I was fortunate enough to interview Joan Rivers a few years back at Roy Thomson Hall. She was amazing. Quick as a whip, self deprecating and a blast to chat with. Happy Birthday Joan. Can’t believe you’re 80! Keep making us laugh! Here was our interview: Speaking in front of 2700 people at Roy Thomson Hall and 7 things that I learned interviewing Joan Rivers
I was fortunate enough to open for Joan Rivers at Roy Thomson Hall this week. Before the show, I met her backstage.
She was actually pretty quiet, nervous probably. It’s amazing to see that even after doing comedy for 40+ years, those pre-show nerves never quite leave you. I was a bit nervous too and I was only doing a fraction of the time she was doing off the top of the show. I would interview her on stage after her act for half an hour in front of more than 2000 people and that’s what I was more pre-occupied with. Everybody asks me what Joan Rivers looks like close up. Well yes, she looks like she’s had work. A lot of work but she would be the first person to tell you that. She’s also seventy-eight years old! So I went on first. The audience was great. They were in a fabulous mood. Whereas most comics want you to introduce them with 80 credits, Joan Rivers who has 8000 credits basically says, ‘ Aw heck, just bring me up.’ Joan Rivers took the stage and the audience loved her. She was up there for fifty minutes. It was an assortment of signature machine- gun- one -liners combined with some very funny and very sad stories about her life (most of which are covered in her edgy documentary A Piece of Work. I highly recommend that you see it.) If you think for one second that Joan Rivers wants you to feel sorry for her, think again. No way. She reminds me of one of those army commanders leaning over a soldier who is crumpled on the ground with dirt caked on his face. ‘Get up! Get up! What are you?’ After Joan finished her set, I joined her on stage and we talked for thirty minutes. I had nothing to worry about. She was warm, humble, engaging and hilarious. So here are 7 things that I learned about Joan Rivers: 1) Joan Rivers is a friend of Camilla and Charles- she has a crush on Charles. She says he’s funny, charming and still holds a door open for a lady. Joan says if she could have actively pursued Charles back in the day, Camilla wouldn’t have stood a chance! 2) Joan sleeps about 5 to 6 hours a night. She doesn’t really have any hobbies. Her work is her hobby and she loves it. 3) I asked Joan what’s the first thing that she bought when she knew she ‘made it.’ That was after her debut on the Tonight Show when Johnny Carson looked over at her and said, ‘ You’re going to be a big star.’ She said she bought herself a mink. 4) I asked Joan why did she thought Johnny Carson was so mad at her for not taking The Tonight Show gig after he retired? ( Carson had selected Joan Rivers but she turned it down because Fox offered her her own Late Night Show for FIFTEEN times the amount that NBC was going to pay her. NBC figured that you would just be GRATEFUL to work at their network!) Joan said when she called Johnny and told him that she was taking the Fox gig, he slammed the phone down on her. She called him again and he slammed the down the phone again. In fact, Carson never spoke to her after that. When Joan’s husband, Edgar committed suicide, Johnny didn’t contact her. When Johnny’s own son died in a car accident, Joan sent Johnny flowers. Carson didn’t respond. Joan said Carson probably wouldn’t have treated her that way if she were a man. She said she thought Carson was mad because she represented yet another woman leaving him. 5) Aside from now being blackballed from NBC, Joan’s show on Fox continued to have major problems. Joan’s husband Edgar did not see eye to eye with network mogul Rupert Murdoch. They continued to fight and Fox eventually told Joan that she would have to fire her husband. When Joan refused, Fox fired them both.As she reveals in the documentary and on stage, the failure was too big for Edgar. He committed suicide. Joan said she wasn’t home, when someone called the house with the news about Edgar. They told Melissa, her daughter and asked her to pass the news onto Joan. 6) I asked her who was the craziest celebrity she ever interviewed on the red carpet? She said he wasn’t crazy but he was probably one of the nastiest- Russell Crowe. 7) I asked her what Donald Trump was really like. She says he’s very professional and turned up on the set many times of Celebrity Apprentice at 7 am. She also thinks he would make a great president…eeek. And we’re done. Seriously, it was a terrific evening and I hope that we can do it again. She hates to hear this but Joan Rivers is a pioneer and a trailblazer for female comics. As stated in ‘ A Piece of Work’, Rivers says that Phyllis Diller was doing comedy until she was 92. Joan Rivers hopes to beat that record. You just never know. While most of us were still waking up and getting out of bed,Joan Rivers was already heading to the airport to catch a flight to Vancouver for her next show.
