tv CNN Newsroom With Brooke Baldwin CNN September 4, 2014 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT
i have a statement from melissa rivers, the daughter, the family. let me read it for you as we're just getting this tragic news. it is with great sadness that i announce the death of my mother, joan rivers. she passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m. surrounded by family and close friends. my son and i would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff of mt. sinai hospital for amazing care they provided for my mother. cooper and i have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. they have been heard and appreciated. my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. and although that is difficult to do right now, i know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon. joan rivers, dead at the age of 81. here is a look back at her life. >> can we talk? >> joan rivers could always talk. >> do you know what it's like to go in the morning to take off a
facial mask and realize you're not wearing one? oh you don't know! >> with sometimes outrageous jokes, nothing was ever off limits. >> i hate old people. oh! if you are [ bleep ] old, get up and get out of here right now! >> born in 1933, rivers says even as she was growing up in the new york suburbs, she wanted to be an actress. >> i never had a choice. i always say it's like a nun's calling. >> but her show business career didn't start until she was 24 years old. the my beta cappa graduate with one failed marriage behind her moved out of her parents' home and tried to get a job as an actress. and while her acting career didn't take off right away, she got her first break writing for the puppet on "the ed sullivan show." >> give me a kiss good night. >> and joined the iconic second city comedy theatre in 1961. as her comedy career was taking
off, she married edgar rosenberg in 1964, who had managed her career and become the focus of so many of his wife's jokes. the pair had one daughter together, melissa. in 1965, rivers saw her career get a huge boost when she appeared on "the tonight show" with johnny carson for the first time. >> he gave all of us our starts. my life changed. i went on the show the first time, seven years of struggling, coming out of second city. and on the air, he said, you're going to be a star. and the next day my life was different. >> it was the start of a 21-year professional relationship with carson and the show. she made regular appearances, eventually becoming the show's substitute host in 1983. but rivers' decision to launch her own show on the brand-new fox network in the fall of 1986 ended her relationship with carson and "the tonight show." >> he should have been proud. i finally at the -- after my contract was up, done, i took
another job. i think because i was a woman he never thought i would leave. or maybe he liked me better. but the minute i became competition, it became out to kill me. out to kill me. and that's what came down forever. never spoke to me again. >> the show was cancelled in 1987. just a few months later, rivers' husband, edgar, committed suicide in a philadelphia hotel room. >> i was in the hospital, and some idiot called the house and they said where's your mother. somebody from philadelphia. and melissa said she's not here. and they said well please tell her your father killed himself. how is that for a phone call? >> rivers regrouped by doing what she always did, putting her life out in the open. >> is there any area you would not go to? >> no. if i think i want to talk about it, then it's right to talk about. and i purposely go into areas that people are still very sensitive and smarting about. >> why?
>> if you laugh at it, you can deal with it. i -- that's how i've lived my whole life. if i swear to you -- if i were in auschwitz, i would have been doing jokes, just to make it okay for us. >> her career surged again when her withering take on red carpet fashion full of biting remarks and celebrity putdowns exposed her to a whole new group of fans. >> i love performing. it's like a drug for me. >> and in 2010, she felt she was at the top of her game. >> i think i'm working the best i've ever worked now. because i -- it's all been done to me. what are they going to do? are they going to fire me? i've been fired. audiences are not going to like me. let audiences not like me. i've been bankrupt. my husband has -- i mean, it's okay. and i'm still here. so it's okay. >> alexandra field, cnn, new york.
