Richard interviews Joan Rivers on People Are Talking.
I had the flu the day Joan was booked on the show but didn’t want to miss the interview which was broadcast live. I had seen Joan at numerous events and she was the most friendly and considerate of celebrities in her relationship with fans. Before the broadcast she was the most nervous celebrity I had ever interviewed. She perused a stack of cards with jokes, repeatedly asked which questions I was going to ask and seemed genuinely insecure. On the air she was confident, funny, spontaneous and simply genuine!
My favorite part of the interview was when she began digging at me…trying to instigate a fight with Regis Philbin. After the show producers from ‘Regis and Kathy Lee’ called my producers and asked: “What did Regis do to Richard? Why is he upset? We’re getting phone calls from viewers…” A few months later I walked into COLUMBUS, a West Side restaurant partially owned by Regis. He stood by his table, arms crossed, chagrined, shaking his head. “Richard, Richard, I don’t know what I did. I’m sorry. I don’t even remember meeting you!” Joy sat beside him, glaring at me, the creep who had hurt her man.
I felt two feet tall and I was the one apologizing now. He was a perfect gentleman, a mensch and was always friendly and supportive every time we met consequently. Later, when I was fired from Channel 9 he sat me down and gave me a pep talk, discussing all the times he had been fired and rehired. Joy was also great, suggesting I take up video games, something Regis did to pass the hours while unemployed.
Hope you all enjoy the JOAN RIVERS interview. Its an interesting companion piece to the new movie about her life. And a reminder that sometimes those with the most ‘show bizzy’ celebrity facades turn out to be the most genuine personalities under that slick patina…