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tv   Lockup Colorado  MSNBC  September 6, 2014 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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blog as much as you like, but if you really want to make an impact, vote. then, what matters to you and the people you care about will really count. you'll want to vote the more you know. we're going to take a loving look back at the life and laughter of joan rivers. here's erica hill. >> can we talk? >> for more than five decades, when joan rivers wanted to talk, we listened and laughed. >> i went to by sexy underwear and they automatically gift-wrapped it. >> when my water broke, the dog drowned. >> tonight, the world is remembering her. tributes pouring in. >> she was a real trail blazer
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and a real innovator. >> the world has become a less funny place. >> she knew how to get at her audience and still be loved. >> she had a heart as big as her brain. >> she could be caustic. >> this girl was a tramp. >> but she was also a trail blazer, a woman in a man's game. she didn't just open new doors in the comedy world, she crashed through them. >> 40 years in the [ bleep ] business and this is where you end up. >> joan rivers' success paved the way for generations of jung comediennes. for kathy griffin, she was an inspiration. >> joan is not only important to the history of comedy. i would say that she's most important to the history of women in comedy because as she would often say to me, it's just different for us. it's just different. >> but success didn't come easily. she had her share of failure, controversy and heartache. still, joan rivers emerged from
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it all as a mega star and a cultural icon. not bad for a kid from brooklyn. she was born joan alexandra mollinski in 1933. it was a privileged childhood. she graduated from barnd college in 1954 with a degree in english. but her dream had always been to become an actress. >> i was in every school play. i was in everything you could do at college. there was never a discussion in my own head of where i was going and it was always acting. always going to be an actress. >> as she said in the 2010 documentary "joan rivers, a piece of work" comedy was originally just a way to pay the bills. >> i just knew i could work as a comedian at night and make money and make the rounds as an actress. and that's the only reason i went into comedy. >> like so many comics, her career and her life were forever
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changed with appearances on "the tonight show" with johnny carson. >> on the air carson said to me, you're going to be star. i looked behind me -- who the hell is he talking to? and it was magical between the two of us, absolutely magical. >> bill carter of "the new york times" has written extensively about late-night television. >> she became known as a national comedienne on his show. and he befriended her and treated her as his protege. >> almost overnight, joan proved johnny right. after her first appearance in 1965, she quickly became a star. that same year, she married for the second time to a television producer named edgar rosenberg. less than three years later, joan gave birth as she would later say to her best friend, melissa. the next two decades were an incredible success, both personally and professionally. >> and now, here's joan rivers!
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>> the pinnacle seemed to come in 1983 when she was named permanent guest host of "the tonight show". >> just the idea that she could have been the permanent guest host on "the tonight show" where you have to do topical, satire political commentary, that was unheard of. >> johnny built his career on his winning, easygoing way. joan did her own thing. and it could sometimes be cringe-worthy. elizabeth taylor was a favorite target. >> when you're standing behind elizabeth taylor and they could still see your thighs. >> the kind of jokes you listen to and go, that's really wrong, that's cruel. and you're biting your tongue and cracking up at the same time. >> and joan didn't let up. she was unapologetic and
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defiant. >> comedy is truth and we should not apologize for it. you're going to get what i think is the truth and it's going to be raw. >> and then in 1986, she made a move that would famously change her life and make history. trading her gig as guest host on "the tonight show" to become the first-ever female host of a late-night talk show. >> fox came and offered me my own show. and edgar would be the producer. of course we said yes. the first was johnny carson. he slammed the phone down and slammed it down again and never spoke to me again, ever. >> the most important relationship of her professional life was over. for johnny, joan was now poison. her show was canceled after just one season. not long after, she lost the most important relationship in her private life, when her husband edgar took his own life. >> he left us high and dry.
