The Rivers (Still) Wild
BY Greg Archer
August 25 2008 12:00 AM ET
Getting old sucks, and same-sex marriage might suck for gays. At least that’s how comedy maven Joan Rivers sees it. Not that anybody was asking, really, but Rivers, who’s been getting rave reviews at Scotland's Edinburgh Comedy Festival for her London-bound show, Joan Rivers: A Work in Progress by a Life in Progress, pulled out all the stops in between performances recently. Beyond chatting up her recurring role in the IFC channel’s savage music-industry-skewed series Z Rock (premiering August 24), Rivers was more candid than usual on a number of issues: Obama’s hard to trust, our country is in the toilet, and why aren't the gays embracing Sarah Silverman? Oy, can she still talk…
You never stop moving. What do you love most about your life right now? Are you kidding? I am here in Edinburgh doing a play that I wrote that is sold-out.
It’s going well? The show has changed. It’s better and tighter. And these are very strange audiences over here. They are German and they are Polish and French. It’s a festival. It’s getting standing ovations here where they don't stand up in Europe. We go from here to London, and then we'll see.
You've dubbed the show "a work in progress." Can you talk about that, because it has some deep, candid moments. It started out where I had a lot to talk about -- about aging and relationships, and about betrayals and things that everybody goes through. My philosophy has always been "Push forward and don't look back." You can't change the past, so why discuss it? Now all kinds of things are coming out in the show. I'd love to take it to New York. I think it’s finally ready.
There are probably so many stellar comics over there, but is there anybody back in the States that you’re jazzed about? Lynne Koplitz, who plays Dina on Z Rock. I saw her act. Unbelievable! She is so ready to become big; to give birth! She can be as big as Kathy Griffin.
You like Kathy? Oh, yeah. Kathy and I have known each other for 15 years already. She deserves everything she has gotten. She’s worked hard for it.
You and Kathy have a nice gay following. Yeah. And does Sarah Silverman have that?
I am not so sure. No? I don't know, and I find that interesting, because she is hilarious.
She is. I loved Jesus Is Magic. Oh, having an affair with God -- fabulous! But gay people were the first in Greenwich Village to think I was funny, and they were there long after and in between. If I look out in the front row and see six gays, I know it’s going to be a good show -- that’s it, OK, we're home free. Gay men are willing to laugh at more risqué things. I know that sounds silly, but they are willing to go out on a line, and they are much more open to new kinds of comedy. I always say, "If I had a second child, I would have loved to have had a gay son after Melissa." I wouldn't be sitting here alone in Edinburgh not knowing what to put on.