Joan Rivers has come to the defense of Kelly Osbourne and blasted Lady Gaga. The comedienne has responded to Gaga’s claims that E! show Fashion Police, in which she and Kelly Osbourne co-star, “breeds negativity” and says Gaga is merely trying to get attention. Showbiz veteran Rivers told the New York Post’s Page Six “Anyone that would wear a pastrami dress or sit in an egg should know about humour. She knows exactly what’s she’s doing. She’s not selling. We haven’t been talking about her until now. It’s time to start laughing. We’ve been doing this for fifty years. Tell Lady Gaga to worry about the maggots in her brain from the meat dress! But I told Kelly that it’s all good because it means Lady Gaga watches Fashion Police!”
The drama stems from Kelly’s comments last October when she said, “Lady Gaga’s fans are the worst” and accused them of encouraging her to commit suicide. Osbourne also claimed the pop superstar had a duty to step in and stop their comments. In response, Gaga penned a lengthy open letter on her fan-based social networking site, LittleMonsters.com, addressed to the Kelly, noting that while she felt empathetic towards Kelly and discourages her fans “from any negativity and violence”, she feels the E! show promotes bullying.
Released on DVD on January 10, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, takes an unapologetic look at the actor/comediennes life through the eyes of the people closest to her, including Joan herself. Dismissed by most as the poster child for plastic surgery gone wrong, the 75 year-old looks and sounds as amazing as she did when she premiered as the first female comedienne on late night television in the 1950s.
The documentary opens with Rivers’ career at what Joan herself were consider a standstill. Her sacred datebook is empty with only a sprinkling of gigs in small town clubs. After 40-plus years in the business, an army of staff that need to be paid, a generous pocketbook towards tuition for her staff’s children and a lavish lifestyle that Joan acknowledges and makes no apologies for, an empty calendar is a fate worse than death for the self-proclaimed workaholic.
Over the course of the film we get a glimpse into Rivers’ impressive early years on the Tonight Show, her relationship with her family and her struggle to once again be ‘hot’. Her return to the spotlight comes by way of winning Donald Trumps’ Celebrity Apprentice. Knowing better than anyone that celebrities must strike while the iron is hot, Rivers instantly goes into overdrive to book herself a schedule that most 25 year-olds couldn’t maintain.
The similarities between Rivers bio-doc and the 2010 documentary Hugh Hefner – Playboy, Activist, Rebel, are striking. With both Rivers and Hefner as the faces of taboo subject matter, Generation X’ers and younger in many ways have no idea how important the man with seven girlfriends and the woman with the ever-changing face are to North American culture and society. Where Hefner made huge strides in both the Civil Rights and Feminist movements, Rivers’ contributions, not only to comedy but to feminism and entertainment, cannot be understated. While she has helped pave the way for women like Tina Fey, Margaret Cho, Chelsea Handler, Roseanne Barr, Kathy Giffin (who is seen in the film with Rivers) and more, Rivers, at the age of 75, sees these women as her competitors, not people to relinquish her mic onto.
Rivers speaks fondly of her mentor Johnny Carson, the man who turned his back on the actor when, after 20 years. she left the Tonight Show for her own program. Joan takes viewers through a timeline of her life, with stories of meeting her late husband Edgar, the birth of their daughter Melissa and later, Edgar’s tragic and sudden suicide.
Personal relationships for the actor, as she prefers to be labeled, seem to never come easy. The film not only discusses her strained relationships with her family, but also chronicles the dissolution of her relationship with longtime member and close friend and confidant, Bobby.
Though famous for mocking her even more famous heavily altered face, the pain of the ever-present surgery jokes break hrough the comedienne’s bravado when she is asked to participate in a celebrity roast. Her loneliness is evident as she states that she is ‘the last one left’, with many of her close friends, and her husband Edgar, passing away before her.
With her comedic timing as sharp as ever, in her mid-seventies Joan’s routine is more appropriate for MTV than the Seniors home. Planning on out-living us all, Joan Rivers is the epitome of star; she’s a workaholic with a natural gift that she works tirelessly on and feels most at home on stage. And in 2011, that’s right where she belongs.