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everything just went to smitheree smithereens. and he left me with no career and a lot of debts because he wasn't a good businessman and a lot of tough times. >> but then a remarkable thing happened. joan rivers reinvented herself. she changed course, turned to cable, became a producer and entrepreneur. changes that also came with a new look. >> people want to look at pretty women. nobody wants an old woman. so i started with the plastic surgery. little bits and tweaks. then i got very angry because nobody would admit it. i really became a big advocate of it. so whenthen i became the joker. >> the new joan became a red carpet maven and a fashion guru.
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her signature question "who are you wearing" quickly became a staple. >> what do you do with all your dresses? >> she also started selling her own line of jewelry on qvc. and somehow managed not to get fired by the donald, winning "celebrity apprentice" 2009. >> she was stronger than all of them them. mendous energy and this great talent. >> in 2011, she starred with melissa in a reality show on the we network. it was classic joan -- raw, honest, outrageous. >> that's fabulous! >> joan rivers became a media empire unto herself. and in the process, amassed a personal fortune while also raising millions of dollars for her favorite causes, including charities helping people with aids and cystic fibrosis.
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even into her 70s and 80s, joan rivers seemed like a force of nature, working nonstop, never even hinting at retirement. >> i don't want to retire. i don't want to go and sit in the sun. i don't want to go and learn to garden. i paint. who cares? >> her age simply became new material. >> you reach an age -- they applaud because they hope the sound will make me die and they can get my apartment. >> but on her 2012 reality show "joan and melissa" before heading into yet another surgery, joan talked to her daughter from the heart about what life would be like when she's gone. >> if it ended right now, amazing life. and you've been wonderful. and we've had a great ride together. >> you know, i know you're nervous and i feel awful about that. but you don't like to feel like people like you or care about you or want you around.
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>> it's not about me. it's about you. and if something happens, things are fine and life is fine and life is so much fun, it's one big movie. >> i know. >> a private funeral service will be held sunday in new york. in her book "i hate everyone, starting with me" joan imagined what her funeral might look like if she could have her way. >> i want it to be hollywood all the way. i want to look gorgeous, better dead than i do alive. i want to be buried in a valentino gown. i want a wind machine so strong that even in the casket, my hair will be blowing more than beyonce's on stage. >> just like joan, always leave them laughing. >> what do you want on your tombstone, joan? >> on my tombstone? she had a great time.
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>> she did. she sure did. and she made sure everybody around her had an even better time than she was having. and maybe nobody understands just how hard it is to make comedy look easy except another comedy. >> and lots of comediennes axhc paying tribute to joan rivers. one of the most heartfelt came last night from jimmy fallon. >> sad news, i don't know if you guys have heard this, our pal joan rivers passed away. >> joan rivers would have just loved it. from coast to coast, the world of comedy was talking only about her. >> she would come out and just say what you were thinking but you wouldn't say it, you would stop -- but she wouldn't stop. she would just say it. >> she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable, just where you would have to
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swallow pretty hard and twice. but it was hilarious. >> joan rivers would fill in for johnny carson and when she did, it was an event. everybody in the country would talk about it the next day. >> i wish she was here right now. if she was here right now, she would make a joke about how she just passed away. and she would get away with it because it would be really funny. >> hers was that rare act that could span generations. she was 81. comedian chris hardwick is 42. >> i would get a call from her every once in a while. chris, it's joan, listen, i'm on the phone, it's joan. i want to know about the internet. she wanted to know about the internet, which is one of the reasons why i think she was so relevant for like six decades. >> all over hollywood, comedy clubs are remembering rivers, not with a moment of silence, but with the opposite. [ cheers and applause ]
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now those making their own names have rivers to thank, like sunda. >> i want to give homage to joan rivers. the way i related to her was she was able to talk like a man and give it like a man and still be a lady at the same time. >> and christina -- >> she got to a point -- she never gave a crap. but, man, towards the end, she really didn't give a crap. and that was like the best stuff ever. >> jody miller was on "america's got talent" -- >> well, joan, i just started getting botox. love you. and i hope in 30 years i am you. >> many of today's comedy heavyweights like don rickles saw rivers on her way up the ladder. >> she could do it 24 hours a day. i like a half hour and a check.
