Tuesday, March 24, 2009

My Day with Joan Rivers: Part Six

The time has come for my final blog about the Joan Rivers Weekend. The last event of the day was the Private Reception. I knew that I would have some time with Joan and it was a unique chance to get her to sign something from my huge Joan Rivers Memorabilia Collection.

I have a few hundred pieces in the collection. Many signed, the majority not signed. I put some thought into what pieces I should bring to the reception. I wanted to find things that were mile-stones in Joan's career. Special.

The night before the reception, I went through the Playbills and programs I have. There were many to choose from but I finally narrowed it down to two:

1) The program from the night Joan sold out Carnegie Hall (not many people can claim that).

2) A Broadway Show League Talent '61 Playbill (this because it is the oldest piece in my collection and I'm guessing there are not many around). On April 25 and 28, 1961, Joan starred with Buzzi in a play called The Goddess.

I also took Joan's two new books with me (Murder at the Academy Awards and Men are Stupid and They Like Big Boobs).

Before the reception I chatted with a film crew that was following Joan for the day. (I am hoping to have some great blogs about them soon). When I mentioned the pieces I brought for Joan to sign, they asked if they could film our interaction. Of course they could!

Joan signing my copy of Murder at the Academy Awards.

Dearest Michael, You are fabulous! Much love & affection - Joan Rivers.
Joan said I'm fabulous. Does she know me or what!?

When I gave Joan my copy of the plastic surgery book Men Are Stupid and They Like Big Boobs, she asked who it was for. "Me!" I responded. She laughed and then signed it.

I don't remember who I was smiling at as Joan signed the book. Perhaps an envious fan because I was getting so much Joan time?

Dearest Michael - One day you'll need this! Not yet! Joan Rivers.
Was she trying to tell me something? Do I need Dr. Koffman on speed dial?

When I handed the Carnegie Hall program to Joan, she opened it and read:

Friday, February 4, 1983 at 7:30 and 10:30
Joan Rivers
The Semi-Legend Comes Home
special guests
Liliane Montevecchi and Smothers Brothers

"There it is," she said. "What a night that was." Then she signed the cover for me.

To Michael - Much Love, Joan Rivers. This was a great night!

Then I told Joan I brought the oldest piece of my collection for her to sign. The Broadway Show League Talent '61 Playbill. Joan was surprised to see the 48-year old program. She took it from me and said, "This is what started it all."

Joan signing the cover.

Joan signed it and asked where her name was inside. There were 68 one-act plays over the two days of performances. We flipped through the program until we found her name.

After we found her name, Joan had the camera crew film the program. Then she asked me, "Do you know who my co-star Buzzi is?"

"No, but I've always wondered," I answered.

"Ruth Buzzi of Laugh-In fame."

Michael - This started me - seriously. Joan Rivers

Joan and Michael.


Heather P. said...

This is great! It brought shivers to my skin! You are blessed!

Michael Rivers said...

Hi Heather!

Good to hear from you. It was a great moment. When I look at the pictures I shiver too!

Ryan (Gilbert, AZ) said...

WOW!! This is sooo awesome! I love it. That is so cool about the program that she signed where it all “started.”

Michael Rivers said...

Hey Ryan,

I loved that she wrote that on the program too. It was a great moment to see her react that way.

Jan G. said...


Scott C. (Minneapolis) said...

This turned out great!!!

Tom (Minneapolis) said...


WOW! What a day full of fantastic memories for you!

Thanks for sharing!

Michael Rivers said...

Hey Tom,

Yes, it was a great day. I have lots of good memories from it!

Alice (ND) said...

You must have been flashing your charming side to get Joan R. to sign so many things for you !

Michael Rivers said...

Hi Alice,

I had to turn on my charm a bit. Just to be sure she signed everything. haha. Seriously, she was really flattered that I had those things from so long ago!

Terry S. said...

GREAT job! I look forward to your Joan comments & inside spin. I'm saddened that this was the last one. What a collection that you have amassed! I am so happy that you are so close with her. Have you been watching 'The Apprentice'? Hello! Of course you have! Me too! Thanks again for your fine reporting.

Michael Rivers said...

Hi Terry,

Yes, I've been watching The Apprentice. And of course, Joan has been great! I hope you are well and see you in Branson soon!

Don (Minneapolis) said...

I am so glad that you had such a wonderful time. The pictures of you and her were incredible. I can't wait to hear more about the day!

Lori T. (Arizona) said...

What a lucky person you are. I’m so happy for you that you got to experience this. I didn’t realize what a Joan fan you were.

David A. said...

Another cute one. Thanks.

Tina B. said...

How totally awesome was this entire event for you!? By the look on your face in that 4th picture, the caption perhaps could have read...."That's right...in your face!" Anyway, did you work at all during these few days?!!

Anonymous said...

Michael, this is SOOO GREAT! WOW! WOW! WOW! How special and amazing!!!

HalfCrazy said...

Whoa, very cool! You look like the happiest guy in the world in those photos up there! Seems like Joan kinda got tired signing all those stuff LOL.

But I'm sure she was touched when she signed the Broadway thing, that sure brought back memories to her. Great idea to bring those stuff!