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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Whom We Miss: Movers and Shakers Jim, Sal, Edward and Ramy Remember Joan Rivers

Joan and Jim

"I've just been devastated since the news about Joan dying hit the wires....I was an acquaintance and a guest on her shows. I met Joan several times in New York & LA...a very close friend of mine was one of her TV producers on E! Red Carpet pre-shows. When I started my personal/private New York tour business (limo tours, corporate groups, bus tours, etc.) I was and still am constantly promoting myself and my tours.

Joan did an evening radio talk show on WOR-710am here in New York at 1440 Broadway between 1998-2001 from 7pm to 10pm. One evening I had my earphones strapped on as I left my gym on W. 48th St. and New York was being bombarded by a huge storm with thunder, lightning, rain coming down in torrents. As I walked to the subway I was listening to Joan Rivers' show on my headphones and she suddenly sounded nervous as she was giving out the 800 number for people to call in and chat. Apparently the storm had knocked out all phone lines and she had no one to talk to....after telling a few jokes and hoping the phone lines came back, you could hear in her voice she was sweating and she suddenly said: 'I need a guest-- live here in the studio! Is there anyone within the sound of my voice who can just come over to 1440 Broadway and we'll talk?'

So I thought 'poor Joan' and I rushed right over to the studio, dropped a couple of names we knew in common and said I was an actor, a writer and a tourguide who had just started a new 'Rich & Famous' tour of NYC. We hit it off so well and just gabbed about celebrities, New York trivia, my tourists, funny things that happened on my tours, etc. That night she nicknamed me "The Celebrity Tour Guide of NY" which I still use in my promotional materials. That night the three hour show flew by (with breaks for commercials, weather updates, etc.) We even had fun chatting during commercial breaks. I found out that Joan was a very educated, bright woman who read EVERYthing! She can chat about ANYTHING and find the humor. She also was very warm and very charitable...the wacky humor was just the 'stage' Joan. She also told me that she was once a tour Rockefeller Center. She also had been a window decorator at Lord & Taylor and a comedy writer for Candid Camera...and hated Allen Funt.

After the show, we rode down the elevator and she gave me a huge hug and kiss and said 'you saved my ass tonight. I won't forget it and I owe you. If I can ever do anything for you or help you promote anything, just let me know' and she gave me a card. 
After that her producer scheduled me as a regular guest and I saw Joan socially several times and will never forget her."


"Joan Rivers used to come in [to Patsy's] with Johnny Carson!"

"I worked with Joan Rivers on fashion police and was interviewed by her many times."


Joan and Ramy
Mover and Shaker Ramy Gafni:

I met her many times. The first time was at my counter at Bergdorf Goodman when I launched my brand. I gave her my lipstick in Chutzpah! And she loved the name. Then we’d run into each other at QVC and at events around Manhattan. She was always lovely and kind and very elegant. A friend invited me to an event at the Plaza hotel and I was lucky enough to be chatting with Joan when NY Times photographer Bill Cunningham took a picture and ran it in the Style section of the NY Times on my birthday! Joan once told me that I was very quick-witted and to this day it’s my most treasured compliment, coming from such a brilliant comedic legend.

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