The rest of the episode had a chance for some sharp satire, but as 'The Simpsons' tend to do, went for the soft approach. When Krusty the Clown's show got cancelled, he hooked back up with the talent agent who first scouted him, played by Joan Rivers. She first booked him on a live show à la Pee Wee Herman's recent broadway revival, and ultimately on HBOWTIME.
It happened in the back half of the episode, after Louis was frustrated with the audience during one of his casino sets. After turning down a steady paycheck and asking to be fired, Louis took advantage of an invite to talk with Joan Rivers after her set.
The two talked a lot, and candidly, about the comedy business and it's genuinely fascinating stuff. But, in typical 'Louie' fashion, Louis misconstrued some of her statements and abruptly went in for the kiss.
But there were several stars who attempted to duplicate the big O's success over the years, all starting with the naming standard no future host would dare to change: 'The [Insert Name of Host] Show.'
Though many managed to last more than a decade each (persistence paid off for Montel Williams, Ricki Lake, Geraldo Rivera and Jenny Jones), no other talk show host has made it to the quarter century mark.
To show you just how big a feat Oprah has accomplished, here's a list of 13 daytime talk shows that came and went during Oprah's tenure, a feature which could also be called Talk Shows that Oprah Killed.
Melissa was immediately excited, thinking that her mother could still be nearby but maybe not as close as living under the same roof. But Joan wasn't done with her announcement.
"I think it's so beautiful and light and big and what I thought I would do is I'm going to let you have that house," she said to a stunned Melissa.
"I appreciate the thought but I don't want a new house," Melissa said. But that's not going to stop Joan Rivers. When she decides on something she generally gets her way. She even has a strategy.
Deadline reports that Neflix outbid premium cable networks for the drama by offering a two-season, 26-episode commitment. The company had previously said it wasn't interested in getting into original programming, but with competitors like Amazon nipping at their heels, it seems like a smart move.
In other TV news ...
• Could Ricki Lake return to TV? Depends on what Katie Couric wants to do. If the CBS anchor doesn't renew her contract and heads to daytime instead, Lake's out of luck. [Broadcasting & Cable]
• Joan and Melissa will be back for more hijinks in 2012. WE tv renewed the mother-daughter duo's reality show for a second season. [The Hollywood Reporter]
• Another taxidermy show? As Sarah Palin might say, you betcha! The Discovery Channel announced a new special called 'Taxidermy USA' that's scheduled to air March 31. Do we really need to explain what it's about? [Discovery]
'Talk' co-host Leah Remini said she was a fan of the show and complimented Joan on the redecorating job she had done in the shared house. Melissa took offense. "Mine was better," she said. Remini said Joan had "made it nice."
One of the issues was the fact that Joan donated Melissa's discarded furniture to charity -- Joan's charity, not Melissa's. Joan said she could have given the furniture to an osteoporosis charity; she then asked the audience not to applaud for fear she'd hear their wrist bones snapping.
"We put this on your head and then we spill water on you," he said with the sweetest smile while holding up a rag. He was asking if he could waterboard his grandmother.
"Did you ever have Kirstie Alley as a guest on the show? Because she would just eat it raw. She wouldn't even wait," Joan said, pretending to lick the ingredients from a bowl.
She admitted that her date, Don, was a good-looking man, and she was certainly enjoying their dance lesson together. There was just one little problem.
"I'm having a lot of fun with him," she said. "Trouble is I think we're both looking for the same thing: A man to love us."
With both of them stubborn-headed, it was going to take one of them willing to make that phone call to get them back on speaking terms. When Melissa Rivers finally took the initiative to call her mother, you could tell both of them were so grateful the silence had been broken.
It started with Melissa asking Joan about her recent visit to Letterman, but that was just hedging arounded what they both wanted. Joan broke down, both women apologized and then Joan finally admitted what they both wanted.
Joan and Melissa Rivers Have It Out in a Team-Building Fight on 'Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?' (VIDEO)
With all the friction in the house, a team-building expert is brought in, but she quickly winds up as little more than a referee as Melissa and Joan finally started unloading all the tension that's been building between them.
Melissa told her mother that her constant criticism makes her feel like a failure, to which Joan responded, "Everything I say, Melissa, you take as negative."
Rivers got on the subject of Kate Gosselin. The mother of eight children "has moved to New York, which is great. And we're thrilled to have her, because if there's another terrorist attack we can all hide in her utuerus," she joked.
As to what having had sextuplets may have done to her body, Lopez noted that Gosselin "didn't look so bad" on 'Dancing With the Stars.'" Rivers replied, "But weren't you nervous? Every time they swung her around, I thought, 'Three more kids are gonna come flying out!'" Suffice to say, there were several bills in the jar by the end of the interview.
At the latter location ("He was a major fan of Judy Garland"), Joan charged confidently into the home's front yard and began sprinkling ashes on the ground and surrounding foliage. She wasn't worried about trespassing.
"Rest in peace, Uncle Tommy," she said before launching into 'Somewhere Over the Rainbow.' A resident stormed out and yelled, "What the hell are you doing!? Get outta here before I call the cops!"
As she left, a neighbor shouted, "Joan, we love you!" She replied, "Love you back! The person who lives in Judy Garland's house is not nice!"
During their chat Monday, Maddow made reference to something Joan Rivers -- O'Donnell's last guest of the evening -- had said. This pulled the irrepressible Rivers, who was still in the studio, into the conversation.
"Tell Rachel to grow her hair," Rivers said, from off camera.
"No Joan, have you ever seen me with long hair? I look like one of the Hanson boys grown up and gone bad," Maddow explained.
"You'd look very hot," Rivers disagreed.
Maddow appeared a bit embarrassed at first, but eventually seemed pleased that Mrs. Red Carpet Critic herself was complimenting her (potential) looks.
Boundaries. In politics they can lead to war. On 'Joan & Melissa: Joan Knows Best?' (Tue., 9PM ET on WE), we find that in family they mean much the same thing. And apparently Joan Rivers doesn't understand the concept at all.
After her daughter Melissa Rivers took the stance of "I'll think about it" to an offer from 'Girls Gone Wild' founder Joe Francis regarding a nude photo shoot, Joan decided to take matters into her own hands.
You could argue that she was perhaps well-intentioned, but there is no way anyone could think her tactics could work. Joan decided to take some surprise photos of Melissa in the nude to show her that it was no big deal.
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