NEW YORK — Joan Rivers is having a TV good year: She won "The Celebrity Apprentice" and now she's got a new show debuting, "How'd You Get So Rich?" She's also being roasted on Comedy Central.
Her new show premieres Wednesday on TV Land at 10 p.m. EDT. The Comedy Central roast is Sunday at 10 p.m. EDT. Meanwhile, she's got a successful jewelry line on QVC and is gearing up for a show at the Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas.
The show-biz veteran talks about "Celebrity Apprentice," Ed McMahon, red carpets and plastic surgery with The Associated Press.
AP: Tell me about "How'd You Get So Rich?"
Rivers: It's about how people in this day and age with a good idea and a lot of work can still have the American dream. We show how they spend their money and some crazy ways they've made it. It's a lot of fun.
AP: Is there a secret to success?
Rivers: It's having an idea that you totally believe in and then working at it. Not one person that we interviewed did not have a great work ethic. These people don't say, "Boohoo, poor me, it's a recession and I can't do it." Absolutely not.
AP: You're also about to be roasted on Comedy Central.
Rivers: Kathy Griffin is the roast mistress, and we're very good friends. Some of the roasters will be Robin Quivers from "Howard Stern," Lily Tomlin, Carl Reiner and Brad Garrett. These are not typical roasters.
AP: Will you have a thick skin for what they say about you?
Rivers: Yes, I say, "Enjoy yourselves," because when I turn around and give it back to them, I'm going to give it back both barrels.
AP: You recently won "Celebrity Apprentice," beating poker player Annie Duke. Were you surprised you won?
Rivers: I was very surprised I won. I thought Annie Duke would get it. I thought Donald Trump was going to say I'm too emotional. But with the Bernie Madoff scandal and the recession it's not just about money. The whole climate changed. I think that's why I won. I won with heart.
AP: One of your recent books "Men Are Stupid and Like Big Boobs" is a guide to plastic surgery. Why write that?
Rivers: I did a lot of research for it. I haven't had as much as everyone thinks. You have to know how much to do and when to do it. I recommend doing a little bit at a time, otherwise you look like you've been through a wind tunnel. Robert Redford looks like he's in the Witness Protection Program. He could actually kill a man and get away with it now. (Laughs)
AP: Ed McMahon recently passed away. You knew him from your days filling in as host of "The Tonight Show." What was he like?
Rivers: Ed McMahon was the sweetest, nicest guy. What you saw is what you got. He was very kind to me. When I left "The Tonight Show" to go over to Fox, Johnny Carson put out a mandate that nobody was allowed to talk to me. Ed McMahon, whenever he saw me, would come over and make it his business to say hello. That was very sweet.
AP: Late night is still a man's world.
Rivers: There's one girl, Chelsea Handler, but she's not funny. I think there are too many late-night shows.
AP: Do you miss hosting the red carpets with your daughter, Melissa?
Rivers: Not at all. It changed. Melissa and I were the first to do it. We turned going into a building into an event. Now, God forbid you say Nicole Kidman doesn't look gorgeous. Her publicist then won't let you have Tom Hanks. Plus, they're all dressed. Nobody looks like a fool anymore. Nowadays you even recognize the jewelry because it's all borrowed.
AP: What do you think of celebrities today?
Rivers: They're handled badly. ... In the old days, when a celebrity went out they were dressed. I don't want to see Cameron Diaz in sneakers and no makeup. There's no glamour.
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