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>> mr. dick cavich. >> she took an oath somewhere mid career that she would never, ever apologize for anything. if you don't like the goods, go to another shop, was her motto. >> we had a great camaraderie. i used to go into her dressing room, open the door and go, oh, and then close it. i used to tell her that. and she'd say, it's only wrinkles, it's okay. >> how many times did you work with her? hundreds? >> i'm not that old. >> gilbert godfrey. >> and she would have these jokes like, i asked elizabeth taylor, what do you want on your hamburger? she said, a hot dog. >> what's joan rivers' legacy? >> funny, intelligent and unusual. unusual and a little bit different than the next guy. and she proved that. >> there is also some thought
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being given to rivers' next performance. >> i just hope that when joan meets the man upstairs, he's wearing something she can insult. >> i wish i had a ticket right now in heaven just to watch that show that's going on up there. >> the last 24 hours have been every performer's dream, all of show business is talking about you. it might be the only time joan rivers' timing ever failed her. >> all the pros loved her because they know how hard it is to do what she did for five decades, unbelievable. >> yeah. you have to think the best compliment has to be another comedian saying, wow, you are hysterical. she had that. >> we'll be right back. coming up, those who knew joan rivers best -- >> an exclusive for you. heads-up. >> surprising stories about the woman behind the wisecracks. >> if you're merely a fan or if you are -- maybe you don't see that vulnerable side, but joan
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here's the thing about joan. she was candid. >> yep. >> she was caustic. but also and not everyone realized, she was very, very kind. >> and she was kind to everybody. >> yeah. >> everybody. and she add mohad more fun -- >> tonight we hear from those who knew her best. >> here's cynthia mcfadden with the sensitive side of an icon. >> while she was a take-no-prisoners type of gal. >> i hate old people. >> those who knew her best say there was a whole other side to her.
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kathy griffin was one of those friends. >> they're not disgusting. it is an honor. don't give me that face. i lost my go-to person. actually i got waxed and this is what was left over. >> griffin trudged her way up the stand-up ladder just as rivers had. and says without joan she never would have made it. what's the best advice joan ever gave you? >> the best advice joan ever gave me was, don't hold back, do your thing, screw if they can't take a joke, don't listen to the haters and the naysayers. >> just a few weeks ago the two sat down for dinner. >> i was talking to her about robin williams. and i said, so i know this is corny and you're going to make fun of me, but i just want to tell you, i love you, i appreciate you. i wouldn't be doing this if it weren't for you. and she was super cool. she half totally teased me, oh, please, stop it.
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do i have to pay the bill? and half actually said, it's nice. you don't have to, you don't have to -- yeah, i do have to. >> how great that you had that moment with her? >> look, every moment with her was memorable. >> you are lovely. you could use a little augmentation though, there. >> they became friends when joan played kathy's mother on "suddenly susan" -- >> mom, i can't -- pins. >> how important is joan rivers to the history of comedy? what was her role in all this? >> joan is not only important to the history of comedy. i would say that she's most important to the history of women in comedy because as she would often say to me, it's just different, it's just different for us. >> why? >> because you have to work harder and jump higher and no one did it more than joan rivers. >> it's a caring person --
