Photo by Seth Keal
Like Scrubbing Bubbles, Rivers works hard so you don’t have to.
Joan Rivers: Hardest Working Man in Show Business?
Most people spending their “golden” years complaining about young people and predicting the weather via pains in their joints. Not Joan Rivers. She’s making every last one of us look lazy and unambitious. Fans of reality TV—and legitimate theatrical documentaries — recently found this out through viewing “Celebrity Apprentice” or watching “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” (currently in theaters).
Haven’t had enough? Of course not. Fill up your tank when Rivers delivers a special Gay Pride Week show sure to raise the bar on bawdy language and celebrity dish — in honor of her ultra-enlightened LGBTQ audience.
“They just get almost everything, so I can have more fun,” Rivers says of her gay fans. But is there any topic that’s even off limits to this woman known for saying anything and getting away with it? “You can’t say anything negative about Liza Minnelli,” Rivers deadpans — joking, yes, but only by half.
That mostly-no-holds-barred dynamic between Rivers and LGBTs goes back decades. “Gays were the first who found me, in the Village,” she recalls, “so I feel very akin to them and very connected.”
These days, gays still make great audiences — and even better guests. When hosting, Rivers says “I look around my table when I have a small dinner party, and it’s gay men and me and another girlfriend. We just laugh the night away.”
Referring to what we’ve learned thanks to her recent turns in the Reality TV and documentary film genres, we asked Rivers if there was anything yet to be revealed. “Only for you,” she says, referring our plea for an exclusive nugget: “I am a man. Mae West did that all her life. She would say to her audiences, ‘When I die, you are going to be very surprised.” Then she died and there was no surprise — but how clever.”
Rivers says she wants that big payoff now, while she’s alive. For her, the big reveal comes back as waves of laughter seconds after she nails a punchline. “All I want my audience to do is pay to come see me and say ‘That’s a great show, I had a good time.’ I don’t care what they think of me or what their perceptions are.”
What more can we possibly ask from our entertainers?
Joan Rivers performs a special Pride show on Thurs., June 24th, 7:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. at The Gramercy Theatre (127 East 23rd St. at Lexington Ave). Tickets are $25-$125. Net proceeds go God’s Love We Deliver and Guide Dogs for the Blind. To order, call 212-352-3101. VIP post-show ticket packages are available. Doors open 1 hour before show time.