I’ve always been a Joan Rivers fan, so when the WE tv network executives asked me to Executive Produce this season, I was thrilled. She’s outrageous, super smart, and very real. But I didn’t appreciate just how real until she suggested that we follow her getting her plastic surgery.
Opening your life up to the cameras takes a kind of bravery and honesty that is rare – but to find it in a person of Joan’s stature is truly impressive. Joan is a very stylish woman. She’s built a small empire at QVC based on her good taste and style. And she rips on clothing-challenged celebrities on Fashion Police. So when the plastic surgeon told her that she could not have ANY make-up on before the surgery, no hair spray, no mascara-nothing, I feared that our cameras would not be welcome. Typically, Joan doesn’t open the front door for the morning paper without full hair and make-up…let alone for the TV cameras. And I hadn’t known Joan long enough for her to trust me in such a vulnerable state. But when I asked Joan if it was okay for us to shoot her on the morning of her surgery, she looked at me like I had two heads and said: “Of course. How else are you going to show what’s really going on?” I was relieved and impressed. Then she added, “And if anything goes wrong in the surgery, just keep the cameras rolling no matter what Melissa says. She will want to shut you down for privacy, but you keep rolling. She’ll be happy she has the footage later. She may get angry. You may get fired. But she’ll be happy she has it, later.” She added laughing, “much later.” Now THAT is why she’s Joan Rivers.
It’s time I faced a difficult truth: my Mom, Joan Rivers, has a plastic surgery problem. Thing is, people who have this problem never seem to hit bottom…and if they did they’d just ask for a butt lift. What my Mom needs is a plastic surgery intervention. I thought the distraction of coaching Cooper’s little friend Russell in the art of stand-up comedy would get Mom’s mind off this stupid idea-but no such luck. Doesn’t she know that I’m genuinely concerned for her health and safety? People have actually died during plastic surgeries…although I have to admit most of them looked pretty amazing in their coffins. Oh, dear God, what did I just say? Now Mom’s got me on the road to Crazytown…which, in this case, is right at the corner of Nip and Tuck.
It’s winter in Los Angeles, a time when every woman-of-a-certain-age’s fancy turns to…cosmetic surgery. Why not? Living here in Plastic Surgery Mecca and not having work done is like living in the Florida Panhandle and not developing a taste for gator. Besides, when they punch my card this time it’ll be face lift number ten, and you know what that means? The next one’s free! However, I have a feeling Melissa is going to try and talk me out of it. She doesn’t understand that in my business you’ve got to maintain your looks because there’s always somebody younger and hotter sneaking up on you.
Like Cooper’s ten-year-old friend Russell, who’s decided to become a stand-up comic. I told Russell I’d be happy to help him get his act together. That is until he gets good enough to steal work from me like that tramp Betty White, in which case I’ll cut his legs out from under him and leave him by the side of the road for dead. OK, I didn’t tell him that second part, but I imagine he’ll find out on his own soon enough.