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Six Degrees of Joan and Melissa Rivers

Ever wonder how this mother-daughter duo acquired so many celebrity connections?

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Monday, January 23, 2012

Six Degrees of Joan and Melissa Rivers

Everyone (especially Kevin Bacon) knows that Hollywood is a small, incestuous town. So with the second season of “Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?” getting underway, we thought we’d take a look at the mother-daughter duo’s surprising celebrity connections. And yes — even Queen Elizabeth makes the list!

Joan Rivers/Barbra Streisand

During the late 1950s, Rivers appeared in the play “Driftwood,” playing a lesbian with a crush on Babs … before Streisand (and Rivers) were household names.

Joan Rivers/Johnny Carson

Rivers made her first of many appearances on “The Tonight Show” with new host Johnny Carson on Feb. 17, 1965. Carson became a mentor to Rivers, but they had a falling out when Fox gave her her own late-night talk show, “The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers,” placing her in direct competition with Carson. All’s fair in love and show biz!

Joan Rivers/Stockard Channing

Five years before Channing played Rizzo in “Grease,” she appeared in the TV movie “The Girl Most Likely to…,” a black comedy written by Rivers.

Joan Rivers/Billy Crystal

In 1978, Rivers wrote and directed the film “Rabbit Test,” which starred her pal Billy Crystal.

Joan Rivers/Prince Charles/Camilla Parker Bowles

Rivers was reportedly one of only four Americans invited to the royal wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles in 2005.

Joan Rivers/Queen Elizabeth II

Rivers’ royal connections don’t stop with Prince Charles. On Dec. 3, 2007, she was featured before Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh in the Royal Variety Show 2007 at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.

Joan Rivers/Melissa Rivers/Ice-T/Coco

In 2008, Joan and Melissa appeared on NBC’s “Celebrity Family Feud,” competing against Ice-T and his wife, Coco.

Joan Rivers/Melissa Rivers/Donald Trump/Jesse James/Khloe Kardashian

Rivers and daughter Melissa were contestants on “Celebrity Apprentice” in 2009, competing against Jesse James and Khloe Kardashian. Joan threatened to quit the show after Melissa was fired, but she ultimately won the competition. Mom knows best!

Joan Rivers/Tina Fey

In 1961, Rivers performed with Chicago’s legendary Second City comedy club — fellow comedienne Tina Fey also got her start there in the late ‘90s. On April 9, 1983, Rivers hosted “Saturday Night Live”; Fey became the show’s first head writer in 1999.

Joan Rivers/Morgan Freeman/Bill Cosby

From 1972 to 1976, Rivers narrated “The Adventures of Letterman,” an animated segment for the children’s show “The Electric Company.” During the same time period, Freeman and Cosby appeared as cast members on “The Electric Company.”

Melissa Rivers/Cris Judd/Bruce Jenner

In 2003, Melissa appeared on ABC’s “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!” alongside Jennifer Lopez’s ex-husband and Kim Kardashian’s stepfather … and finished in second place.

Joan Rivers/John Travolta/Kirstie Alley

In the 1989 John Travolta-Kirstie Alley hit “Look Who’s Talking,” Rivers played the voice of Julie in an uncredited role.

Joan Rivers/Pee-Wee Herman/Oprah Winfrey/Magic Johnson

In 1988, Rivers was a guest on “Pee-Wee’s Playhouse Christmas Special,” along with Magic Johnson and Oprah Winfrey.

Joan Rivers/Melissa Rivers/Howard Stern

Both Joan and Melissa Rivers have both appeared as guests on Howard Stern’s show.

Joan Rivers/Melissa Rivers/Katie Holmes

Joan and Melissa both played themselves in the 2004 Katie Holmes movie, “First Daughter.”

Joan Rivers/Cameron Diaz/Mike Myers/Eddie Murphy/Julie Andrews

In 2004, Rivers played herself as a voice in “Shrek 2” as part of the star-studded cast.

Joan Rivers/Portia de Rossi/Bradley Cooper

Rivers played herself in three episodes of plastic surgery drama “Nip/Tuck”; de Rossi and Cooper also appeared on the show, among other stars. Now, stay tuned to “Joan & Melissa” this season as Melissa has to deal with her mother’s desire for even more nips and tucks!

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