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Larry King Live

Kathie Lee Goes One-on-One With Diane Sawyer and Joan Rivers

Aired May 22, 2000 - 9:00 p.m. ET


ANNOUNCER: Tonight, she's saying bye to Reg, but sitting in for Larry. Kathie Lee Gifford guest hosts. She'll turn the interview tables on ABC's Diane Sawyer, then have a heart-to-heart with one of the divas of dish, Joan Rivers.

It's all next on LARRY KING LIVE.

KATHIE LEE GIFFORD, GUEST HOST: Welcome, everyone. I'm Kathie Lee Gifford sitting in for Larry King.

You know, turnabout is supposed to be fair play. Recently, tonight's first guest gave me the third degree. Now it's my chance to ask the questions. Joining me in New York, the one and only Diane Sawyer of ABC news. She's co-anchor of "Good Morning America" and "20/20." She also has a truckload of awards for investigative reports and interviews, and she's with me.

Nice to see you, Diane.

DIANE SAWYER, CO-HOST, "GOOD MORNING AMERICA": All of a sudden biting my fingernails. What's she going to ask?

GIFFORD: Yes, you don't know what I'm going to ask you, do you?

First of all what I'm going to do is ask you to join me in saying hello to Larry King, who is live with us via television -- I mean, satellite, and he's I think still at the hospital with wife, Shawn, who just gave birth to their second child, Canon.

Hello, Larry.

LARRY KING, HOST: Hello, Kathy. Hello, Diane.

SAWYER: Hello.

GIFFORD: We think you're very brave to leave your show in the hands of these two females.

KING: No, you could do it all great. You're doing great. It's great to see both of you on there. It's great to see you hosting, Kathie. Great to see you on in prime-time, and I'm so excited...

GIFFORD: It's the big time, Larry.

KING: And I'm so excited about having this beautiful little boy.

GIFFORD: Tell us about him.

KING: Exactly three hours ago, at three minutes past 3:00 Pacific time -- look, oh, he's up there.

SAWYER: Oh, look at the picture. Oh, thank God he looks like Shawn.

KING: Thank God he looks like Shawn. There he is. That's Canon Edward, and he's seven pounds, two ounces, and he was 21 inches long. And his brother Chance came by to visit him. Chance is 14 months old.

GIFFORD: What was his first reaction when he saw his brother?

KING: He saw his brother. And here's the wife.


KING: Kathy and Diane, here's the wife.

GIFFORD: Shawn, you look like you're making a Revlon commercial, not giving birth. How are you?

SHAWN KING: You're so kind.

GIFFORD: Oh, you look fantastic. How's the little guy?

S. KING: Oh, thank you. I feel great. This was a very fun, easy day.


S. KING: We have family here and a full house, and one push and the baby was out.

GIFFORD: Nothing like a full house when you're giving birth. So just one push? Well, you are pretty good at it by now. This is your third baby.

S. KING: Well, you know, we did this just a year ago in this very same room. So...

GIFFORD: You're married to an animal. What can I tell you?

S. KING: He is.

GIFFORD: We're so happy for you. He was seeming a little frustrated when I was here a couple weeks ago. He was saying, I want this baby born and I want my wife back.

S. KING: Well, I'm back, and it was right on schedule for Larry, Mr. -- I call him Mr. Clockhead, he's so tied to his calendar.

GIFFORD: Yes, well he's thrilled, and I've never seen him happier. You've made him really, really happy. God bless you all. S. KING: Thank you. He's made me really happy.

GIFFORD: Enjoy your time together.

S. KING: Thank you so much.

GIFFORD: Time for Larry to change a diaper, I'm sure.

Thanks, Shawn.

So, big news, a King is born.

SAWYER: Shawn looks absolutely beautiful.


SAWYER: She looks...

GIFFORD: A little hair and makeup, I think, within the last...

SAWYER: We've been at work for three hours here, and she look great.

GIFFORD: If she had one push and had no hair and makeup and she looks like that, now I'm angry. You know, I don't want to tell you what time I started getting ready for this. I don't know about you.

SAWYER: It's like that line in "Broadcast News," you remember -- I'll mingle it -- where one of the characters says what do you when you have the perfect boyfriend and you have the perfect apartment and you have the perfect job and you have the perfect days? And somebody says, keep it to yourself.

GIFFORD: Exactly, isn't that true? Why can't we be happy for somebody? You and I were talking earlier about the world of television and especially journalism and talk shows and that sort of thing. Have you seen it change a great deal in the years that you've been in it...

SAWYER: Well, I think so...

GIFFORD: ... in terms of the spotlight?

SAWYER: I think it's in part because there's so many more of us out there. Sometimes I think there are more of us covering stories than there are stories to cover. And what it must be like suddenly, when you're one of the people who's entered into the spotlight for a few minutes to see trucks pulling up as far as the eye can see and this deluge of reporters.

GIFFORD: So many new face all the time.

SAWYER: New faces, each of whom as a master to serve. And I think there's something about this concentration of people on stories that has changed it in some way. And we can all regret it, but I think it's going to be here forever now. GIFFORD: Yes, I was talking to Barbara Walters, whom both of us respect so much, a couple of months ago about the fact that it's not doing the interviews that's difficult at all, it's the guests. It's getting the interviews. And that gets tiring after a while. Are you experiencing that? I mean, now they get them for you pretty much at "Good Morning America," but I'm sure for "20/20" and now "Primetime" in the fall, you've got to go get those interviews.

SAWYER: Yes, and you do have to. You have to say to yourself very clearly up front, here's how much I want this interview, but here's what I'll do to get it...


SAWYER: ... And beyond that I won't go.

GIFFORD: So when you see the person get that interview that you wanted, and they used maybe a tactic that you might never have, you know, thought about yourself, what's your reaction? Do you feel it's been rewarded, the nasty tactic has been rewarded?

SAWYER: Well, no, because I think that in the end, you know, we all have our own codes that we live by. And in the end, you pay according to your definition, your self-definition of what you want to do and what you want to be.

GIFFORD: Absolutely.

SAWYER: No, my -- as you know, my problem is making sure that everything I do is the way I think it should be. And I've heard you talk about it before, too, but it would be so wonderful not to be the sort of person who goes home at night and lies in bed and then replays everything and says, could I have made that better? Could I have made that better? Where does this come from?