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>> no man has ever put her hand up a woman's skirt to give her a library card. >> johnny carson refused to take her back on his show and wouldn't take her calls. >> she told me johnny carson broke her heart. she will also tell you -- and she's happy to say, he made me a star. she always said, he changed my life. >> did she ever get over it, do you think? >> no, i don't think she got over it. once again, if you're merely a fan or a viewer, you maybe don't see that vulnerable side. but joan was this petite little woman who had battle scars basically. >> did you ever see her cry? >> yeah, i saw her cry, all the time. >> and then, full circle, to joan getting the last laugh, returning after 30 years to the show that first made her famous. what did it mean to her when jimmy fallon invited her on to
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"the tonight show" on the first night? >> i had to get the dirt on that. it was so great. she said it was her idea. >> she called the show? >> honey, she will pick up the phone and call a show. that's how it goes. and then she said she had to keep calling until she finally got someone that said, oh, i get it because she said, it has to be jimmy's first night. it has to be my triumphant return, his first night. >> and it turns out many of those celebrities who she skewered in public were actually close friends in private, including the royal family who joan made terrible fun of. >> she sits like this. no one has the guts to say, your hind is -- >> excuse me, she took me to windsor castle and buckingham palace. and sure enough -- i just want to say, the royals don't just know her. charles and camilla love her. prince charles said to me, well, without comics and newspapers
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who would keep us honest? >> but it wasn't just the high and mighty who rivers called friends, as documentary filmmaker ricky stern discovered -- >> such a nice audience -- >> granted unprecedented access for her film "joan rivers, a piece of work." stern said she and her crew spent 14 months just trying to keep up with their tireless subject. >> honestly, filming with her, we could only do three-day bursts because it was exhausting. >> for you? >> for us. it was exhausting. and our crew was 30 years old. >> she was the definition of keep on going? >> absolutely. she was a role model for hard work, for sure. and perseverance. >> but what did you learn about her other side, the nonpublic side? >> it didn't take long being around joan to just see her warmth and feel her generosity because she was interested in you. she was not a celebrity who didn't have time for anybody. she had time for everybody. she spoke to the doorman.
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she spoke to people in the street, her fans, you couldn't walk a block without a fan coming up to her. she didn't just sign an autograph. she would say, oh, i love that scarf. >> ricky remembers the first time she screened the documentary for joan. >> in the film, we shot joan without any makeup. she watched the film and the only comments she had had to do with other people and if she said something off the cuff that she thought might hurt their feelings. she had not a word to say about the opening and her naked face. >> is there anything you didn't get to say to her that you wish you had? >> here's what i didn't get to say to joan that i wish i had. and it's more what i didn't do. i think that i should have figured out a way to really honor her and give her a proper tribute when i had the chance. and that's a big regret of mine. >> when i first came to new york about 32 years ago, joan was one
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of the first people that just embraced me and made me feel welcome. >> he was on the show with you and reg countless times. >> she just brought an earthiness and naturalness. she once told me, i don't pick on anybody that can't take it. >> that's true. and she was one of these people who seemed fiercely loyal. >> very much so. >> she had the same hair and makeup people, the same friends. she kept a tight group. but she was always there for you -- >> when i was accused of some horrible things, she was like a lone voice in the wilderness crying out that it was unfair, unjust and also untrue. you never forget that when somebody stands up for you. loyal like that. loved her. >> we'll be back. >> still do. coming up, joan rivers, forever funny, forever young. >> you're going to try dope? >> yeah. >> you want to get a tattoo? >> at this age, you better hurry. >> when "celebrating joan rivers" continues.