>> can't believe i'm sitting here telling you this. joan rivers at the age of 81 has died. we're making phone calls and trying to talk to people to try to understand exactly what happened. but just let me bring in alexandra field, who you were sitting here just a couple days ago and telling us the news initially, because we knew she had gone in for, what, a routine throat surgery, and something terribly wrong happened. >> right. we were just blown away a week ago. she went to this endoscopic clinic, had a procedure to take a look at her vocal cords. we have learned from some of her friends she had sort of chronic problems with her throat. this is something that should have been a simple and, again, routine procedure. and it was last thursday that we learned that she had gone into cardiac and respiratory arrest during that procedure. she was then rushed to mt. sinai hospital, not far from that clinic where the procedure was being performed. and at that point, she was brought in critical condition. it's been a week now of fans just waiting for good news, hoping for good news. her daughter, melissa rivers,
her young grand son cooper, just 13 years old. they immediately flew from l.a. a week ago. they have been by joan's side, putting out statements. sort of poignantly saying earlier this week they have fingers crossed. we now know the very sad news that joan rivers has died. but they were watching, waiting and really hoping they were going to see signs of improvement. but, you know, when somebody goes into cardiac arrest, when somebody goes into respiratory arrest, we knew a week ago just how serious this could potentially be. >> they had put her in a medically induced coma, correct, and they weren't quite sure what might have been lost. brain capacity, you know, lack of oxygen for x period of time. and just though getting the different updates from the family, to me, listen -- i'm sure to a lot of people, just stunned. stunned that this has happened. we are just now, if you're just now joining us, joan rivers at the age of 81, legendary comedienne. i ran into her in the airport a couple months ago, she was a
hoot, the best word i could use to describe her. as we talk about her legacy and stay with me, alexandra, we have brian stelter on the phone with me. he is our senior media correspondent, host of "reliable sources", and brian, when you look at her body of work going all the way back to late night with johnny carson, there are no words to explain how amazing this woman was. >> reporter: that's what i am most struck by in the obituary we just heard. her career has traced the arc of television and media. not just television, but all of media. because here is a woman who gets her start, her claim to fame, on broadcast television in the days of the big three networks with johnny carson. but now more recently, she had a youtube channel. she was on cable. she was on fashion police, of course. so she was able to invent and reinvent herself so many different times. frankly, in a way i think many others look up to and will continue to look up to now she's
passed. >> and you think of joan rivers, her sense of humor. you think of joan rivers and her daughter melissa, her only daughter, so incredibly close. her -- you know, acerbic comments when it comes to all things fashion on "fashion police" and "celebrity apprentice." >> sometimes mean comedy. but i interviewed nancy o'dell over the weekend for "reliable sources" host of "entertainment tonight" and she said during joan rivers' coverage of the red carpet more honesty came through. because not every dress is a hit, not every dress is perfect. and joan rivers was one of the first, not always the first, but one of the first to actually say that. to actually be more blunt, more honest, when it comes to that kind of coverage. i think her red carpet coverage is going to be remembered for a long time. and by the way, when it comes to the red carpet, that's another example of how she reinvented herself. she covered the carpet for e and then went over to the tv guide
network, because her contract ended at one network, she found another place to go and could have with her daughter, melissa. and that's an example of a woman who can constantly evolve and reinvent herself over the years. >> and people loved her. they kept watching, loved her sense of humor. i think she had this almost wicked sense of humor in the way she would talk about people, biting sense of humor, and michelle turner, entertainment correspondent, hopping on the phone with me now as we're reporting the sad, sad news that at age 81, joan rivers has passed away. and michelle, when is the last time you sat down across from joan? >> reporter: oh, gosh. you know, i have interviewed her many times. i think the last time that i got to sit and talk to her, it's been a couple of years. but i remember the interview. it was so funny, because the first thing i did when i saw her, she had these wonderful shoes on. they were really interesting looking. they were black pumps with this rose heel. and i said to her oh, gosh, joe
paterno joan, these shoes are gorgeous. and she said i'm not going to tell people, they didn't pay me for these shoes. i thought it was hilarious. a great bit. kind of who she was, very honest very straight forward, to the point, unapologetic, sometimes to a fault. but it's the reason that everyone loved her the way they did. and, of course, this is the news that some people have been preparing for for a little bit. of course, the news we never wanted to get that we're getting this afternoon. >> she -- she had joked about her own morality at that show the night before she went i know for this throat surgery. it's something she had joked about before. remind us where she was the eve before the surgery. >> yes. she did. she was performing that day before she had the surgery, that wednesday before at a comedy club here in new york.