GIFFORD: Which interview did that the most to you, where you tossed and turned the most? Beside the one with me and Frank. Which one did you toss and turn the most?

SAWYER: I've said before that the interview I probably shouldn't have done is the interview I did with Richard Nixon on the 10th anniversary of Watergate, because I worked for him.

GIFFORD: So were you too close?

SAWYER: I was too close. And I had read diaries, and I had helped with the memoirs. And to be in a situation where I had him -- it wasn't so much at a disadvantage but that we were doing something for the public we would have done differently entirely in private, you know what I mean?

GIFFORD: Oh, fascinating.

SAWYER: If we were just sitting and talking together, it wouldn't have been in the nature of that kind of questioning.

GIFFORD: Was he pleased with the end result?

SAWYER: I think that he and I both felt at the end that it was just disorienting. At one point, he said to me something along the lines if you'd read my book. And then I wanted to say, but I helped work on the book.

GIFFORD: And you lived it with him.

SAWYER: And lived it with him. And I think that was because we were both disoriented. It said to me that you have to choose very carefully when you're doing an interview with someone close to you, because you have to come -- you have to come in some ways as the public, and you can't ask...

GIFFORD: It's hard to be objective.

SAWYER: ... anything in the way that you would ask it from the outside.

GIFFORD: Well, we'll be right back with more of Diane Sawyer. I'm going to ask the tough questions pretty soon. This is nothing.


GIFFORD: The differences between Diane Sawyer and myself are probably very obvious. But you might not know that I've never forgiven Diane for one particular thing. She actually won America's Junior Miss pageant all those years. It was not a beauty pageant. We never put on bathing suits. But it was a scholastic contest. She won it, and I was kicked out for talking to a boy. And that pretty much tells everything about it.

SAWYER: Were you really? I didn't know that.

GIFFORD: It's an ugly story. I was also kicked out of the Brownies. It says everything. I'm a rebel at heart.

SAWYER: We have a pattern here.

GIFFORD: Yes, but you always -- we look at you and we think, now Miss Diane Sawyer, never a hair out of place...

SAWYER: Oh, give me a break.

GIFFORD: ... although I did watch you spill a little Diet Coke on -- she's got a stain on her white pants from the Diet Coke. You're human.

SAWYER: You know how I believe I won the America's Junior Miss pageant? This is according to one of the judges.

GIFFORD: You didn't sleep with the judges, I know that. I know that.

SAWYER: Or talk to them for that matter.

GIFFORD: Or talk to them.

SAWYER: No, they tell me -- I'm so nearsighted, and I was trying not to wear glasses because I thought it would obviously be an impediment to winning.


SAWYER: And the day of the event, they had chosen somebody else, I heard. And I walked in -- because they thought I was -- first of all, I seemed older than the others.

GIFFORD: A little more mature.

SAWYER: I little more mature, yes, right. Uptight, I think, probably was possible. Anyway, I walked in and I walked into a post and frankly knocked myself out in front of them. And when I woke up, they were all hovering around me. And I fell apart so completely I had to...

GIFFORD: So it was a mercy vote?

SAWYER: It was a sympathy vote. I will do anything to win, anything, knock myself out.

GIFFORD: Oh, you told me about the time when you came off a plane once and your skirt fell down off the -- remember that?

SAWYER: Oh, yes, in the JFK Airport, walking through. And I had bags in both hands and I had a little wrap skirt on. and I was so...

GIFFORD: Not anymore.

SAWYER: Nope, it just fell right to the floor. And I told you at the time, but it never occurred to me that the only thing -- only thing I thought about was, glad I wore that red underwear. It was the only...

GIFFORD: Oh, my gosh. Just the thought of you holding your bags in your red underwear, it makes us feel like, see, she has those moments, too.

SAWYER: Well, probably the most disappointing thing was that nobody particularly noticed.

GIFFORD: Well, it is New York after all.

SAWYER: Two people had quizzical looks, but that was pretty much it.

GIFFORD: Yes, a man in his red underwear in high heels wouldn't have stopped anybody either.

You know, there's such a serious distance these days between the serious, mainstream journalism and what we call the "fluff" stuff. You make the transition almost seamlessly at "Good Morning America." And did the fluff stuff -- was that hard for you at the beginning after being such serious journalism for so long, all of a sudden now you're doing a cooking segment with Emeril LaGasse, you know.

SAWYER: I love it. You know, I love the variety in the morning and the fact that we don't have to be in a box. You know, the American people sitting at home, drinking coffee just want...

GIFFORD: A friend.

SAWYER: ... a friend to talk to in the morning.

GIFFORD: That's exactly right.

SAWYER: And they know if you have a combination of smart and compassionate and funny and enriching material...

GIFFORD: And you can't fake that. You can't fake it.

SAWYER: And they don't expect you to be one person. You know, there was a time in this business, particularly with the women starting out early on, where we really did feel, you know, that we had to be...

GIFFORD: We had to do it.

SAWYER: My sister said we all looked like department store detectives...

GIFFORD: That's right.

SAWYER: ... because we had exactly the same shirt on, the same suit...

GIFFORD: Same haircuts.

SAWYER: ... same haircut. And there was this tension that accompanied that. But that's all gone now. And we really can be ourselves. And what I love about the morning, this morning, just -- I don't know if you saw this man, but his name is Dan Harrel (ph), and he's at the University of Pennsylvania. And he was the custodian in the gym. And with the help of the students, he went and got a college degree.

GIFFORD: Oh, that's fantastic.

SAWYER: And he took his mop with him. He carried his mop into graduation as a way of thanking everybody there who had helped tutor him and helped get him through. And you have that in one segment and then we had Marabel Morgan. Do you remember the woman who polarized...

GIFFORD: Marabel Morgan is a dear friend of mine.

SAWYER: Well...

GIFFORD: When you did the trivia question the other day that said, who said your husbands should be met by their wives wrapped in Saran Wrap, I said, oh, Marabel, 1977, "Total Woman." SAWYER: That's it.

GIFFORD: Too bad it wasn't my millionaire question. I would have, you know -- but more about what you were talking about, the diversity. It makes it interesting for you?

SAWYER: Right, that's right. And then we can start out in the morning, and we do cover the plane crash and we do cover politics...