Friday Croon News: My interview with Sissy Spacek at Roy Thomson Hall
I had a fabulous, eye-0pening evening this past Monday, May 13, 2013 as I interviewed Sissy Spacek. Anyone who knows me, knows I am a list-writer by nature and that I love passing on life lessons to others. Well, Sissy Spacek proved that I, too, am teachable. Imagine that! Please allow me to woo you with my newfound water-cooler-worthy spiel. Life Lesson #1: It doesn’t take very long to make someone feel special and important. My bio says, “Judy Croon: comedian, motivational speaker, author and proud to have never been in jail.” As soon as I met Sissy Spacek, she said to me, “I have never been to jail either…at least, not in real life. I read your bio; I thought that was really funny.” How sweet is that? When Spacek shook my hand, she shook it with both of her hands and looked me straight in the eyes. “It’s really nice to meet you,” she said. How cool is that? Life Lesson #2: No one in this world is scar-free. Following in the footsteps of their older cousin and his wife—actors Rip Torn and Geraldine Page—Sissy and her older brother, Robbie, had planned to go to New York together to pursue their dreams. The dream was deferred as Robbie died of Leukemia. Spacek was a mere teenager at the time. Life Lesson #3: Life is too short. Do what makes you happy. Instead of Spacek’s parents sheltering her, they recognized her passion for acting and let her drop out of college to go to New York as she had originally desired, to pursue her dream. Thanks, Ms. Spacek, for the opportunity, the moment and the insights! Okay, now for five fun facts: – that was really Sissy’s hand that came out of the grave at the end of Carrie. She insisted upon it. -Sissy broke into her Loretta Lynn impression while she reading excerpts from her book, ‘ My Extraordinary Ordinary Life‘. (I was back stage. It was eerie because if you shut your eyes, you could swear you were at the Grand Ole Opry listening to Loretta.) -Upon an audience member’s request, Sissy sang a few lines from ‘Coal Miner’s Daughter’ as the normally conservative Toronto audience happily clapped along. -Sissy took Loretta Lynn with her to the Oscars. After she won best actress for Coal Miner’s Daughter, Spacek was approached by Dolly Parton. Parton joked with Spacek and told her to get implants so she could play the role of Dolly next. -Yes, for those of you wondering, Spacek is now a Leafs fan. haha What a class act all the way!
Hi folks, Big news: I will be interviewing Sissy Spacek at Roy Thomson Hall May 13th. Looking forward to it.
Stand Up For The Girls CIBC’s Run for the Cure in Sudbury has aligned with Stand Up For The Girls May 31st. I’m happy to report that half of the VIP tickets were sold even before the event hit the streets! As of today, all VIP tickets are SOLD OUT- 22 tables of 10! In total, 560 tickets are being sold and they are going fast. For more info, or to bring ‘Stand Up For The Girls’ to your city, please feel free to drop me a line. So far, Stand Up For The Girls and Laughlines have helped raise over $650,000 for breast cancer research. “Stand-Up for the Girls”
By the way, International Women’s Day in Ottawa was a blast. I enjoyed three sold out shows with Laurie Elliot and Kristeen Von Hagen. Who says the nation’s capital can’t rock it out?
Relieving Stress with Humour Speaking of rocking it out, here’s a quick pic of me with the gang at The Ministry of Labour earlier this week ‘Relieving Stress with Humour’ in the workplace. [/fusion_builder_column][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ background_position=”left top” background_color=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” spacing=”yes” background_image=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” padding=”” margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_direction=”left” hide_on_mobile=”no” center_content=”no” min_height=”none”]
Judy Croon Live!
By the way, one of the ingredients from my keynote, ” Relieving Stress with Humour” is exercise. YES, I’m still on my 3 minutes of exercise / week regime. No, I’m not kidding. People think my video is a parody because I’m a comedian. Don’t believe me? Check out the BBC special The Truth About Exercise.
Taming Hecklers : School yard Bullies : Why aren’t we using this method? In my keynote, ” Taming Hecklers: Dealing with Difficult Personalities”, I talk about bullies. When school yard bullies aren’t dealt with, they turn into office bullies. This is not meant to be a funny video but hopefully, it will get some conversations started.