and she did have jokes during her set about her own morality. she also wrote about it in her book, her 2012 book "i hate everyone starting with me." she talked about the fact she hates obituarieobituaries, but funerals because that's where she could go to pick up newly single men. she said she could make a joke out of any situation. they always believed that's what comics did best. they made everyone feel a little bit at ease when they were going through the most pain. so that's what she felt like she needed to joke about, the most painful situations. and she thought that would make everybody in the room feel a little better. >> instead of talking about her, let me pause and let's listen to joan rivers herself. her most memorable moments, looking back. >> here's joan rivers! >> my hot flashes are so bad, i was hit by a heat-seeking
missile. you don't know. i want to see three people who make tons of money and have no talent, i will not watch you guys. i will watch the kardashians. >> what happened to your high? what happened? >> i scratched it on al roker's zipper. >> and now it's time to bring up the man of the hour, comedy legend, joan rivers! >> joan, joan, joan, joan! >> i do an upside down glass, because i have not seen cups this empty since i did shots with dina lohan. i'm sure some of you out there are wondering if my breasts are real, okay? let me just explain to you. thank you. this one is. this one isn't. what we do is a calling, my
dear. we make people happy. it's a calling. >> joan rivers, age 81, has just passed away, just reporting this news here. we're hearing a little bit from her family, got a statement from melissa rivers, which i'll read once again in a moment. but i have on the line with me right now, the legendary larry king, who larry king, i hate that we're talking again like this, reporting on the passing of joan rivers. i'm sure you interviewed her millions of times. where to begin? >> i begin 45 years ago when joan came on my old all-night radio show, and she appeared with me at a local radio in miami. she used to own a club in los angeles, the little club. she was not only just a funny
person, she was a wonderful lady. she was a great mother. great grandmother. she was devoted to her husband. tragically, her husband killed himself. she never remarried. took that with her the rest of her life. named her grandson is named edgar, in his honor. and she loved life. everybody she kidded, she took -- she knew no boundaries. she had -- everything was funny to her. and because everything was funny, you couldn't really object. because she took no prisoners. in any circumstance. she was joan rivers, and we'll never see her likes again. she was also a great pal. my wife and i had dinner at her home in new york. she had a wonderful apartment home. she was a very good hostess. she was just a -- she was a terrific lady. she was always available. and a hard worker. and there was a great documentary on her a couple years ago where she never
edited. so it showed how hard she worked and she would travel anywhere to do a show and laid out jokes on the floor. so she would remember jokes. she may have forgotten. it was always fun being around her. in fact, one night we both worked together at a comedy event in los angeles, a charity event. she was late. so i did 20 minutes and then she did an hour and a half. and you see her right there, how just -- that face. that's joan. there will never be a joan rivers again. >> larry, what was she like when the cameras weren't rolling? >> she was really wonderful. she was funny. she was sensitive. she cared about things. she cared about the world. she cared about her friends. she had great, great girlfriends. and they gathered together a lot. they -- she was just -- what you see is what you got. there was that seed of joan. and then the other side was, a
warm person, lady -- she wasn't afraid to attack people off the air, either. she was just -- she was joan rivers all of the time. you know, it was just -- her roasts were incredible. she was ready to be roasted. she was funny at a roast. she was hysterical at every event she ever went to. she stole the event. she knew -- as you can see right there. she made other comics laugh heartily. >> i heard she had drawers and drawers of jokes in her apartment. >> she did. >> we'll talk about that in a second. larry, let met just play a clip. this is one of the times joan rivers came on your show. >> if i think i want to talk about it, then it's right to talk about. and i purposely go into areas that people are still very