SAWYER: ... so that on any morning you feel that you've been able to sit and talk about the world as it really is and not some narrow definition of what the world -- everybody should know or the world should be.

GIFFORD: When you're sharing that with a co-host like you do with Charlie, could you ever work with somebody that you, number one, didn't personally like or didn't respect on a daily basis like that?

SAWYER: You know, I think we have this thing I've heard you talk about with Regis, too, which is I'm really interested in seeing what Charles Gibson is going to say. If I've done one great thing in my life, it was be there on Christmas Eve when the two of us sat down, and he said, I'll go back if you'll go back. And I said, it's like Butch and Sundance. And we grabbed hands and we went leaping off that cliff. And to get Charles Gibson back...


SAWYER: ... in the morning.

GIFFORD: It made us appreciate him all the more because he had been gone, you know?

SAWYER: Yes, it really did, exactly.

GIFFORD: Sometimes it's good to leave. That's my plan. They're going to miss me big time. No, you know.

SAWYER: The day after you're gone, we'll have our teeth in your ankles dragging you back to that show.

GIFFORD: Oh, no. But, yes, I understand.

SAWYER: You're right. You can't plan it. You can sit and have all the lunches in the world...


SAWYER: ... but it's not the same. When the light goes on the camera, are you really interested in what somebody's going to say? Do they really make you laugh? Do you respect them?

GIFFORD: It's got to be something. SAWYER: It shows. It shows. And those of you out there know, in some ways the cameras are a lie detector. And you can spot little things that clue you in to the way people really feel. It's kind of scary sometimes. But I told him, he's the brother I never had and I get to tease mercilessly. And...

GIFFORD: So you have a bad little brother, too.


GIFFORD: Regis is much worse, a much badder boy.

SAWYER: Right, yes. Yours is the one with the slingshot in his back pocket.

GIFFORD: To tell me about it with a cookie in his hand.

We're going to come back and ask Diane Sawyer more, lots of things we want to discuss.

And then Joan Rivers is coming up in just a little bit, too.


GIFFORD: Many of us start our day with Diane Sawyer, and then end our days with her sometimes, on the...

SAWYER: Many of you feel you can't get rid of me.

GIFFORD: Never, never. But she does actually go home to a private life and a man she loves, Mike Nichols, who is just such a talented, unique individual in his own right. You said he's in London right now, doing something he loves.

SAWYER: He is in London, and he and Emma Thompson are working on a play that they're going to do for HBO. They're happy as clams.

GIFFORD: So you do spend an awful lot of time apart as a result, because of your two careers -- or is it less because you don't travel as much now?

SAWYER: It's less, it's less. I mean, it's exotic time since -- as we know, right now I'm feeling very, very wicked because it's past my bedtime and I keep think somebody's going to come in here...

GIFFORD: Oh, that's right. That's right, I remember those days.

SAWYER: ... and say, you should be in bed, young lady.


SAWYER: No, we do get to have now a kind of predictability to the weeks that we didn't have when I was -- he called me wilderness heroine because I was always showing up in the wilds of Ghana or I was traipsing in from Cambodia.

GIFFORD: And unless you've traveled like that, you have no idea how exhausting it really is, right?

SAWYER: It is so exhausting -- I don't know if I told you this once -- but I'm sitting next to this women on a plane -- I, who do not sleep on planes ever, ever -- and coming back from a trip. And I look across at her, and she has this beautiful grandmotherly bosom. And obviously something lodged in my head.

GIFFORD: I could sleep there.

SAWYER: The next thing we know, I wake up, my nose down. I'm completely -- and I realize there's no protocol afterwards for saying, thank you very much for the use of your chest.

GIFFORD: For sharing your bosom with me.

SAWYER: It was very helpful, yes.

GIFFORD: What a lovely woman. She didn't mind. She's probably a grandma and she probably patted you.

SAWYER: I think she knew utter...

GIFFORD: Exhaustion.

SAWYER: ... complete exhaustion when she saw it.

GIFFORD: Now what's Mike like when you used to come home after times like that? Was he just incredibly supportive, or would he expect breakfast in bed and Saran Wrap at the door -- hello.

SAWYER: That's right. Unfortunately, I was using aluminum foil. I knew there was something wrong.

GIFFORD: No, no, no, then you look like the Jetsons. It's got to be Saran Wrap.

SAWYER: Right. No, he is -- he's great. He is very supportive. But he's always quoted this thing which someone said once, that in every marriage there's a flower and a gardener. And the secret, of course, is to be able go back and forth between the two. And there are times, there are times when we both come home and say, I'm the flower. No, I'm the flower...

GIFFORD: It's my turn.

SAWYER: ... You were the flower last night.

GIFFORD: But that's the same in every marriage, don't you think?

SAWYER: It's the same with every marriage when you're working at the pace we're working. But he is really astonishing in the intuitive way that he's just there. He's always there. He always knows how to make you laugh and the comforting thing to say. I think it must be from working with...

GIFFORD: With actors so many years? SAWYER: ... with actors so many years, where they're out there and they're putting their careers in your hands all the time.

GIFFORD: Yes, so a lot of responsibility. Have you ever hated a movie he's directed?



SAWYER: No, because I always see...

GIFFORD: Would you tell him if you did?

SAWYER: I'd probably tell him something that signaled -- I wouldn't have to tell him the answer.

GIFFORD: He'd know.

SAWYER: He knows everything, of course, right away.

GIFFORD: He's that smart.

SAWYER: But I always see his intelligence in it, and I always see how funny he is, and I always learn something from it, because he has such a quirky brain. And, you know, I've -- it's impossible to be bored when you're around him. It's just true.

GIFFORD: And are you easily bored?

SAWYER: I'm very easily bored.

GIFFORD: You had long relationships, though, before Mike. You were...

SAWYER: Right.

GIFFORD: I mean, you had one date with Frank Gifford, but you had, like, long relationships with other people.

SAWYER: You know, the one that got away.

GIFFORD: The one that got away.

SAWYER: I did. No, I'm impatient. I'm impatient. I think probably the most nearly bored I've been -- oh, let's face it, I was bored out of my mind with him, with Mike -- was when he made me go with him in the early days to Sweden to see "Long Day's Journey into Night" in Swedish.

