booking all the shows she should be booking) and is about as non-politically-correct as you can be, but deep within is a heart of gold. In the movie, we see her talking one-on-one with adoring fans and she's not miffed at all when she has to sign autographs or pose for pictures. She even delivers meals to disabled people on holidays. Yeah, we know! Tough to believe.
To learn even more about Rivers, make sure to grab 'Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,' available on DVD Tuesday, January 11.