sensitive and smarting about. >> why? >> if you laugh at it, you can deal with it. i really -- that's how i live my whole life. if you -- if i swear to you -- i'm jewish. if i were in auschwitz, i would have been doing jokes just to make it okay for us. >> tell me about those drawers and drawers of jokes, larry king. larry king, you with me? >> yeah, he's going to be right back. >> he'll be right back. okay. he'll be right back, we'll wait for larry king who is a dear friend, as you heard him, be joan rivers has passed away at the age of 81. we have to take a quick break. we will be right back. ♪
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can we talk here for a second? no big deal to have a woman in the whitehouse. john f. kennedy had a thousand of them. i am telling you. >> the internationally renown comedienne, joan rivers, at the age of 81, has died. and we're getting now as we bring invoices of people who have known her, loved her, larry king was on the phone with me and said there will never be another joan rivers. i do have a statement from the
family. let me read that for you. this is from her daughter, melissa rivers. it is with great sadness i announce the death of my mother, joan rivers. she passed peacefully at 1:17 p.m., surrounded by family and close friends. it goes on. cooper and i have found ourselves humbled by the outpouring of love, support and prayers we have received from around the world. they have been heard and appreciated. my mother's greatest joy in life was to make people laugh. although that is difficult to do right now, i know her final wish would be that we return to laughing soon. donald trump is on the phone with me. and when we think of donald trump, definitely think of the apprentice, "celebrity apprentice" joan rivers. she and her daughter melissa, were contestants on that show. mr. trump, are you with me? >> i am indeed. >> so here we have the passing of your friend. tell me what -- tell me about your relationship with joan rivers. i know just even for your show,
it's a grueling schedule. and she won. >> she did win. she was a spectacular woman. she had tremendous energy. and frankly, intelligence. and she won. and she beat out, you know, we have 14 or 15 contestants, many were young athletes that were not able to keep up with her. she was 76 years old on the night she won. and she was amazing. her strength was incredible. and she became really a very good friend of mine. and it's just shocking to hear. in fact, we had her -- we just finished shooting a new season of "the apprentice" and she was on two episodes in a very major way. so surprising. i saw her recently. she was in great health and great spirit. so it's even more shocking when i see what just happened. >> you know, you mention on the show all these different younger athletes, other big names who were on "celebrity apprentice." and the fact she won, tell me
about joan rivers' competitive streak. >> that was the amazing thing. she was against a baseball player who was a long ball hitter, long big home run hitter. i don't have to mention names, i don't want to embarrass too many people here. and she was against a fighter, great fighter. and after three or four episodes, mentally, they were exhausted. and she went on and she was stronger at the end than she was at the beginning. and i actually mar developed at it. one of the reasons she won. i said look at the energy that this woman displays. and she also displayed great judgment and really, really smart. and, you know, it's a tough show to win. and you need stamina. she had unbelievable stamina. >> what about her daughter? donald, what about her daughter, melissa? they were on the show together. they're incredibly close. can you just describe the relationship you saw, especially when the cameras weren't rolling? >> well, the relationship she had, the love she had for the daughter was unbelievable, for melissa. and frankly, she was extremely
protective. not that melissa needed that. but she thought that the son rose and shone with melissa. she loved her daughter. she was an amazing mother. but she really loved melissa more than anybody, anything. there was nobody else. and that's the way it is. it must be very, very, very tough right now for melissa. because i know that -- and they're very different personalities. and that showed very much so on "the apprentice," frankly. they were very, very different types of people. but the love they had for each other was amazing. so i know melissa is going through a very, very hard time. >> certainly our hearts and thoughts with the family right now. donald trump, thank you so much, for calling in and just sharing a little bit about your friend and the fierce competitive streak in joan rivers when she won at age -- older, certainly, than some of her competitors. again, if you're just joining us and watching cnn, breaking news, joan rivers at the age of 81 has
