Comedienne Joan Rivers stopped by "The Colbert Report" to promote her new book, 'I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me,' and ended up getting strangled by the host.
It isn't every day one gets a shot at immortality, but give Stephen Colbert credit. When he had the opportunity to make television history and achieve broadcasting immortality, he seized it. And by "it," we mean Joan Rivers' 79-year-old throat.
We all know Rivers, famous for her quick but viciously acidic wit, can be a bit much, but what could she have said that prompted Colbert to throttle the near-octogenerian?
Rivers was on "The Colbert Report" hawking her latest book, I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me, which came out on the first week of June. At interview's end, after going over a long list of people she hated (kids on planes, young people, herself because she's an old person, old people...), she told host Colbert, "You know what would be lucky for you? If I died today on this show."
"Do you understand," she continued, "your audience for the rest of their lives, you could say, 'We were there! We saw it! She was talking to him...'"
Colbert, not wasting a good set-up, immediately rose to his feet and began thanking Rivers for being on the show. At the same time, he leaned over and placed his hands menacingly around her throat.
Although Colbert didn't actually choke Rivers -- and, therefore, killed any chance he had at television immortality (well, besides those Emmys and the Peabody Award) -- he and his victim did share a laugh with the audience. The appearance also helped push Rivers' book sales to the point where she re-entered the Top 10 on the New York Times best sellers list.
Of course, her sales may have been aided also by a trip to Costco this past week. Yelling that the big box chain was unfairly censoring her by not selling her book, she hand-cuffed herself to a shopping cart at the entrance to a Burbank, Calif., Costco and began selling her book to passersby. At one point, Rivers, who was speaking through a bullhorn, said of Costco: "Costco should not be like Nazi Germany... Next thing they'll be burning the bible."
Although some, like Huliq's Paula Duffy (who writes a column on Rivers' E! Television show, "Fashion Police"), posit that Rivers entire schtick was solely for publicity, police were called to the scene by the store manager and the strident Rivers -- and her bullhorn -- were escorted from the property.
But not before she sold 150 copies of I Hate Everyone... Starting With Me from a box right there in the Costco parking lot. And not before TMZ got a video of the entire event, which was then broadcast on every major network morning show and entertainment roundup program in America.
Guess Rivers got the last laugh on Costco...
Good thing she didn't die on "The Colbert Report." Who would have hawked her books at Costco and got her back on the New York Times best seller list?
Besides, now Joan Rivers has someone else to hate -- that store manager, for nearly getting her arrested...
"The Colbert Report" airs at 11:30 p.m. (EST) on Comedy Central Monday through Thursday each week.
Watch Stephen Colbert's interview with the funniest woman in show business below:
(photo credit: David Shankbone, Creative Commons)