Joan Rivers spoke of plastic surgery, feud with Johnny Carson in her last interview
Joan Rivers died in 2014, but an interview she did with Max Mutchnick a month before her death.
Joan Rivers was a controversial figure throughout her life, having bravely put forth her opinions whether the person on the other side appreciated it or not. Now, nearly four years after her death, we get to experience her entertaining candor one last time.
Joan, who died in September of 2014, had sat for an interview with co-creator of Will and Grace Max Mutchnick and writer/actor/producer Dan Bucatinsky just weeks before her death, and it has been released for the first time. In it, she discussed a varied range of topics including her family, showbiz dreams, plastic surgeries and feud with the late talk show host Johnny Carson.
The Fashion Police star, who had run away from her home to become an actress in the mid-1950s, at age 23, revealed that she did not grow up wanting to be a comedian. In fact, she wanted to be an actress, and when questioned why she does not act more, Joan in her characteristic honesty said, "because nobody asks me."
However, Joan had, in her lifetime, managed to become a brand- someone who does everything, because, she claimed she loved everything about showbiz. "I love the business. If you said to me the next thing you're gonna do is design costumes and a set, I'd go 'yeaah' because I just love every aspect of the business," she told Max and Dan.
It's this love for showbiz that led her to experiment with comedy and continue to audition for The Tonight Show seven times, at the behest of her manager’s other client, Bill Cosby, before she was put on Johnny Carson’s show in 1965 as a gag writer.
Carson took her under his wing and mentored her during her time on the show, however their relationship turned bitter almost 18 years later - as soon as he heard that she has signed a contract for her own late night show with another network.
In an article she penned for The Hollywood Reporter in 2012, Joan had opened up about the incident. She wrote, "The first person I called was Johnny, and he hung up on me -- and never, ever spoke to me again."
This betrayal, as Johnny seems to have looked at it, cost Joan not only her friendship with him, but also a whole of important people in showbiz. In the recently released interview, she seemed to have a very contemplative attitude towards the whole ordeal, claiming they could have buried the hatchet and made a spectacular series of episodes based on her return to the show, however Johnny wasn't all that forgiving.
“What Johnny should have done — and it’s so theatrical — after the whole thing, after I left the show and after I was fired from Fox and after [my husband] Edgar committed suicide, Johnny should have had me back on the show and said to me, ‘Where ya been?’ It would have made all the newspapers, and we should have picked right up,” she said. “That’s what the Jews call, he would have been a mensch, and it would have continued.”
Joan, who had been very open with her plastic surgeries, also spoke in the interview about how she totally supports men and women who want to go under the knife. The late comedian, who staunchly believed that people should do whatever "makes you feel better," opined, “Let me first of all say to them, which I always say, better a new face coming out of an old car than an old face coming out of a new car. Never mind the shoes, get the nose.”
Joan, who was 81-years-old at the time of her death, believed completely in looking good to feel good. She never used to leave her house without a full face of make-up, defending her practice, saying, “We’re all in the business, guys." She told her interviewers, “People get to see a celebrity once in their life usually, you know? I don’t want them to say, ‘I saw Joan Rivers — she looked terrible!’ The first thing they see is ‘How did she look? What was she wearing?'”
It is safe to say that the world still sees her the way she wanted it to: the beautiful comedian whose comedic genius is unparalleled.
The full interview is now available on EW Spotlight via soundcloud.
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