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Joan and Melissa Rivers Interview; Interview with Mary Matalin

Aired March 12, 2012 - 21:00   ET


JANE LYNCH, ACTRESS: Hey, America. I'm Jane Lynch. Now you may know me from a little thing called "Glee." But tonight is not about high school kids and show tunes. Tonight it's about me taking over for Piers Morgan and taking on my dream job, cable news host.

Is that OK, Piers?

PIERS MORGAN, CNN HOST: I don't -- really?

LYNCH: And while he tries to form the question, I'll tell you who's with me tonight. Joan Rivers, comic legend and the woman who scares the crap out of (INAUDIBLE). We'll talk who they are wearing and what were they thinking.

And I've got to ask Joan about this moment from "Joan and M. RIVERS: Joan Knows Best" on WE TV.


LYNCH: I don't know what she's smoking but I'm pretty sure it's not tobacco.

Plus Mary Matalin on this crazy presidential race and the state of the GOP and women's rights.

And "Only in America," the Olive Garden review that's making an 85-year-old food critic an Internet food sensation.

This is it, America. One night only, "Jane Lynch Tonight."

Good evening. The "Big Story" tonight. I'm guest hosting while Piers is away. And as the guest host, I am entitled to my own banner. CNN plasters these things all over the place so let's get the Jane Lynch one up and running.

RIVERS: Damn right.

LYNCH: It should be right here. There it is. Well, thank you very much. It's good to be a host. Now before Piers went away on vacation, he tried to offer me some advice.


MORGAN: What does it take to be a guest host on PIERS MORGAN TONIGHT? Huge shoes. (END VIDEO CLIP)

LYNCH: Well, I am a size 11 so I do have those huge shoes. Good suggestion, Piers. Anything else you'd like to add?


MORGAN: Don't get too gleeful, Jane. It's just a temporary job.


LYNCH: We'll see about that, Piers. We're going to have some fun this evening. Joan Rivers is here. I am so excited. So is her daughter.

RIVERS: I'm so happy to see you. Melissa is waiting.

LYNCH: Well, it's so great to see you. And Melissa is waiting. We're going to bring her in a little bit.

RIVERS: And I hate "Glee" because it's not like my high school.

LYNCH: Good. No? Not at all?

RIVERS: I went to a Jewish high school, gloom. It was a whole different thing.



RIVERS: Yes, the teachers say, yes, you can sing, but you're Jewish, go to work, learn, you know?

LYNCH: We don't have any Jews at McKinley High.

RIVERS: No, there are no --

LYNCH: Rachel Berry, I think, is the only Jew.

RIVERS: Everybody is happier there.

LYNCH: Yes, they are. They're very -- they're happy. Yes.


LYNCH: They're gleeful children.

RIVERS: Not my high school.

LYNCH: No, no. Not mine either. No one is great --

RIVERS: Sit in the corner, fat-so. That's right. OK.

LYNCH: Well, I'm --

RIVERS: I'm thrilled to see you.

LYNCH: I'm really thrilled to see you, too. My first question isn't really a question. I'm going to state it as a statement. You stay so very current. You are so funny today. And let me tell you why I think you are so funny today.


LYNCH: Because you have allowed your comedy to evolve as you evolve. So your jokes used to be about not being able to get a date and now it's about how your private parts are falling along with your breasts which I just love.


LYNCH: Yes. I love that. I love how you say I looked down and there was a great bunny slipper and you say, why -- why is my bunny slippers so gray?

RIVERS: Right, right. That's -- I was sexually harassed, I thought, and a man said no, you're just looking at your shoes. I mean it's so -- but that's easy. No, I'm -- comedy is so current now.


RIVERS: That if you're not current, then you become something like a grand old comedian which is not what I'm about.

LYNCH: No, I know.

RIVERS: I mean things happen and right away you start talking. And like Snooki, thank you, god. When she became pregnant.

LYNCH: She is a gift, isn't she? Well, the pregnancy is a gift, too.

RIVERS: A gift, a gift that keeps on giving. It's so wonderful.

LYNCH: Yes. I know.

RIVERS: And my first line was -- I said even Rick Santorum said time for abortion.


RIVERS: But some you can't say. And I get through everything with comic.

LYNCH: Yes, I know.

RIVERS: Everything.

LYNCH: I know. That's what I love about you.

RIVERS: And it's worked for me. But like when Whitney Houston died. LYNCH: Yes.

RIVERS: Terribly sad. I have so -- I have one joke I cannot --

LYNCH: Please tell it.

RIVERS: I will tell you the joke, but I'm telling you now, I have not said it out loud yet because it's too soon. But I said I saw Whitney at the Grammys and she looked beautiful. She was in mahogany from head to toe. Now that's a great joke six months from now.

LYNCH: Yes and so --

RIVERS: Six months from now people will say --

LYNCH: Not appropriate right now on this show.

RIVERS: Not appropriate now.

LYNCH: No, no, no.

RIVERS: Not appropriate now.

LYNCH: That's what I love about your comedy. And being a creative person myself, I know when you're in the creative process, you have to go balls out. And you can't be afraid, you can't jump to the result, I will offend people.