died. i think it's just worth reminding people and as i do so, alexander field, let me bring you back in. you know, she had undergone this routine throat surgery, something went wrong. and so ultimately there was cardiac arrest. not really sure -- lack of oxygen. the fact that she has died. the night before, and this is the point i'm getting to you with you. the night before, she was doing a show, a comedy show. and you had talked with a friend who had been with her the night before. what did the friend tell you? >> they had this comedy show wednesday night. right after the comedy show, her long-time friend of 40 years, jay redick, collaborated with her on a number of projects, said he met her for dinner around midnight. she gets off stage, she performs for a packed house, she does her routine, and then out to dinner at midnight in her neighborhood. she's a lifelong new yorker, old friend got together and i said, you know, what did you two talk about the night before? and he said we talked about everything like old friends do. anything you talk about with joan is always a joke. they had a lot of laughs, he
said. she had mentioned him, that she was going in the next morning for this procedure. but really he made very little of it when we spoke to him. he didn't indicate she was or should have been in any way concerned or nervous or any of that. just that the two had been together. she was going to perform again the following night or two nights later, which would have been friday, so a show on wednesday, another show booked for friday with this procedure in the middle. she had 27 stand-up performances booked for the season. not to mention the "fashion police" show, this show she was doing online. >> work ethic. >> 81 years old. >> yeah. >> you look back and say what's the height of joan rivers' career. and a lot of people would say hey, you're on carson for 20 years, that's got to be the height, the pinnacle for any comedian. but then you say look, this is a woman who did a late-night show as a woman, maybe that's the highlight. becomes known to another generation for sort of inventing the red carpet schtick she
became famous for later in life and then went on to "fashion police" and did not stop. it's fashion week here in new york right now and i know over there there are going to be a lot of heavy hearts. you didn't want to be on her bad side, of course, in terms of what you were wearing. you don't want to be lambasted by joan. she had a sharp tongue. but she sort of invented that field of fashion comedy that became her brand in later years. >> i have an interview with a fashion designer as soon as i get off the set and i don't know if it's happening now, because they were dear friend as well. it's like everyone here in new york somehow had this connection to joan rivers. when we come back, more on the life of joan rivers who has died at the age of 81. >> i hate old people. i say i hate -- oh! the bodies? the bodies -- enjoy your bodies now. oh. out of braziere, this is how i go to the bathroom.
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lives. >> joan rivers on with larry king talking about her husband, edgar rosenberg, who had taken his own life. and you can hear, she was mad. she was mad in talking to larry. larry king is back on the line. larry, are you with me? >> yeah, i'm right here. >> larry king, you had talked to us a little while ago about how there will never be another joan rivers. we were talking about her chops, her comedian chops. but to see this different side of joan rivers, to talk about her late husband, she was angry. tell me more about that. >> she was angry, disappointed. she didn't see it coming at all. i guess a lot of people treat suicide differently. i know some people very angry at robin williams for taking his talent away. there's a great argument, a lifelong argument over suicide. is it guts or is it chicken. are you escaping or are you taking the ultimate act that's the hardest to take. i regard it as touching.
but she took it badly. i interviewed her so many times. you see all the different looks of joan rivers as you have on the screen there. in fact, i saw her just a couple weeks ago at craig's restaurant here on melrose in los angeles. she looked terrific. she was bouncing up around, table hopping, as she always did. she was a table hopper. but as with regard to her husband, she took that very, very, very badly. >> did she ever, larry, think of remarrying? >> i don't think she ever did. she dated a lot. and she saw a lot of men. i think there was one guy -- i never talked to her much about it. i think there was one guy she was dating semi seriously. but she never did. her career came first after that. her career and her daughter and her grandchild. they were paramount in life. career and family. >> can we talk about johnny carson? that was her big break, right, back in 1965? >> he shunned her after that. >> what happened?
