Joan's Milestone and Red Carpet Badokadonks
Rivers pushes stars' buttons with her invasive interviewing style
By Hanh Nguyen
August 27, 2006
Melissa and Joan RiversLOS ANGELES -- It's a big night for television -- not because of the 58th annual Emmy awards, but because Joan Rivers will interview her 1,000th celebrity on the red carpet. Over on the TV Guide Channel, the forerunner of flubs and her offspring Melissa accost the stars and critique the couture in their signature abrasive fashion, while Ryan Seacrest and Guiliana DePandi hold court in a much more subdued style over on E!
For Joan's much ballyhooed event, TV Guide spares no expense to outfit the red carpet with a podium upon which a giant red button -- akin to the "Easy" button for a certain office supply store -- sits. During the course of the evening, Joan has her interviewees walk over game show-style and press the button, causing the big number display on the podium to number which interview they are.
Former "Will & Grace" star Debra Messing is the recipient of the dubious honor for the night. She's a good sport, actually looking pretty happy about the whole thing, even if it means wearing a large sash that reads, "The 1,000th" while Joan and Melissa squeal and drown out the trumpet fanfare. Of course, Messing also gets one of those oversized checks for $10,000 made out to One, the charity of her choice that fights AIDS and worldwide poverty. But the real honor is a gold Joan statuette to take home for voodoo purposes.
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As a consoloation prize, "American Idol" judge Randy Jackson receives a "The 1,000 and 1st" sash, which he promptly removes, and Rivers tells the 1,002nd interviewee, Rainn Wilson from "The Office," "you get nothing."
In general, the ladies on the red carpet are staying with classic designs and shades this evening. Joan and Melissa are more subdued in appearance, wearing black lace and cream, respectively, while many of the stars opt for a more romantic look -- with small flounces or lace accents on sheath dresses, hair in loose waves or casually swept up and large vintage jewelry.
While many women go for the traditional neutrals, "Grey's Anatomy" nominee Sandra Oh wears a periwinkle-ish gown with huge, heavily beaded chains around her neck and declares, "I look like a countess," while "The Closer's" Kyra Sedgewick wears a similar color with a full-skirted gown and hair down. "Lost's" Evangeline Lilly looks stunning -- almost like a younger Catherine Zeta-Jones -- in a deep purple strapless gown with her hair down, while Cheryl Hines is in a royal purple gown with a jewel-encrusted back.
Other trends include red materinity gowns worn by Heidi Klum and "Scrubs" actress Christa Miller, and tie-less, open-necked shirts offering a peek of chest hair for "American Idol" judge Simon Cowell and "Survivor" host Jeff Probst.
While this year has no obvious fashion faux pas, Joan Rivers always has some insightful comment to offer, whether it's about Howie Mandell's shoes -- "Which are very ugly ... well, they're a little hip for me" -- or "You look like you're dressed for mourning" to Jeffrey Tambor and John Lithgow. Rivers also proves she's just as sharp as ever when she asks Helen Mirren, "Who would you like to meet ... because you're truly, like, English?" and then gives Rainn Wilson the compliment, "You're very stupid -- on 'The Office.'"
The maven of mistakes is also thrown a bit when the stars volunteer their own comments, such as when Cowell tells her, "You look very tight. That's a compliment" or Kathy Griffin -- with a heavily decorated Major Todd in tow -- out-crasses Rivers by announcing, "I have butt crack sweat."
Only in her third decade on earth, Melissa isn't quite as outrageous as her mom. She's curiously obessessed, however, with Sarah Chalke's Mystic Tan mishap and can't talk enough about it to an embarrassed Chalke and her co-stars.
Over on E!, DePandi and Seacrest's attempts at humor aren't that much better, but hey, at least they have the Glam Cam, which is a camera that pans in a very creepy, slow fashion from head to toe on the celebrity. This is especially important this year, since we're informed at the opening of the show that nowadays, gowns are "all about the badonkadonk," although with all the plunging necklines this year, that prediction doesn't seem to hold true.
A super-tan DePandi pretends that she doesn't remember that Griffin was dismissed from E!'s red carpet team for bad behavior, while Seacrest tries to show how chummy he is with Jaime Pressly by telling her, "Oh, shut up" when she says she's just honored to be nominated for "My Name Is Earl."
But that's okay, since both Wilson and Steve Carell steal the show by trading good-natured insults on the red carpet:
Wilson: [Steve] is a horrible, horrible man. He punched me in the throat the other day.
Carell: Rainn Wilson is a jerk ... I saw this coming before I even knew him. He's an awful human being.
Back over on TV Guide, Rivers is exhausted from passing the 1,000th interview milestone and signs off with, "I'd like to say a few nice things, but nothing comes to mind ... I'm desperate for a drink."