GIFFORD: Oh, my gosh, that's love.

SAWYER: Now mind you, I'm not sure I could sit through it in English. But this was early days. And I'm really of the school of, OK, got that, get on with it. Got that, get on with it. And so we, you know, if we have different, I guess, attention spans, it's mostly about theater and classical music, which he loves so much.

GIFFORD: And you want to put on what and listen to what -- beside my "Born for You" album.

SAWYER: Elvis.


SAWYER: And your "Born for You" album. I think about -- I still think about all the time, I have been to sorrow, I have been to bliss...

GIFFORD: Where I will be tomorrow, I can only guess.

SAWYER: ... I cannot guess.

GIFFORD: That's Julie Gold writing the -- just a wonderful, wonderful writer.

SAWYER: And then the line, too, about what will happen next we don't know, but the stars are out tonight.

GIFFORD: And their boundish guide my way. You did remember that. That's nice.

SAWYER: It's true. I loved it.

GIFFORD: But you know what? I -- I'm sorry, I think I was getting a cue that we're supposed to come back in just a moment. Am I right? It's going like this. It's going -- like that thing on "The Simpsons"...

GIFFORD: No, they were afraid we were going to break into song.

GIFFORD: ... when they come they go -- I think that means we're splitting. Yes, when we come back, Diane Sawyer and I will break into song. Whether you like it or not, we're going to sing.


GIFFORD: Sadly, our final minutes with Diane Sawyer.

But I wanted to ask her what here favorite Elvis song was.

SAWYER: I can't help falling in love with you.

GIFFORD (singing): Fools rush in.

SAWYER: Wise...

GIFFORD (singing): Wise men say, only fools rush in.

SAWYER: But I -- I can't do it.

GIFFORD: Yes, you can. I've seen you sing with Aretha, I've seen you sing with Carly Simon... SAWYER: I did sing with Aretha.

GIFFORD: ... I think there's a pip in you. You're definitely a pip.

SAWYER: I'm backup. I'm really basically backup.

GIFFORD: But you love it. You can see. I mean...

SAWYER: Oh, I was so happy with Carly and with Aretha...

GIFFORD: She is great.

SAWYER: And Aretha kept looking back sort of skeptically. I practiced my moves...

GIFFORD: She can be...

SAWYER: ... I mean, I had the whole thing down.

GIFFORD: Yes, I know it. You were dipping. You were definitely dipping. Have you ever come away from an interview thinking that it went so well, and then getting flack for it that just -- you just didn't understand the criticism that came? Such as, like, maybe the Michael Jackson interview, which -- how did you feel about that when it was done, and then later when everything happened?

SAWYER: You know, I knew going in that it was a tightrope walk, because we were in a situation where there was off-the-record information, where there was background information...

GIFFORD: And the public can't know all this.

SAWYER: ... and you're constrained from some of the things you can introduce into the interview. There have been others -- I mean, recently when we went down and talked to Elian Gonzalez.

GIFFORD: Yes, yes.

SAWYER: And coming back, and, you know, we deliberated so long and hard before we did this and thought about it so carefully.

GIFFORD: Because of the fear of being exploitive of a 6-year- old?

SAWYER: Because we wanted to be so careful and we wanted to make sure there was something we felt we could learn and it was important. And then, I guess the thing that most perplexed me about that is that all those months, for five months there had been cameras trained on this little boy 20 hours a day, every move he made outside, and no one had said a word about it.

GIFFORD: About how intrusive that it was in his little life, yes.

SAWYER: Yes, but when we went down and tried to do something with a child psychologist we thought was as sensitive as we could possibly make it, and as best possible to make sure we were doing it for him, to make this a real child instead of our idea of a child.

GIFFORD: So are you damned if you do and damned in you don't sometimes, no matter what you do?

SAWYER: No, not if you believe in it.

GIFFORD: And you have to live with that often.

SAWYER: You simply have to know when you wake up in the morning that, you know, I think the only thing you can't go back from is when you have knowingly violated something that is at the core of your belief. And if you've knowingly done that...

GIFFORD: You have to deal with it.

SAWYER: ... how you forgive yourself is the hard part, as we know. And -- and if you can wake up the next day and say, I know why I did this...

GIFFORD: My heart's pure, in other words.

SAWYER: ... and that I think that it was right. I think that it was for the good, it takes care of all the rest of it. You can let the cannons and scuds and...

GIFFORD: Yes, let them fly.

SAWYER: ... and everything else fly at you.

GIFFORD: J.C. Watts, the wonderful congressman from Oklahoma, wrote me the sweetest note about my leaving the show and a lot of the attention that's been negative and everything. And he said, Kathie, just remember something -- and I thought this was so sweet of him. I've never met him before, but it's the same thing in your situation. He says, they feed the pigeons, but they shoot at eagles.

And so, you know, maybe the next time you read all of that, say, you know what? You were the one who got the interview. There were an awful lot of people struggling and trying and desperate to get that interview, and you're the one that got it. So there's going to be an element of jealously to begin with. And then, you know, even your own mother may not think you did it right. You know, so there's -- everybody's a critic.

SAWYER: Especially your own mother.

GIFFORD: That's guarantee my mom.

SAWYER: Is there anything you haven't done yet that you're dying to do?

SAWYER: I was just going to finish up on what you were saying, because I was talking to Barbara Walters earlier today, because in light of this, you know, we are forever, forever... GIFFORD: Squelching it...

SAWYER: We've decided now that we're going to apply for positions at the World Wrestling Federation...

GIFFORD: Oh, good.

SAWYER: ... and we're going to do the "Smackdown."

GIFFORD: Duke it out in the mud.

SAWYER: "Smackdown." I'm going to get a sort of Spandex thong thing, and we're just going to go in and have it out.

GIFFORD: Promise? You just got everybody's attention on that one, Diane?

SAWYER: We can't back everybody off from thinking there is...

GIFFORD: But they don't do that to Peter Jennings and Sam Donaldson. You know, why is it -- it's so sexist, isn't it? That just two attractive, powerful women can't be friends, can't being be supportive of one another. I mean, that's truly sexist at its core.

SAWYER: Well, you know, it's a great story. I think that's probably what it is.

GIFFORD: Whether it's true or not.

SAWYER: It's a great story -- yes, exactly.

