Tag: Joan Rivers (Page 2 of 2)

2009: A Year’s Worth of Interviews – The Top 100 Quotes

Some people think that the life of a work-at-home entertainment writer is one of the most lax jobs out there, since the perception is generally is that all you do is sit around and watch DVDs, occasionally venture out of the house to see movies or concerts, and then sit in front of the computer and write about them. Okay, it’s a fair cop. But when you throw interviews into the mix, there’s a bit more work involved. First, you’ve got to get the interview (they aren’t always handed to you on a silver platter), then you’ve got to do the research to make sure that you can ask some halfway knowledgeable questions, and after you conduct the interview, let’s not forget that you’ve got to transcribe it, too. In other words, yes, there really is work involved…and when I went back and discovered that I’d done well over 130 interviews during the course of 2009, I suddenly realized why I’m so tired all the time.

For your reading enjoyment, I’ve pulled together a list of 100 of my favorite quotes from the various interviews I conducted for Premium Hollywood, Bullz-Eye, Popdose, and The Virginian-Pilot this year, along with the links to the original pieces where available. As you can see, I had some extremely interesting conversations in 2009. Let us all keep our fingers crossed that I’m able to chat with just as many fascinating individuals in 2010…

1. Pamela Adlon: “In the first season (of ‘Californication’), when we had the threesome with the nipple clamps, I was, like, ‘I don’t get this, I don’t know how you’re gonna do it.’ And then, all of a sudden, there’s a crane with a camera hanging over our heads, and you’re, like, ‘Okayyyyyyy. But how are you gonna sell this? How are you gonna make it work?’ And they ended up shooting it brilliantly, cutting it together, and it just all ended up working without me having to compromise my own personal morals.”

2. Jonathan Ames: “After my first novel, my mother said to me, ‘Why don’t you make your writing more funny? You’re so funny in person.’ Because my first novel was rather dark. And I don’t know, but something about what she said was true. ‘Yes, why don’t I?’ Maybe I was afraid to be funny in the writing. But since then, seven books later, almost everything I’ve done has a comedic edge to it.”

3. Ed Asner: “I loved journalism until the day my journalism teacher, a man I revered, came by my desk and said, ‘Are you planning on going into journalism?’ I said, ‘Yeah.’ He said, ‘I wouldn’t.’ I said, ‘Well, why not?’ He said, ‘You can’t make a living.’”

4. Sean Astin: “When somebody brings up a movie (of mine) that I haven’t heard about in a long time, I feel like a 70-year-old pitcher at a bar somewhere, and somebody walks in and says, ‘Oh, my God, I was in St. Louis and I saw you. You pitched a shutout.’ It’s real. I really did do that, because someone today remembers it.”

5. Darryl Bell: “The legend of ‘Homeboys in Outer Space’ has become much more incendiary than the actual show. It’s funny how I usually challenge most people who talk about how much they disliked ‘Homeboys’ to name me five episodes. Most of them can’t, because they just bought into the ‘oh, it’s awful, just the title. Oh, it’s terrible.’ What’s interesting is that I had a great conversation with Chi McBride, who was doing ‘The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer,’ which, if you want to talk about in terms of the imagery of what was wrong, that show was much more infamous than ‘Homeboys.’ Yet it’s not remembered in the same way because the title didn’t grab you in the same way. I remember Chi pulled me aside and he was, like, ‘Look, everyone who is criticizing what you’re doing would take your job from you in two seconds. All of them. So all I can tell you is that this is one blip on both of our careers, and we are moving on.’”

6. Adam Campbell: “For some reason, people always pick on the British sensibility, and we always come across as stupid, but remember: we used to run this country!”

7. Nestor Carbonell: “Let me make this perfectly clear: I do not wear make-up, and I do not wear eye-liner. This is something I’ve had to deal with my whole life. I remember I was in college in Boston, I had a commercial agent, and they sent me out for some print commercial stuff. And they called me into the office and said, ‘Look, we called you in to talk to you because we just want you to know that…well, we don’t think you need to wear eyeliner.’ And I’m, like, ‘What?’ ‘Yeah, it’s okay, you don’t have to wear it for print ads.’ ‘No, I’m not wearing eyeliner!’ And I kept dabbing my eyes and saying, ‘Look! No eyeliner! I’m not wearing any!’”

8. Elaine Cassidy: “The last two days of shooting (‘Harper’s Island’) was probably the most hardcore, the coldest anyone has ever been. It was like your head was freezing, and my motivation for most scenes was, ‘The minute this scene is over, I’m heading straight over to that heater to get warm.’”