>> she never got over that. >> what happened? >> wouldn't take a call from her. well, he thought that, you know, she was his sub host, and that he gave her a start. and that she blindsided him by taking a deal with fox to go on opposite him. he thought -- i think he saw her as heir apparent. johnnie can be that way. he never talked to her again. wouldn't take a call, wouldn't talk to her. of course, never booked her on again. >> and how did that sit with her, all those years later? >> disappointed. she never felt it as being -- she thought -- her career a great boost. she never thought him -- she never thought it as disloyal. it was a career move. i could see johnny's viewpoint too. that maybe she should have called him first and said, listen, i'm talking to fox, what do you think? what would he have said? don't take it? i think that's what hurt him most. i think he thought he deserved a phone call. >> larry king, thank you so much
for coming on. >> any time, dear. >> i really appreciate you very much. as we're learning of the death of 81-year-old joan rivers, let's take a look back at her life. >> can we talk? >> joan rivers could always talk. >> do you know what it's like to go in the morning to take off a facial mask and realize you're not wearing one? oh, you don't know! >> with sometimes outrageous jokes, nothing was ever off limits. >> i hate old people. i -- oh! if you are [ bleep ] old, get up and get out of here right now! >> born in 1933, rivers says even as she was growing up in the new york suburbs, she wanted to be an actress. >> i never had a choice. i always say it's like a nun's calling. >> but her show business career didn't start until she was 24 years old. the fi beta cabba graduate with one failed marriage moved out of her parents' home and tried to get a jobs an actress. while her acting career didn't
take off right away, she got her first break writing for the puppet topo gigio on "the ed sullivan show." and joined the iconic second city comedy theatre in 1961. at her comedy career was taking off, she married producer edgar rosenberg in 1964, who would manage her career and become the focus of so many of his wife's jokes. the pair had one daughter together, melissa. in 1965, rivers saw her career get a huge boost when she appeared on "the tonight show" with johnny carson for the first time. >> he gave all of us our starts. my life changed. i went on the show the first time, seven years of struggling, coming out of second city. and on the air, he said, "you're going to be a star." and the next day my life is different. >> it was the start of a 21-year professional relationship with carson and the show. she made regular appearances, eventually becoming the show's
substitute host in 1983. but rivers' decision to launch her own show on the brand-new fox network in the fall of 1986 ended her relationship with carson and "the tonight show." >> he should have been proud. i finally, after my contract was up, done, i took another job. i think because i was a woman, he never thought i would leave. or maybe he liked me better. but the minute i became competition, it became out to kill me. out to kill me. and that's what came down. forever. never spoke to me again. >> the show was cancelled in 1987. a few years later, her husband, edgar, committed suicide in a philadelphia hotel room. >> some idiot called the house, and they said, where is your mother? somebody from philadelphia. and melissa said she's not here and they said please tell her her father killed himself. how is that for a phone call? >> rivers regrouped by doing
what she always did, putting her life out in the open. >> is there any area you would not go to? >> no. if i think i want to talk about it, then it's right to talk about. and i purposely go into areas that people are still very sensitive and smarting about. >> why? >> if you laugh at it, you can deal with it. that's how i've lived my whole life. if you -- if i swear to you -- i'm jewish. if i were in auschwitz, i would have been doing jokes, just to make it okay for us. >> her career surged again when her withering take on red carpet fashion full of biting remarks and celebrity putdowns exposed her to a whole new group of fans. >> i love performing. it's like a drug for me. >> and in 2012, she felt she was at the top of her game. >> i think i'm working the best i've ever worked now. because i -- it's all been done to me. what are they going to do?