GIFFORD: All right, now I want to ask you how much longer you're going to stay at "GMA" do you think, if you know.

SAWYER: You know, Charlie...

GIFFORD: And then what you'd like to do after?

SAWYER: Charlie and I decided that we would stop torturing ourselves, because we were setting deadlines. And we said...

GIFFORD: And they'd come.

SAWYER: And they'd come, and then we'd wake up, and once again we agreed to extend it. So we decided not to set any deadlines, and we both just decided we'll know it when we get there.

GIFFORD: And in light of the "Today" show's announcement that they're going to go to three hours now?

SAWYER: That is really interesting.

GIFFORD: That's going to affect poor Reg, who won't have, you know, me to kick around.

SAWYER: Yes, and it's also going to take... GIFFORD: Yes, that's going to impact that show.

SAWYER: It's going to be interesting in terms of the programming in the morning, you know in terms of the programing in the morning, whether it will be, you know, another newscast at that hour or will it be a magazine program, what it will be. So everybody's interested in that.

But we're really making our decision based on all of the things we still want to do.

GIFFORD: And you're still having fun.

SAWYER: And Charlie and I have such dreams, and Shelly Ross and this fantastically smart team at "Good Morning America" have -- you know, we just keep trying to set the bar a little higher for ourselves and gong our heads sometimes. But we go to the White House, and we take the million moms right into the president, and we have a real debate that goes on there. And then the next day...

GIFFORD: It's hard to walk away from that kind of thing, that gold.

SAWYER: That's right.

And then the next day we branch out and go into the park with Carly Simon, so that as long as we're still stretching, you know, we're having too good a time to leave at this moment. So we're not going to set deadlines.

GIFFORD: Good for you. And I'll never ask you again, OK?

SAWYER: How long I'm going to stay?

GIFFORD: Yes, because as far as I'm concerned, stay forever, both you and Charlie. It's fun to wake up with you in the morning.

SAWYER: Thank you.

GIFFORD: I know Mike sees you before we do, but you're a doll, Diane, and I just wish you the very, very best -- God bless.

Diane has to go night-night now. She's going to be up in the morning.

SAWYER: That's right. Canon and I are going to...


But we are coming back with the inimitable Joan Rivers, who -- oh, please -- never sleeps.

We'll be right back.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK) GIFFORD: I am -- don't know how I get so lucky to be able to spend this evening with two of my favorite ladies in the world: Diane Sawyer first and now Joan Rivers. When Joan was on our show this morning, "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee," she said "deep to shallow," "deep to shallow."


JOAN RIVERS, ENTERTAINER: She's so good and she's so smart, you know.

GIFFORD: She's amazing. But you know what people don't know about you, Joan Rivers, if they just see the wisecracks and they just hear the jokes...

RIVERS: That's right.

GIFFORD: ... they don't know how truly deep you can be, too.

RIVERS: Oh, yes, sure.

GIFFORD: No. You know, when I fell in love with you -- and I'll just -- this is not gushing; this is just the truth. Because some of the things you said earlier before I knew you, I thought, ooh, that's mean, that's oh -- why does she that? That would hurt somebody's feelings. Then I was accused unfairly of sweatshop labor violations, and I heard that you had gone on certain radio shows without even really knowing me very well and just defended...

RIVERS: Absolutely.

GIFFORD: You were like the only kind voice I was hearing then. I never will stop thanking you for that.

RIVERS: Well, again, I just call it like I see it.

GIFFORD: The truth? You just speak the truth?

RIVERS: As I interpret it. And it was so -- what they did to you was so -- like you're going to know who's doing your things.

GIFFORD: Well...

RIVERS: It's so stupid that time.

GIFFORD: But it was not the popular road to take, and it took courage, and I was grateful.

RIVERS: Thank you. It's -- also, it was very smart, you went out and just fought back.

GIFFORD: Well, you try to make things a little bit better. But you're a fighter, too. I mean, look at Diane and you and me. We're the three women who -- did you ever dream you'd ever have the career that you've had?

RIVERS: I don't think I have a career. That's why I work so hard. I never...

GIFFORD: Take it for granted, you mean?

RIVERS: ... ever take it for granted. Ever. And at this age, when you're totally invisible, you really have to work three times as much just to stay where you are.

GIFFORD: But you're more visible now than ever. You're on the E! Channel, you're on, you know...


GIFFORD: QVC. You're just back from the Cannes Film Festival.

RIVERS: Yes. Trust me. You're really invisible there. If you're not 16 with breasts, you know, you're just a...


RIVERS: And a phone. I finally bought like a piece of soap and made it black so I could walk around.

GIFFORD: And just feel like you're one of the crowd.

RIVERS: Well, you had to. Everyone was like this on the beach.

GIFFORD: Yes. I think cell phones are going to go down as one of the worst things that ever happened to our culture. They're just incredibly invasive and rude.

RIVERS: Also, no one wants to listen. They are sending off such rays...


RIVERS: ... such radio waves. Think about what's going on every New York street now.

GIFFORD: Well, I'm just amazed...

RIVERS: It's being sent off.

GIFFORD: ... at how loud people yell and they think it's a private conversation.

RIVERS: But now, you don't know who to sit next to. They're all stupid. You think they're all crazy.

GIFFORD: Well, on our show this morning, before you came on, a -- a camera rewound and it took about 30 seconds and we waited for that. And then somebody's cell phone went off and then there was construction going. And I said this is the noisiest planet.


GIFFORD: What do you do to get away from the noise? When Joan Rivers wants to relax, what do you do?

RIVERS: It's -- I can turn off. I'm one of those people that can just turn off.

I stay in bed and...

GIFFORD: Alone, Joan?

RIVERS: Or if I'm lucky, unfortunately...


I'm in bed with every book I want to read, every magazine I want to read and every tape. I buy tapes. I'm one of those women that sees those 1-800...

GIFFORD: Of books? Audio books?

RIVERS: No, no, no. Of -- I have like "Lawrence of Arabia" or "American President."

GIFFORD: Oh, you watch videos.

RIVERS: Videotapes, and I'll spend a day watching and reading, and it's heaven. Heaven!

GIFFORD: And how much do you get to see your daughter, Melissa, now. too, because you two are very, very close?

RIVERS: Not enough. Not enough.