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hello! three grams daily of beta-glucan... a soluable fiber from whole grain oat foods like cheerios can help lower cholesterol. thank you! in 2012, lester holt sat down with joan rivers and her daughter, melissa, in joan's manhattan apartment. >> and as always with joan, it
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was a free-wheeling conversation. >> but lester kicked it off with a personal story. >> several months ago, i was on a plane and you were on the plane and i was watching you and you were quiet and you were reading and i thought, what's it like to be joan rivers? the sense that you always have to be on? >> the hard thing about being joan rivers is hostesses expect you to be on. i'm invited to cocktail parties and dinner parties and they say, sit joan next to them, because she'll be funny. if you don't know you, i won't talk at all. >> my mom gets very shy and nervous and doesn't want to disappoint. so she's like, well, i shouldn't say anything because what if they think i'm not funny or i'm not smart. >> looks count. education -- looks count. >> i was at a dinner party. and the hostess leaned over and said, remember, what joan says is funny. and i suddenly realized, none of
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these people have a sense of humor. these are jokes over the last 30 years. i have a file system going of as many jokes as i can remember. >> but the jokes have to be topical. >> no. it's hilarious. you just change your name. you want to do a short joke. dr. ruth, no. danny devito, it works. >> you be nice. >> i'm trying to be. >> you're never nice to anybody. >> i am nice. >> the red carpet is one of the things you're known for. >> started it. >> what's the fascination with the red carpet? essentially you're making small talk with the stars as they come -- >> no, you're making stupid small talk. i have two hit shows, do you understand our business? there have been years where i had nothing. do i or do i not have every minute planned out? >> mom, you have every minute of my life planned out for me. >> has it been fabulous? >> i want to talk about the show
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because of your relationship. it almost seems like you've flipped the parental role. you're going to try dope. >> at this age, you better hurry. >> i want something to calm me down, if it's legal. >> it's definitely legal. >> you think this is better than just a glass of chardonnay? >> dramatically better. >> what is all this? >> gluten-free? >> melissa, how do you handle your mother going off in this direction? >> i think i've been sort of the adult in the relationship for a while. >> thank you. >> you're welcome. >> you know that i'm very, very concerned about the surgery. >> oh, don't start, melissa -- >> let me finish, please. >> is this an intervention? >> you did an intervention on the plastic surgery. >> yeah. >> what was that about? >> because i feel like -- we go back to the risk/reward.
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at one point you have to go, stop it, come on. it really does scare all of us. >> you're in the will. >> it's not funny. my body is my temple. my temple needs redecorating. i love performing. i love what the audience gives you. i walk out and go, i'm so happy to see you. here are all my friends and we can talk, this is fabulous. and that's my energy on stage. i'm so happy to have people i can laugh with. coming up, in the days after black and white, a girl comic tells her brand of off-color jokes. guys would take note. >> she'd earned it. she earned the right to say whatever she wanted. >> while the women would find inspiration. >> i mostly learned from joan to be audacious and speak your mind. >> when "celebrating joan
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i'm milissa rehberger. here's what's happening. some republicans are criticizing president obama's lack of action on immigration following his decision to take up the issue after the midterm elections. the president promised to tackle the immigration problem at the end of the summer. and 400,000 people still without power in michigan after a line of violent storms went through. one man died after stepping on a power line. authorities say most power should be restored by monday night. now back to "celebrating joan rivers." to really appreciate the comedy pioneer that joan was, you have to remember the times she came up in. >> here's what "the new york times" said about one of your gigs back in the '60s. joan rivers is an unusually bright girl who's overcoming the handicap of a woman comic. >> at the time, that was true.