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how much have you actually had done? >> two full face lifts and then little bitty bittees. tweakings. you know, like i have a very good friend, steven hoffman, in california. and i'll say, what do you think, steve? tell me the truth. and he'll say, wait another year. wait two years. or he'll say, oh, my god, get in here tonight. >> the life of joan rivers. that's what we're talking about this hour. we have learned just within the past half hour that joan rivers at age 81 has died. she had gone in, just about a week ago for a routine throat surgery. something went horribly wrong. she wound up at mt. sinai. a lot of fans through the last several days, miguel, have come, you know, to just sort of show solidarity. i imagine have been hunkderred down inside her hospital room. what are you seeing there now? >> look, a lot of media gathering here. people starting to find out
about it. and i think people have been holding their collective breaths around the world for joan rivers, hoping for some good news. and i want to correct one thing. she was not in there for a surgery at all. it was an outpatient procedure. this should not have been a big deal. she had performed at lori beachman theater the night before, there until 9:30 or 10:00 p.m. went in very early into yorkville endoscopy, something happened very early on. by 9:30 a.m., a 911 call. she had gone into cardiac arrest, stopped breathing. and then for eight days, her fans, her joan-rangers, as they are called, held their collective breath, hoping against hope they would get good news. it sounded at points there might have been good news. but melissa rivers confirming today that at 1:17 p.m. her mother did pass away, and people are coming up to us now asking what's going on. and there is that moment of shock, that realization, that this great legend has passed on, brooke.
>> and not only miguel, was this supposed to be this routine in and out procedure on her throat, we were just talking do people who had dinner with her the night before, she was at dinner at midnight and indicated no trepidation over this procedure she underwent the next day. miguel marquez, thank you so much. our entertainment correspondent, michelle turner and senior media correspondent, brian stelter. and so we have a lot to talk about. a lot with her, of course. but first to you. we're getting statements now, we think of her, of course, on the red carpet talking fashion, dissing fashion from "fashion police." what has "e" said. >> and her main employer at the time of her fasting. "e" and nbc universal send our deepest condolences to melissa, cooper and entire family. she was unapologetic and dedicated to entertaining all of us and left an indelible mark on
us. i love that word, unapologetic. >> sums her up. i heard you earlier calling her a re invention. and i believe she is the mother of reinvention. for five decades, just when everyone counted her out, joan rivers would reinvent herself, reinvent her career. think of something different to do. >> and a woman who stayed relevant. so much so -- >> incredible work. >> and "e" said at the end of the moment, our hearts are heavy knowing joan will not be bounding through the doors. because she was such a regular presence on that channel. >> and speaking of fashion, it's fashion week here in new york. how do you have red carpet and fashion week with no joan rivers? >> well, you don't. because "e" was bringing their production here to tape two episodes of fashion week -- two episodes of "fashion police" from fashion week. they did it last year. they loved to kind of immerse themselves in that. and they did decide to cancel those productions a couple days ago. they didn't today, but a couple days ago.
and i know they're replacing with some different programming. but you don't really do that without her. i heard an interview with her and melissa a while ago. and she always said, darn, i should have trade marked that, what are you wearing? because we all say it now. i can't even count how many times i've said that on the red carpet in the past couple weeks. exactly. that was joan rivers. >> you mentioned as we're just taking all of this in, her voice. right? so as we mentioned, she was just going in for this in-outpatient procedure on her throat. and so when you listen and watch joan rivers from earlier on in her career to as we know joan rivers recently, her voice has changed. >> yeah, listen to those early recordings of when she first came on "the tonight show" with johnny carson back in the late '60s and early '70s. she sounds like a completely different person. so when they talk about her having throat problems, we see actors and comedians and singers who get nodules on their vocal cords. but her voice got progressively
raspier. she did not have that same tone back in those days. so i'm not sure exactly what was going on with her. but it definitely does seem like there wassing so that got progressively worse that was a chronic thing she had to deal with through the years. >> so ryan seacrest ryan seacre this word trailblazer. when you think of women, that was joan rivers. >> only one to have a late night show. chelsea handler on cable, but she's the only woman to have a late night show. >> just a couple weeks ago chelsea handler steps down and thought of as the only woman in late night but joan was chelsea before chelsea. >> that was the crux of her biggest troefs throughout her career, her feud with johnny carson. she first appeared on the "tonight show" in '65. he brought her and on and so impressed her on as a writer, took her under his wing. she says he was her mentor. in '83, when fox approached her about getting her own show and she decided i guess in '86 to
take the show, didn't tell johnny. >> that was the beginning of the fallout. >> there's two different stories. one was they never spoke again. another was, after he fond out, she tried to call him, he immediately hung up on her. >> we were talking how she has traced the arc of media. fox was a brand-new network. she went over to "e!" she had a youtube channel with lots off fans there and able to follow in that way. >> she was on twitter. >> and ryan also said an joan was full of surprises. witty surprises and had so much spirit. that's the thing about her on the red carpet. if she was the one doing the interview, she always surprised you somehow. >> we have to take a quick break. when we come back, joan rivers has a star on the hollywood walk of fame. we'll show new front of the roosevelt hotel and we'll pull out as we have in the archive that is cnn a bunch of joan rivers one liners. we'll be right back. i have moderate to severe crohn's disease.
