Episode credited cast:
Herself - Host
Himself - Announcer
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Poppy Champlin ...
Himself (as Pee-wee Herman)


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Comedy | Talk-Show



Release Date:

9 October 1986 (USA)  »

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In honor of the late Joan Rivers, I watched the debut of Fox's "The Late Show starring Joan Rivers" on YouTube in which she wasn't bad in her new gig
5 September 2014 | by (Baton Rouge, La.) – See all my reviews

After finding out about Joan Rivers's death yesterday after surgery complications at age 81, I looked on YouTube at various of her stuff she did on TV when I remembered that her Fox debut was available there in its entirety. This particular ep-which aired live on October 9, 1986-marked the first broadcast day of what was then known as the Fox Broadcasting Company (FBC). After all the bad publicity of her leaving NBC and her permanent guest host status of Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show", it must have gratified Joan when she made her entrance in front of a long and loud audience applause, so much so she didn't do a monologue that night and segued to her first guest, David Lee Roth who had split with Van Halen by this time. His interview segment was okay which ended after showing a hilariously bad clip of him playing a fat slob. Pee Wee Herman's segment was much better with the gifts he gave Ms. Rivers and his saying the word "commercial" for the one moment the audience was allowed to scream out loud at. Also loved his facial reactions. Elton John then came on with him commenting on the wedding between Prince Andrew and Sarah Ferguson and the way to act in front of the Royal Family. Despite some sound problems, he did an enjoyable first set of "The Bitch is Back" with Rivers and Cher who appeared at the end of the song. Cher talked about her unusual appearance at the Academy Awards and how her kids, Elijah and Chastity (before she became a he and became Chazz) are doing. Elton then performs "Your Song" before Joan thanks Willard Scott (makes a face with her tongue) and then the other guests (with the exception of David Lee Roth who left after his segment was over) end the show with Elton leading on "Twist and Shout". I liked this premiere of what would become perhaps the most notorious flop of Joan Rivers' career as the show would never get good ratings on the fledgling network. I also liked the theme music of Mark Hudson (of the Hudson Brothers) and the Party Boys with the Tramp (the lone female member who played sax). Joan would eventually be fired along with producer hubby Edgar Rosenberg who would later commit suicide...but let's not dwell too much on that as I'm sure she's reunited with him now...

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