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there were very, very few of them. >> but joan had the last laugh. to be clear, joan rivers didn't really like being called a pioneer. all that talk about groundbreaking, trail blazing, she had a few choice words about that in the documentary "a piece of work." >> if one woman comedian comes up to me and says, you opened the doors for me and you want to say go [ bleep ] yourself. i'm still opening the doors. >> her friend kathy griffin understood. >> whatever that means to be an icon and a legend, to her i think it meant, you just idly sit at home and accept a plaque? it just wasn't what she wanted to do. >> correspondent alicia quarles got to know joan at the e! network. >> joan was working all the time. new tours, two books, fashion
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shows -- this was a busy woman. she had many trails more that she wanted to blaze. >> but like it or not, joan did open doors and blaze trails for countless comics, especially women. and it wasn't easy. from the very start, she had to fight for a seat at the boys' table. watch this 1965 exchange with jack par on the jack par program. he seemed sort of perplexed by this ambitious girl comic. >> you're a barnard college graduate? >> yes. >> and you're father's a doctor? >> yes, sir. >> and your mother is a -- >> a mother. >> just a mother. how do you look upon what it is you do? >> frightened. >> she wasn't the first woman to break into stand-up. phyllis diller was playing clubs years before joan rivers. but joan redefined the medium for women. >> i do not cook. i hate to cook. cooking is boring and it is stupid and cleaning -- can we talk about cleaning? my kitchen is so dirty, my mice
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wear spikes. you want the floor to shine? i have to wax the roaches. not one woman here was ever made love to because she did the linoleum. the floors are immaculate! i hate children. the only child i think i would have liked was helen keller because she didn't talk. >> lily tomlin says she learned about the comic craft by watching joan work. >> i mostly learned from joan to be audacious and speak your mind and she just went out of her way to be explicit about what she thought and what she was going to say and she really didn't censor herself. that was something you found to be admired. >> roseanne barr, ellen
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degeneral rus, sarah silverman, and of course kathy griffin all owe a debt to joan rivers. >> i would often say to her, i wouldn't be doing this if it wasn't for you. and she didn't want to get on the feminist bandwagon. i e-mailed her six weeks ago and i said, whether or not you identify as a feminist, you just are, so deal with it. because you have broken down a barrier and then the other one and then the next one and the barrier from left field. >> women followed her lead, but men did, too. comics like tim allen watched her and learned. >> she didn't give a [ bleep ]. she earned it. she earned the right to say whatever she wanted. she reinvented herself all the time. that's very admirable and honorable. >> she's taken more hits and career punches and personal punches than anyone i've ever known and comes out of it with a new act, another platform, another laugh. >> when she died, the
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twitterosphere lit up with words of gratitude from women and men who said joan rivers made all the difference. wanda sykes tweeted, we have lost a true legend. thank you, joan, for paving the way for broads like me. >> and from sarah silverman, my heart is broken, she wasn't done. she wasn't done. there was no sign that joan rivers was slowing down. she couldn't. >> i'll show you fear. that's fear. if my book ever looked like this, it would mean that nobody wants me and that everything i ever tried to do in life didn't work. nobody cared and i've been totally forgotten. >> but in the end, her book didn't look like that and nobody had forgotten. she had 15 bookings in london on her calendar coming up. she was ready to go. the thing about joan is she had so many gigs still booked. a friend of mine was driving down the highway and saw a sign
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that said, joan rivers at the sands. she had a full book ahead of her. >> we'll be right back after this. coming up, joan rivers calling celebrities on the carpet, the red one. >> kim cat rell. >> that's a communion dress for shuts. >> if they couldn't handle a zinger, they better get ready for more zingers because they're coming. r ] when you see everyone in america almost every day, you notice a few things. like the fact that you're pretty attached to these. ok, really attached. and that's alright. because we'll text you when your package is on the way. we're even expanding sunday package delivery. yes, sunday. at the u.s. postal service, our priority is...was... and always will
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bp supports more than a quarter million jobs. when we set up operation in one part of the country, people in other parts go to work. that's not a coincidence. it's one more part of our commitment to america. . for many of her fans, their favorite place to watch joan rivers' work was the red carpet. >> i'm so sorry but i lived for those catty critiques on the red carpets during awards seasons. >> many stars say their proudest moment in hollywood was a dis
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from joan rivers. >> andrea canning shows us why. >> joan rivers never held back. when the subject was fashion, she really came out swinging. >> kim cattrall? >> that is a communion dress for sluts. >> it may be hard to believe but it was 30 years ago that joan rivers turned covering the red carpet into a blood sport. >> you want brutal honesty? >> joan rivers and the red carpet are synonymous. she changed the way we do red carpets. >> kate coyne is senior editor of "people" magazine. >> joan will say, let me see your engagement ring, who did your hair? >> but few people may know that joan rivers and fashion go back even further than joan and comedy. out of college, she worked at new york's famed lord & taylor department store.
