While an inferiority complex is a key part of Joan Rivers’ comedy schtick, the legendary funny-woman has an Daytime Emmy for her syndicated talk show and hasn’t exactly been in position to scoop up piles of other awards.
This, however, seemed like a year Rivers might get an invitation to the Oscars.
Ricki Stern and Anne Sundberg’s “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” was an adored prizewinner at Sundance and made $2.93 million at the domestic box office, a solid figure for a documentary. Most pundits expected “A Piece of Work” to at least be in the Oscar conversation, not that a nomination would have included Rivers, who was just the subject of the film.
Instead, “A Piece of Work” failed to even make the 15-film short-list.
Chatting with TV critics on Friday (Jan. 7) morning, Rivers was distracted from her WEtv series “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” to talk about the Oscar snub and left little doubt about her feelings.
“I think it”s abominable. How about that? Yeah,” Rivers cackled when asked if she was disappointed.
Rivers added, “It”s not my film so I can say that. You know what I”m saying? I”m just in it. I think the girls did a great thing. I think the response was amazing. And someone told us in England at [The Big Thing]… They said, ‘You”re not socially significant enough.'”
Melissa Rivers had a philosophical response, noting “But in a weird way, it”s sort of the perfect epilogue for the movie.”
Joan Rivers hopped in and observed, “Because again, sh**ty things happen to you all the time. Thank God.”
If you happen to care, “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” premieres on January 25 and shows the aftermath of Joan Rivers’ decision to leave New York City and move in with Melissa in Los Angeles.
“I think when you can get a reality show that gets the reality, there”s nothing like it,” Joan Rivers told the Television Critics Association press tour gathering. “We all know that. There”s when you can get the truth in a moment, that”s a true moment. That”s gold. And I think that”s what, God knows, we”re trying for. And I so I love that kind of reality.”
Or, as Melissa explained her own love for reality programming, “Read less, watch more TV… Because it pays the bills.”
Joan and Melissa continue to do their “Fashion Police” show, but the longtime red carpet staples are no longer perched in their familiar positions critiquing dresses on Hollywood’s big nights.
“We”ve done it,” Melissa explained. “We”ve gotten too controlled. Everything that we did, everyone else is still doing. You know, there are a few sort of paradigms that I could come up with that would change it significantly and change the face of the red carpet and how we broadcast it. Unfortunately, no one it would be such an expensive undertaking that E! isn”t gonna do that and they”re doing very well with Ryan and Giuliana. I don”t miss the red carpet at all. We were there. We started it. We did it. You always want to leave the party while it”s still fun.”
Joan added, “And it”s not funny. You know, when we were doing it, you could say to Julia Roberts, ‘I hate your dress,’ and she would laugh. You know what I mean? It was fun.”
It’s not that Joan Rivers has stopped making fun of the rich and powerful, of course.
She began the press tour panel with, “I wish we had started this half an hour earlier so we could have seen the end of Oprah…” in reference to Thursday’s already legendary Oprah Filibuster and proceeded to make several jokes at the expense of The Queen of All Media, even cracking that she and Melissa have launched a new cable network called RENT.
Thus far, RENT does not exist. I would almost certainly watch it more frequently than OWN.