9. Chris Cornell: “I started as a drummer, so I sort of took on singing duties by default. I had sung backgrounds and some lead vocals from behind the drums in different bands that I’d been in, and I’d gotten great responses for the songs I would sing. I really started pursuing the possibility of being a lead singer based on the fact that I was working a full-time restaurant job and then playing gigs at night, hauling drums around. One day, it just dawned on me that, ‘Hey, I could be in a band and be the singer, and it would be a lot easier!’”

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A Quick Chat with Joan Rivers

There’s little question that one of the most lively panels during the early days of the TCA tour was the one dedicated to Joan Rivers’ new TV Land series, “How’d You Get So Rich?” Or, if you read my coverage of the panel, you may be more familiar with it as “How’d You Get So Fucking Rich?” But, y’know, that’s Joan for you. You can learn just about anything you need to know about the concept of the series by checking out the link to my panel coverage that I just offered up (though I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that there’s a new episode of the series airing tonight at 10 PM EST / PST), but after she held court before the crowd of critics, a few of us actually had a chance to speak to her one on one for a few minutes each.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that, were it a contest to see who got the best pull quotes out of Joan, Joel Keller of TV Squad – who preceded me in speaking with her – would have taken the victory (she hadn’t been aware that David Tutera was scheduled to have his own TCA panel, but when he brought it up, she let fly with her thoughts on him in her usual forthright manner), but I still managed to get a couple of good lines from Ms. Rivers about “Z Rock,” “The Celebrity Apprentice,” and “Rabbit Test,” and the closing moments of our conversation will live in my memory forever.

Bullz-Eye: It’s a pleasure to meet you.

Joan Rivers: And it’s a pleasure to…well, we’ll see.

BE: (Laughs) I’ve got only got a couple of minutes, but I’ll do my best.

JR: Ask whatever you want.

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TCA Tour, Day 2: “How’d You Get So Rich?”

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.

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TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: NBC newsflash

Angela Bromstad, President of Primetime Entertainment, and Paul Telegdy, Executive Vice President of Alternative Programming, just popped up on stage to offer the following tidbits of information, some of which were announced awhile ago but which we haven’t yet covered on Premium Hollywood:

* “Southland,” the new drama from John Wells (which was formerly known as “Police”), will premiere on April 9th, Thursday at 10 PM.

From Emmy Award winners John Wells, Ann Biderman and Chris Chulack comes a raw and authentic look at the police unit in Los Angeles. From the beaches of Malibu to the streets of East Los Angeles, “Southland” is a fast-moving drama that will take viewers inside the lives of cops, criminals, victims and their families. Michael Cudlitz plays John Cooper a seasoned Los Angeles cop assigned to train young rookie Ben Sherman. Cooper’s honest, no-nonsense approach to the job leaves Sherman questioning whether or not he has what it takes to become a police officer. Cudlitz and McKenzie are joined by other cast members including Regina King who plays Detective Lydia Adams. Adams lives with and is the primary caregiver of her mother. Her partner, Detective Russell Clarke (Tom Everett Scott) is an unhappily married father of three. Michael McGrady plays Detective Daniel “Sal” Salinger. Sal oversees fellow gang detectives Nate Moretta (Kevin Alejandro) and Sammy Bryant (Shawn Hatosy). Arija Bareikis plays as patrol officer Chickie Brown, a single mom who dreams of being the first woman accepted into SWAT.

* They have ordered 3 more episodes of “ER,” bringing the season total to 23. The series finale will now air on April 2nd, with a one-hour retrospective preceding the two-hour finale. Why the additional episodes? “Why not?” asked Bromstad. She then clarified, however, that it allows John Wells time to get “Southland” ready.

* They have officially signed on for additional seasons of “The Office” and “The Rock”

* NBC has signed Don Cheadle and his company, Crescendo Productions, to a two-year, first-look television development deal.

* Due to its success up against “American Idol,” they will indeed be picking up another season of “Biggest Loser” for next season.

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TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: “Z Rock”

I admit it: I didn’t give “Z Rock” nearly as much love during the summer 2008 TCA tour as I should have.

There are a lot of ad-libbed or loosely-scripted comedy series around nowadays (or, at least, more than there used to be), but this is definitely one that’s close to my heart, given its premise of a hard rock band who makes ends meet by working as a kids’ party band by day. Music-related jokes are all over the place, as you’d imagine, but the show makes room for cameo appearances by famous rockers like Dee Snider, Sebastian Bach, and Dave Navarro (who raises his hand at one point and asks, “Who here has banged Carmen Electra?”) as well as comedians like Gilbert Gottfried and Dave Attell; similarly, both John Popper and Joan Rivers play themselves, doing so repeatedly throughout the first season.

