Joan Rivers Recalls How She Bombed Jokes in a PBS Special (Video)

By Kristina Skorbach, Epoch Times
September 24, 2014 2:27 pm Last Updated: September 24, 2014 9:39 pm

Back in 2006, filmmaker Michael Kantor, interviewed the late comedienne, fashion icon, writer, and TV host Joan Rivers for his PBS series “Make ‘Em Laugh: The Funny Business of America.”

“She was not only hilarious, but incredibly insightful,” Kantor, who is now the “American Masters” series executive producer, said about his interview with Rivers.

American Masters has made the 2006 “Make ‘Em Laugh” interview outtakes available on the “American Masters” website to supplement the “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” film stream and content.

In “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work” (2010), which examines the 76th year of the TV icon while exploring her more personal life, Rivers recalled her life as a young comedienne on the road. 

“We would play at these places… and many of them didn’t speak English. And there was one place they had a translator for me, so I would do the joke in English and bomb! Bomb! And someone would repeat it in Yiddish so i would bomb twice on every joke,” she said. 

“They hated you double the amount,” Rivers said. 

The 90 minute special will also explain how the breakthrough female performer fought for her thriving career in a business driven by younger stars.

“A familiar face in past ‘American Masters’ films about Johnny Carson and Mel Brooks, Joan Rivers was a pioneer worthy of her own place in the series’ distinguished library. I’m pleased we’re able to bring Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg’s moving documentary to audiences during this time of remembrance, and pay tribute to Joan,” said Kantor, according to PBS