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>> joan has fashion chops. her mother was a fashionista. for joan, it was a natural question to ask, who are you wearing? >> who are you wearing? >> valentino. >> gucci. >> with that signature question, she brought couture to the masses and with her razor-sharp critiques, she gave us winners and losers before the official awards were even handed out. >> lots of jokes. i think we set it up to make it into a party. >> on her e! show "fashion police" know one was spared. >> she's so full of [ bleep ]. >> if they couldn't handle a zinger, they better get ready for more zingers because they're coming. >> and walking the red carpet was like walking the plank. >> you be nice. >> i'm trying to be. >> joan's favorite targets? the celebrities on top. >> anything underneath? >> yeah!
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>> j. lo comes back red hot, never looked sexier, she's the top of the charts again. boom, that's who joan is interested in. >> even her good friends felt the sting. >> she once hit me on a tuxedo she didn't like. all of a sudden, i got a different tuxedo and it looked better. >> rivers was called the queen of mean. but she was an equal opportunity basher and not above mocking her own fashion disasters over the years. she quipped that, this outfit made her look like she was playing ring toss with an ostrich. this fur seemed like she forgot to shave her armpits and she called this dress one from os ka de la ren ta's pepto bismal collection. she wasn't just a fashion critic, she was also a designer. the all-time sales of her own collection of jewelry and clothes on qvc has topped $1 billion. in the end, her influence on the
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fashion industry was no joke. today we headed down to the ground zero of high style, new york's fashion week, and found an industry in mourning. >> joan rivers fashion, first thing that comes to mind? >> joan rivers fashion, icon. icon. i think the world is going to be a very different place without her. >> did joan say what everyone else was thinking? >> she really did. she was never afraid. she was fearless. >> from new york to hollywood and every place where the glitter gather, there's a loss. katy perry tweeted, what's the point of wearing all these dumb costume ifs joan's not here to rip them apart? >> everybody asks, will there be another joan rivers? can there be? >> without joan rivers, the red carpet will be a safer but much sadder place. >> and a lot duller. >> nobody can take her place. nobody. when we come back, exit laughing.
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female narrator: sleep train challenged its manufacturers sleep train challenged its manufacturers to offer even lower prices. but the mattress price wars ends sunday. now it's posturepedic versus beautyrest with big savings of up to $400 off. serta icomfort and tempur-pedic go head-to-head with three years' interest-free financing, plus free same-day delivery, setup, and removal of your old set. when brands compete, you save.
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mattress price wars ends sunday at sleep train. ♪ your ticket to a better night's sleep ♪ joan rivers once said, i am put on earth to make people laugh. >> and for many of the 81 years she was here on earth, she did. >> now it's time to say good-bye. >> and we and she leave you laughing. ♪ >> my mother told me, looks don't count. she told me this a lot. saturday nights, in our kitchen while i was growing up, my mother used to look at me and say, --
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♪ sales ladies, i went into a store today and say, what do you have to go with this suit? she gave me a bottle of cheap wine. ♪ any woman that has a child that doesn't yell is a fool, don't you think? didn't you yell? why not? it's your one chance to be noticed. when i was having my kid, ahhh! >> mom, just promise me, be nice and gracious. >> wasn't i nice to your in-laws, your original in-laws? >> yes, you were very nice. >> there you go. >> there we go. >> they still owe me for the wedding. you need eyebrows. >> piggings don't have eyebrows. >> well, this pig is going to.
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>> when i die, and, e y, melissa the day will come, and, yes, melissa, everything's still in your name, i want my funeral to be a huge showbiz affair with lights and cameras and action. i want craft services. i want paparazzi. i want publicists making a scene. i want it to be hollywood all the way. ♪ what we do is not a job. it's a calling, my dear. we make people happy. ♪ >> and we're all the better for her calling. >> we are. we will miss you, joan rivers very much. that's all we have for tonight, everybody. >> stay with us now for an nbc
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exclusive with matt higher. >> i'm kathie lee. >> and i'm hoda. >> good night. >> thanks for watching, everybody.
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