GIFFORD: Did you ever go through a very estranged period with Melissa?

RIVERS: We went through a terrible one after my husband committed suicide when she blamed it all on me and she was 16.

GIFFORD: And so she said what she thought.

RIVERS: And it's your fault, mother.

GIFFORD: Oh, you needed that on top of your own pain.

RIVERS: And that was...

GIFFORD: How did you react? What did you say to her?

RIVERS: We went right into therapy. The smartest thing I ever did was we went right into therapy, and that took about two years.

GIFFORD: That had to be a very long two years with an angry 16-, 17-, 18-year-old and under your roof.

RIVERS: There was one time when she was in college, we went to see the psychiatrist. And we're seeing the -- whatever you call it -- psychologist, psychiatrist... GIFFORD: Right.

RIVERS: ... down in Philadelphia. And at the end of the session, which was awful, she walked out and she -- let's have a cup of coffee. And I remember saying to her, I can't. That was my rock bottom. I've just got to go home.

GIFFORD: Was that the lowest point, even worse than Edgar's suicide?

RIVERS: Oh, yes.

GIFFORD: Why? Did you feel like then you were losing everything?

RIVERS: That was the end. I mean, she was my last -- look how we're starting...


RIVERS: ... this happy half hour.

GIFFORD: Well, I'm getting to the deep. We know the other.

RIVERS: She was the last living thing I had, and she was gone. And that was just -- Edgar was gone and I dealt with that. But that you're losing your daughter here -- yes, that was the lowest point in my entire life ever.

GIFFORD: And what did -- how did you get out? How did you get up? You talk about always getting up.

RIVERS: Here comes the joke. I got into the limo and said, not so bad.


GIFFORD: You said what?

RIVERS: That was a joke. I had a limo waiting for me.

GIFFORD: Oh, yes, yes, right. How bad can it be, right?

RIVERS: How bad can it be?

GIFFORD: I don't have a daughter, but I've got a limo.


But your sense of humor was still...

RIVERS: Always. But don't you think -- and I talk about this. I do lectures on survival and stuff. Man is given -- God gave us -- we're the only -- only species that has been given humor. You never saw two cows go, do the farmer.


GIFFORD: Did you hear the one...

RIVERS: And that we laugh gets me out of everything, everything.

GIFFORD: If you lost your sense of humor, for whatever reason, what would you do?

RIVERS: I would -- I don't know because I've always had it.

GIFFORD: Do you take it for granted?

RIVERS: Never, no. I'm always amazed that it's still there. And I'm always amazed when the joke comes, and I'm always upset when not everybody gets it's a joke.

GIFFORD: That's what we're going to talk about when we come back. Have you ever said anything that you wish you could take back and what would you say to that person now that you have the opportunity? Well, that should be fun.


GIFFORD: We'll be right back with Joan Rivers.


GIFFORD: Having a little girl-talk with Joan Rivers. You know, I know your heart, so I know that your intention is never to hurt somebody. But when you find out that you have hurt someone, what's your reaction?

RIVERS: First of all, it's been very seldom, because the bigger they are, the more they get it. Do you understand?

GIFFORD: I think so.

RIVERS: You do a joke about -- and I don't even know who -- somebody's dress, they're making $30 million a picture, they -- it's like a fly has made a joke about them. It's always the little ones that are either trying to make a fight with me.

One time, which I always talk about, Willie Nelson, who is not the cleanest -- I used to follow him and...

GIFFORD: He isn't but he's adorable.

RIVERS: Yep. In Tahoe. And the men that were in his -- used to urinate out the window. And the maids would come to me and say, they just urinated out the window, Ms. Rivers. So I did a joke that Willie Nelson wears a roach motel around his neck. And at that time, it was a funny joke. He's so dirty then.

His daughter wrote to me and said, they teased me in school.

GIFFORD: Oh. RIVERS: Comes out the same minute. Same minute, you're not out there...

GIFFORD: That's a child now, and that's what got to you?

RIVERS: Over, over now.

GIFFORD: Did you call him? Did you write to him?

RIVERS: No, but I just took the joke right out.

GIFFORD: Yes. And did you ever work with him again?

RIVERS: I -- I followed him.



RIVERS: He was the headline. I did. But the maid said they'd stayed over and I guess they had gotten drunk the night. And she said that's what these, you know, guys were doing, Ms. Rivers. Well, it goes right into the act. Whoo! Good joke.

GIFFORD: Right. What about if -- if they were about Melissa, the joke's about her, because she's become a professional herself? She's been the target of some criticism.

RIVERS: Again, if she deserves it she should get it. But don't say Melissa's got a bad mouth. Melissa never said anything. On E! -- and we do -- we have a fashion review from Cannes coming a week from Saturday. Melissa's usually is much more positive about than I am, because she understands the newer fashions more than I do.

GIFFORD: Ah! It's not your thing, it's not classic and tailored and chic and all that.

RIVERS: Right. I remember...

GIFFORD: A lot of rips.

RIVERS: And the first time I saw a woman with bare legs about three years ago, I said, this is disgusting. And now, it looks great. Now, I'm putting a fake tan on my leg.

GIFFORD: Yes. And you and I said we'd never wear that sort of mid-calf look and...

RIVERS: Check it out tonight.

GIFFORD: Right. Right, right.

RIVERS: So she's a little more ahead of me. So if I'm going to say something, they shouldn't turn around.

"What's her name" from "The Sopranos," the one that plays the wife.

GIFFORD: Edie...

RIVERS: Edie somebody.

GIFFORD: Edie Shalco.

RIVERS: Edie Falco -- Falco.

GIFFORD: Edie Falco.

RIVERS: Three years ago, nobody knew who the hell she was.


RIVERS: She's on a hit show, be happy. She comes storming up to us, and in The New York Times: How dare you people talk about us! We didn't know who the hell she was at that point. So we ran the tapes.

GIFFORD: I'm trying to help you hear tonight, Joan, not get you into more trouble.

RIVERS: No, but you know, how stupid people are. And we ran the tapes, and somebody in the panel had said -- we didn't know who she was at that point.

GIFFORD: But they...

RIVERS: So she -- so we said to her, we met her at another party, and we said: We never said this about you. Did you see -- and Melissa is so smart. She said: Did you see the tape? No, and someone told me.