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britney spears in an arby's drive through. i don't know. it's black with a little bit of white or is it white with a little bit of black. you know, which is exactly what kris jenner said the first time she saw the northwest. and anthony weiner just saw parkner this and went limp for the first time in years. >> here's lindsay leaving rehab in malibu. the bu. >> i'm thrilled she's out. i can't believe those are the shoes she has chosen to take her next 12 steps in. i love this. how chic can you get. i love this, love this, love this, love this. the only thing i don't kind of like is that gothic makeup, you know, her makeup is heavier, like a sack full of gwyneth paltrow's hate mail. i love the hair. that hair is really the second biggest cut she's ever made. the first was when she cut kelly
and michele out of destiny's child. >> denim overalls like that, he will be mistaken for a day laborer. i don't get it. >> i don't get it. i know what he was trying to achieve because i'm very close to him. he wanted to dress like a train conductor because he is sending out the message that black men like caboose. i think this is the cutest thing i've seen since reese witherspoon mouthed off to that cop. but otherwise -- picture please. could be paris hilton working on the pilot for her new tv show "taxicab infections." >> nischelle turner and brian stelter joining me. just watching that, we were all giggling through the whole thing. i was asking both of you to come up with those zingers, the one-liners. she had a teamworking on that. >> of course. all comedians have a team of writers. she's a funny lady.
there's something about comedic timing >> delivery. >> impeccable delivery. she was impeccable at it. she was just that good. >> my understanding was a bunch of index cards. she would have piles of index cards and pick the best ones as the moment struck her because it's a panel show, "fashion police." she's the leader that have discussion. exactly. and it's not a question for today, but it is a question down the road about what e!" is going to do about that. i can't think of someone that's going to play that traffic cop. >> she embodies that show. that show is about her. you're right. it's not a question for today. you were talking earlier she is big on social media and has a twitter page. her profile is a simple girl with i'll dream on twitter. i do believe everyone would say that dream has been fulfilled of hers, 50 years of a brilliant career. >> more moments of joan rivers, roll it.
>> here's joan rivers! ♪ >> my hot flashes are so bad, i was hit by a heat seeking missile. you don't know. >> if i want to see three people who make tons of money and have no talent, i will not much wa you guy. i will watch the kardashians. it is -- >> what happened to your eye? what happened. >> i scratched it on al roker's zipper. it was just -- >> and now it's time to bring up the man of the hour. comedy legend joan rivers. [ shouts of joan, joan, joan ] >> i drew an upside down glass because i have not seen cups this empty since i did shots
with dina lohan. i'm sure some of you are wondering if my breasts are real, okay? let me just explain to you, thank you. this one is. >> can we talk? because i've got some sad news from the world of showbiz to share with you. i'm jake tapper. this is "the lead." pop culture lead, she was a comedy icon and trailblazer. for 50 years, her witt was a lethal weapon and you never wanted to walk by her unless you looked your very best. now the world has lost joan rivers at the age of 81. the politics lead. he has gone from the man who might be president to the man who might be a prisoner. the verdict is in against virginia's former governor at his dramatic corruption trial. and the world lead