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Joan Rivers on Audience Flops from Make ‘Em Laugh


“It was all about, ‘we don’t talk about these things,’” explains comedian Joan Rivers. In this interview outtake, Joan recounts a series of flops and failures, and the tepid audience response to her material. Her frank attitude on then-taboo subjects such as pregnancy, marital affairs, and sex was met with gasps, but later proved to be fundamental to her groundbreaking career in the industry.

Conducted on November 16, 2006, this never before seen interview outtake is from the archives of the six-hour PBS comedy series MAKE ‘EM LAUGH: The Funny Business of America.

American Masters presents an In Memoriam tribute broadcast of Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (2010) on Tuesday, September 23, 10:30 p.m.-12 midnight on PBS (check local listings).