GIFFORD: But people love to be the bearer of bad news.

RIVERS: Of bad news. And it wasn't even us. Somebody on the panel had said we didn't like it.

Now, of course, we know who she. It's a big hit show.

GIFFORD: But now, would it change what you would say? Say if you didn't like her outfit?

What happens when you have a great friend...

RIVERS: Oh, it kills me.

GIFFORD: And I like to think that we're pals. If I walked up and wearing something you didn't like, and I walked away, what -- would you be able to say, the woman has fallen apart, or something like that?

RIVERS: I would have to say, because my job on E!...

GIFFORD: Yes, right. RIVERS: ... and the reason we are No. 1 on E! is because we tell the truth. And that's why people tune in. And all my letters say, you said what I just said to my mother as I was watching the show.

GIFFORD: And do you think that's your fans have been there through thick and thin?

RIVERS: And what I would say would be, I think Kathie Lee looked fabulous, I think the dress was not right for her. Sigourney Weaver was being dressed for a while by Prada, I think it was...


RIVERS: And Sigourney's got a great body. She works out. She's no chicken.

GIFFORD: Yes. So why...

RIVERS: She comes one night to the Academy Awards -- oh, you...

GIFFORD: You haven't forgotten this.

RIVERS: And she said to me -- I said to her, whose dress? And she said, well, they're very good friends of mine. And you want to say, these are not your friends.


Now, what am I supposed to do? So we had to go back and say, I didn't like it.

GIFFORD: What about if somebody says, that Joan -- I hate the way Joan Rivers dresses.

RIVERS: But they're right. I have a dress that came back to haunt me that I wore two years ago to the Emmys, big pink ruffles. I don't want to mention the name of the designer. I looked like a fool.

GIFFORD: Really?

RIVERS: I looked like a toilet paper cover.

GIFFORD: Like a prom queen maybe?

RIVERS: Oh, like the oldest prom queen.

GIFFORD: Heidi Abramowitz (ph) at the prom.


RIVERS: Worse. I looked like Margo (ph) coming out of Shangri- La when the face got old.


GIFFORD: No, but you never let your face get old, and that's what we're going to talk about next, because I want to know who your doctor is. We'll be right back with Joan Rivers.



GIFFORD: Dishing the dirt here. Should have been here during commercial, baby.

All right. You can -- if you don't get enough of Joan right now or on the radio, she has her own Web site now. She's very big. And she'll be on QVC Sunday May 28th through Friday June 2nd from 11:00 to 12:00 every night.

RIVERS: Every night. We're doing a -- what do you call it? A miniseries.

GIFFORD: A marathon.

RIVERS: A marathon.

GIFFORD: A miniseries marathon. OK, good.

All right. So you're in Cannes, just came back from the Cannes Film Festival.


GIFFORD: You saw the Victoria's Secret fashion show.

RIVERS: They had the big (UNINTELLIGIBLE) show.

GIFFORD: I saw pictures, but I didn't see them from behind. And you say that that's the real view to get.

RIVERS: And I'm sitting there with all of them, you know.

GIFFORD: Oh, and they're all...

RIVERS: Salma Hayek, you know, and everybody. We're all sitting there. It's all terrific. And the models come strutting out and they're looking...

GIFFORD: Attitude.

RIVERS: ... and bitch time and just walking and showing off. Oh, do it.


And then they pass us by and they're jiggling, and they've got like...

GIFFORD: Like a serious Jell-o jiggle.

RIVERS: Jell-o jiggles and cellulite. Well, do you know how happy the women were? GIFFORD: I feel so much better. Yes, I feel so much better.

RIVERS: So the men got what they want it. It was like a perfect show.

GIFFORD: But did the men even see it?


GIFFORD: They're just looking at the front, right?

RIVERS: Happiness. The men got, huh-huh. And the women got, thank god.


RIVERS: It was really -- I kept saying, I bet they planned it this way.

GIFFORD: Oh, I don't think so.

RIVERS: No, I don't know. Of course not.

GIFFORD: God planned it that way to keep us all humble.

RIVERS: To keep us humble. But it just cheers you up, because if the most beautiful women in the world...

GIFFORD: Even they have flaws.

RIVERS: Even they have flaws. Thank you. Thank you.

GIFFORD: But that's what's wrong with our whole culture. We emulate these people and all it does is make us feel worse about ourselves.

RIVERS: But this culture is so disgusting.

GIFFORD: What do you despise the most about it? What's your pet peeve?



RIVERS: Nothing shocks you.

GIFFORD: I just heard that tabloid story that said I'm having an affair with Kevin Costner.

RIVERS: That shocks.

GIFFORD: That shocked me. My mouth was open. I said, I would have remembered that.

(LAUGHTER) That might have been a blip on my radar screen.

RIVERS: Even -- nobody's shocked about it. Kevin Costner, we all go, isn't that cute, isn't that funny? I just find celebrities that have become celebrities because they've done something awful.


RIVERS: That to me...

GIFFORD: We become famous for -- for lewd and lascivious acts.

RIVERS: Yes. I -- so what do you tell your children? And you have young children.


RIVERS: What do you say to your children now? Do anything, because that will make you someone they want to meet at a party. I find it disgusting.

GIFFORD: You know, though, what I've always tried to do is tried to explain -- and even in every fairy tale you read to your children there's the bad guy. And I remember saying to Cody early, early on as I was reading to him, I said, Cody -- he says, mommy, why is there always a bad person? I said: Well, Cody, there are bad people in the world, but maybe they didn't start out that way. Maybe they never had a mommy and a daddy who loved them, and maybe they never had opportunities. And about a year later, he was talking with his little pal -- I think he was four or five -- his little pal Robby. And Robby said: Cody, why is that guy so mean? And I heard Cody go, maybe they never had a mommy and daddy who loved them.


RIVERS: Isn't that sweet?

GIFFORD: Yes. I mean, you try to think that maybe people started out OK, but life, you know, gives them some blows and they get disappointed and they get hurt, and the armor -- the armor -- and you've had enough of that yourself. So have I.

How do you keep a tough skin and keep a tender heart, Joan Rivers?

RIVERS: You just keep going. You just keep going.

GIFFORD: How do you not let the bitterness come in and take seed in your own your heart?

