I’m still not happy with TV Land for giving up their “all classic television, all the time” format in favor of bringing in a new crop of reality shows that, quite frankly, we could see on virtually any other network on the dial. But with that said, I have to admit that their latest endeavor – “How’d You Get So Rich?” – is a unique concept that I haven’t seen anywhere else, introducing viewers to hard-working, regular folks who went from rags to mega-riches by coming up with ideas and inventions that are pretty simple.
The show’s host…? Joan Rivers. And, boy, does that woman know how to liven up a TCA panel.
“I don’t know about any of you,” she began, “but, you know, you walk down a street and somebody goes past you in a Maserati or a Lamborghini or whatever those stupid cars are, and you go, ‘How did they get so fucking rich?’ Our show is ringing the doorbells, walking in, and talking to nouveau riche people…and it is so great because they will answer you. They are stupid enough to tell you where their money came from. No ‘oh, well, I don’t think I should talk about it.’ No, it’s, ‘Oh, yes. It’s $4 million, and my husband made it in drugs.’ Our follow-up show is ‘How’d You Get So Fuckin Poor?’ That’ll be hosted by the Madoffs. And everyone will say the same thing: ‘Because of you!'”
But, seriously, folks, you can tell that she really does love the show…not that it stops her from making fun of some of the individuals who are spotlighted on it, or from coming right out and saying that some of the inventions that these people have gotten rich from are so dumb / obvious that they’ll make you want to kill yourself.
“One of them I love is Hoffman,” she said. “You know how you blow bubbles, and it makes a bubble? This guy made one that makes five bubbles. You understand? Big fucking deal, right? He lives next door to Barbra Streisand. Do you understand? His dog has…and I’m not making a lie, we have it in one of the episodes…a psychiatrist. He has a woman come in, and…you can’t laugh because you’re filming, you know. You’re, like, ‘Hmm, this looks interesting.’ And she’s making the dog feel relaxed. How much more relaxed can you be? You can lick your balls! I mean, I don’t know what more you want!
“It’s the most wonderful, amazing show because what we’re doing…it’s aspirational. You have an idea and you believe in the idea, and if it’s a good idea…I mean, they all work like dogs. There’s not one person that said, ‘9:00 to 5:00 is my deal.’ Every one that made it worked very, very hard. The Slanket guy…you know, the blanket you put your hands through? He’s 27 years old. $74 million he made on the stupid Slanket, which he made as a joke. He gave it to an uncle he didn’t like for Christmas because he thought it would be very funny, and the uncle called him up and said, ‘Can you get me five more?’ Something went, ‘Bingo,’ and he started making them. But he works without a stop. All of them work without a stop. It’s so amazing: you can make it on things that you’re doing at home now. Take a good look when you go home, because maybe that’s your ticket.”
Okay, now that you’ve got an idea about the show, let’s fill out the rest of this post with the off-color laughs Joan provided, shall we?
* “I must have washed lepers’ feet in a previous life. I am doing what I love. From the time I could put two words together, I wanted to be in this business, and I’m still in this business at 197…? And I’m still relevant…? And I fill rooms of college kids…? I’m not working hard. I’m playing every day, but, oh, yeah, really, it’s tough to go out in the street, makeup, hair, pretty clothes, and asking people questions. And getting a check at the end…? That’s not bad. That’s better than Auschwitz.”
* “The basic thing underneath (‘How’d You Get So Rich?’) is the old thing, ‘If they can do it, I can do it.’ That’s what this show is about. And it’s the old American way, isn’t it? No one built log cabins for them…because they weren’t Jews. They went themselves and cut down the trees. I would be saying, ‘Where is the tree cutter? Over there, please.'”
* On her ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ competition: “Annie ‘Douche.’ I didn’t like her. I wouldn’t have liked her if she played fucking bingo. It had nothing to do with poker.”
* On Jay Leno’s new show: “I think it’s brilliant that they put Leno at 10:00 now because Americans get bored more easily and go to sleep earlier, and that’s all I have to say about that. When was the last time you said, ‘Did you hear what Leno said last night?’ Never. So it’s nice for the Midwest because the crops will be greener.”