Now that Season 2 of “Z Rock” is on the horizon, IFC has wisely decided to try and maintain the show’s momentum by bringing the trio – David Z, Paulie Z, and Joey Cassata – to the TCA Press Tour, along with Mr. Popper and Lynn Koplitz, who plays Dina on the show.

One thing that a lot of people don’t realize about Z Rock is that they’re actually a real band called ZO2. This isn’t 100% autobiographical, but they’re still out there writing, recording, and performing music, and they really did do the kids’ band circuit in their day…though there’s very little chance that they’ll be doing it again anytime soon.

“Only if we had to,” said Paulie. “If we were desperate. And that’s obviously the point of the show. It’s, like, we did it because we had to. It was the best-paying gig we can get at the most flexibility time-wise, so, yeah, if everything else fell through, we would go back.”

“They’ve talked to me about this before, and I think it’s a huge mistake,” said Popper. “Because you’re creating an audience about 10 years from now, 20 years from now, then you’re sort of seeding the next generation.”

“What we did was at the parties, we were slipping ZO2 CD’s under their beds,” Paulie explained. “Like, the three-year-old kids. So we’re hoping in, 15 years, they’ll be, like, ‘What’s this?’”

“By the reunion tour, they’ll be coming out,” said David, confidently.

The cast loved the opportunity to work with their guest stars, but they were particularly honored by the presence of Joan Rivers.

“Joan’s amazing,” said Paulie. “Everyone knows she’s talented, but when she came on, it was, like, we knew we were getting someone who was just a professional, but she was so down to earth. I think that, for us, is what made it even better. We fed off of her jokes and stuff like that. But then, in between the takes, she was, like, ‘Come over and just talk to us,’ and she would be able to do like a fart joke, and we would be like, ‘What? Joan Rivers…?’”

“A lot has to be said for the guest stars that we have and the co-stars,” said David, “because we weren’t actors, we were musicians. So it’s easy to play off of people when they’re so good at it, and they’re so good at your craft, it looks like we know what we’re doing, and because they’re so funny, we kind of just play off of what they said and we’ll react to what they said and kind of throw in a line here and there.”

But if you’re not a music fan and therefore figure you won’t find the show funny, Paulie thinks you’d better think again. “It’s not just for rock and roll people,” he assured us. “I mean, obviously it’s a music show, but you don’t have to be an actor to watch ‘Entourage’ and enjoy that show. It’s like, yes, obviously musicians love it because they say, ‘I know what they’re going through.’ But if you really just think about it, it’s for anybody who struggles to do something in their life who has a dream. If you have a dream to be an astronaut, you have a dream to be whatever it is, you’re going to have to sacrifice things, and there’s always that temptation of ‘I can go the safe route or I can starve.’”

“It’s like Rocky in the ‘Rocky’ movies,” said David. “You see him start from nothing and struggle. So we say we’re the Rocky of rock and roll.”

To close, I’m offering up my first back-and-forth exchange of the tour, since – as you may recall from previous tours – I try desperately not to break any rules of the TCA, and they very much frown on the old copy-and-paste. Sometimes, however, there’s just not a better way to show how a particular moment from a panel went down…like, for instance, when one of the critics asked the guys who would win in a throw-down between Z Rock, Flight of the Conchords, and the Jonas Brothers.

Paulie Z: Us, Jonas Brothers and the Conchords?
John Popper: Is the Jonas Brothers’ security there? I think I could take them. They’re pretty small.
Paulie Z: Do they have weaponry, or is it just music?
Critic: Hand-to-hand combat.
David Z: I have a ring like the Jonas Brothers’, but it means a very different thing.
John Popper: Always take out the bass player first, because he has the biggest thing to swing with, so if you take the bass player down…
David Z: We’re not talking about my, uh…
Paulie Z: Don’t forget, guys, we grew up in Brooklyn, New York. All right. So you know what I mean? I think the only band we probably couldn’t take would being like Lemmy. Motorhead would probably kick our butts.
John Popper: On behalf of Blues Traveler, we’ll throw down at any time.
Paulie Z: We’ll take you down. You crazy?
Joey Cassata: You have a bum leg. We’ll kick you…
Paulie Z: What are you talking about? I’ll take your cane away and you’re down.
John Popper: We’ll settle this outside, you guys.
Paulie Z: There’s going to be a big fight after the panel, by the way, if anyone wants to watch.

The second season of “Z Rock” premieres later in 2009 on IFC, but no specific date for the premiere has been announced as of yet.

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