RIVERS: You can't -- first of all, I'm so lucky. I can't be -- I look around, I think, I'm the luckiest woman on Earth.

GIFFORD: But that could change tomorrow?

RIVERS: It has three times... GIFFORD: Yes.

RIVERS: ... but you keep going. It keeps coming back. Just keep working. It can't change what's happened.


RIVERS: Can't ever change what's behind you.

GIFFORD: So no regrets for Joan Rivers?

RIVERS: Yes, regrets that I never appreciated a lot of the good times when they were happening. I do now.

GIFFORD: Took them for granted at the time.

RIVERS: I was working so damn hard I couldn't put my head up to...

GIFFORD: Was that because of a lack of self-esteem?

RIVERS: Well, that hasn't changed.

GIFFORD: With all you've accomplished, you don't feel like you're one heck of a great woman?

RIVERS: Oh please!

GIFFORD: You're going to spit at me, aren't you? You're going...

RIVERS: Kathie -- ughh!


GIFFORD: See, I think you are. Why doesn't that validate you?

RIVERS: No, because -- because life isn't what any of us -- you talk about fairy tales. Barbara Courtland died.


RIVERS: I didn't pronounce it right. And -- I'm so dyslexic. Every woman wants to be adored, loved, cosseted and taken care of and protected. Now, I know we're two working women.


RIVERS: I would have loved to have been adored, loved, protected, cosseted.

GIFFORD: All at the same time, though.

RIVERS: Oh, sure.

GIFFORD: We're going to be right back. We've got -- well, can you wait? Don't go anywhere, Joanie.

RIVERS: I'm waiting for some guy to come and get me.

GIFFORD: OK. The limo is outside. We'll be right back.


GIFFORD: In the phony world of celebrity, very few are as honest about having had a little work, a little nip and tuck, so to speak, as you have always been.

RIVERS: Always.

GIFFORD: Did you -- did you do some things first and then keep it quiet for awhile and then just -- how did that come about? The honesty part about the surgeries.

RIVERS: I was sitting once with four stars, great lady stars, and I said, I'm going to get my eyes done. And one of them said, let me know what it feels like. And you wanted to say, did they cut that deeply it hurt your brain?


GIFFORD: Who are you kidding?

RIVERS: Women watching at home that watches women who say, I've had nothing done -- don't lie to women. Say to them, you can look like me too if you do so and so. And I decided I would just tell the truth.

GIFFORD: So did you feel like you had to have plastic surgery to compete in our business or because personally you just didn't like what was happening to you aging-wise?



RIVERS: Aging stinks.

GIFFORD: Doesn't it? It stinks big time.

RIVERS: Anyone.

GIFFORD: It's not even worth the wisdom.

RIVERS: You know, any women out there that thinks, I'll never have my mother's thighs -- oh, yes, you will have your mother's thighs or your mother's -- you know, you'll look at one point and you'll go, oh, my hands.

GIFFORD: I know. When I was -- I'm pre-menopausal. And I go: But I was just post-natal. How can I also be pre-menopausal at the same time?


It just happens. And you know what: If you're lucky, you get there, right?

RIVERS: Oh, yes. There's always that look at the alternative.

GIFFORD: It could be pushing up daisies.

RIVERS: Right. Do you know when you've slept wrong and you have to straighten this out now?

GIFFORD: Yes. So you're not finished with this. You're going to keep going? You're going...

RIVERS: As long as there is a Dr. Steven Halflin (ph) in California. He's my friend.

GIFFORD: Oh yes. But he's had some controversy as well, too. You're sticking by him. You stick by your pals.

RIVERS: He's a brilliant -- I don't care. First of all, I don't believe any of it, that he did jokes. But you want to know something, if he did do jokes about his patients, if I were a plastic surgeon, I would laugh too.

GIFFORD: And what's unforgivable? And what's unforgivable, in your mind?

RIVERS: Unforgivable is anyone that the doctor gives out who he does.

GIFFORD: No, I mean in life.

RIVERS: In life?

GIFFORD: In life.

RIVERS: Oh, disloyalty. Disloyalty, disloyalty. I have very few friends, but I trust them and I hope they trust me. I think I'm a very good friend. I'm a friend to few people. But once...

GIFFORD: When you chose me...


GIFFORD: Well, you've been a friend to me, and I love you for it.


GIFFORD: You know that.


GIFFORD: No, stop, stop.

RIVERS: We don't want to talk about it on the air.

GIFFORD: Don't start.


GIFFORD: You're going to make me cry.

So QVC, Sunday May 28th through Friday June 2nd, every night, your gorgeous jewelry. All that's yours.

RIVERS: WOR, I have to...

GIFFORD: I know. She's a radio queen. She's got her own calendar, dog foods, it's unbelievable.

RIVERS:, a joke every single day. New joke, new joke.

GIFFORD: Well, you've kept us all laughing.


GIFFORD: And acting, some more acting? I mean, you're a Broadway baby, too.

RIVERS: I'm going back to Broadway next year, finished a play.

GIFFORD: And is marriage in the new millennium for maybe Joan Rivers?

RIVERS: Too late now.

GIFFORD: You think?

RIVERS: I love being independent. I have a very nice gentleman caller, and it's just fine.

GIFFORD: Does he just call or does he actually come over sometimes?

RIVERS: No, he comes over a lot.


GIFFORD: Well, I love you, Joanie.

RIVERS: I'm so happy, and you're such a good mother. And let me tell you that's...


... jewel, as they said. Forget others. But that's -- that's the jewel.

GIFFORD: It really is. And that's what you go home to at the end. It ain't your career that keeps you warm at night. RIVERS: No, no.


RIVERS: And when you look around you, you have a child that's healthy and successful in life.

GIFFORD: As a human being.


GIFFORD: Yes. I think that's another part of society for another night that's a big problem: The way we judge success in our world today has really nothing to do with what really matters. It ain't trophies. That's a good thing to say after losing the Emmy for the 10th time.

I want to say goodbye to Joan Rivers, who I'll see tomorrow on my own show tomorrow morning...

RIVERS: Tomorrow.

GIFFORD: ... "Live With Regis & Kathie Lee." And my thanks to Diane Sawyer. Congratulations to Larry King and his beautiful wife, Shawn.

Thanks, everybody, for being with us.



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