RIVERS: You can never.

LYNCH: You never do it. It kills it.

RIVERS: And people think -- on the red carpet, well, what if you meet these people fashion police? What if you meet somebody -- well, that's not my job. My job is say what I think, and not worry what the person is going to think because I'm worrying about what the audience is going to react to.

LYNCH: But do you ever feel bad like --

RIVERS: Terrible.


RIVERS: Terrible.

LYNCH: Because deep down inside you're a nice person.

RIVERS: Well, not that deep.

LYNCH: Well, not that deep, no.

RIVERS: Shallowly.


RIVERS: But, I mean, like with you, we went over to see what I said about you over the years.

LYNCH: Yes. I would love to hear it.

RIVERS: Well, you -- you're like Ellen DeGeneres on steroids.


RIVERS: It's like, you know, little things. But you can't. You have to say -- in comedy, you have to say what you think. It's the first thing.

LYNCH: You have to. And it has to -- it can't be something that you're censoring or shaping in the moment. And that's why I love improv so much.

RIVERS: That's an improve.


RIVERS: What it's all about.

LYNCH: You have said that you are an actress first in your movie, "A Piece of Work," which I so enjoy. Joan Rivers' "A Piece of Work."

RIVERS: Thank you.

LYNCH: I saw it twice. You said, I'm an actress --

RIVERS: Did you pay?

LYNCH: I didn't. No, it was handed to me, sorry about that.

RIVERS: Well, it's OK. You know, when they say I saw it twice, you go good, ca-ching, ca-ching.

LYNCH: Not in Hollywood. You get everything for free.

RIVERS: I know. So who cares? Go on.

LYNCH: Yes. But you said that you're an actress first.


LYNCH: And you do your comedy to, you know, subsidize your acting. I would pause that because you are such a funny person and you have such access to your own pathos and the dark side and you make light of it so you don't fall into the abyss, that you are a great actress. And when you're out there doing your thing, you're a great actress.

RIVERS: But -- not me, but any comic, just in Don Rickles, if you go back over his career.


RIVERS: Look at his movies.

LYNCH: He's acting. Absolutely.

RIVERS: He's acting. You cannot say the same lines every night in your act.


RIVERS: You're repeating them. So you're -- that's an acting assignment.

LYNCH: You have to give the element of the first time, as they say in acting school.

RIVERS: Do we understand each other?

LYNCH: Yes. Yes. Absolutely. And you look at Robin Williams, you know?

RIVERS: Robin Williams is --

LYNCH: Hilarious, manic guy and he's got some of the most -- you know, "The World According Garp" and --

RIVERS: Brilliant.


RIVERS: Brilliant.

LYNCH: Really, really good. You know, but you take these straight actors, if you will. The people kind of stare meaningfully off into stage, they can't do comedy.


LYNCH: But you take the best actress, Meryl Streep, Al Pacino, Robert De Niro, they're hilarious people.

RIVERS: And they can duke, and they -- Meryl Streep, so adorable when she does comedy. And gets --

LYNCH: Yes, she's great.

RIVERS: Yes. But you know, it's always -- when they say, and you've probably said this, excuse me, when the camera goes, they go, I'm an actor.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: No, you're not. You have breasts. You're an actress.


RIVERS: What's so terrible?

LYNCH: Yes, I say actress, too.

RIVERS: Yes --

LYNCH: I don't have a problem with it. Stay gender neutral.

RIVERS: I'm her -- I'm an actor.


RIVERS: You're an ass.

LYNCH: I think in the SAG Awards a couple of years ago, they do this actually every year where they zoom in an actor and they go, you know, my first role was as a Mazepa in "Gypsy." My name is so and so, and I am an actor, which I like that. I think it's sweet, but girls should say they're actresses.

RIVERS: Say you're an actress. It's OK.

LYNCH: So are you into politics?

RIVERS: Not at all.


RIVERS: Hate them.

LYNCH: Do you hate them all? I kind of do, too.

RIVERS: I hate them all.

LYNCH: I used to love watching cable news shows and now they just drive me crazy. Why do you hate it?

RIVERS: First of all, the joke is, the Obamas are the white person -- people now. They've got two children in the White House. The others have 1,000 kids.

LYNCH: And thousand marriages.

RIVERS: Santorum gets in, he's got to live in the White House, he's got to live in a shoe.

LYNCH: I know.

RIVERS: He's got so many kids.

LYNCH: And he home-schools them, too. So they're going to be hanging around the White House.

RIVERS: And remember, I just think go to work and work on the country for two years. They have been campaigning for two years all of them.

LYNCH: I know. They have -- I mean it's crazy. It would be really strange politician who doesn't plan for his re-election the moment he gets into office. But I know, it's no way to run a country. Obama is not paying attention to the country right now.

RIVERS: Pay attention, we're in trouble.

LYNCH: Well, he is. But I think he can --


RIVERS: He knows he's not. They're all having a good time like you're on those motorcades in New York.



LYNCH: I don't think the Obamas are having great -- he's almost completely gray.

RIVERS: Yes. Can you -- they all age.

LYNCH: They do.

RIVERS: They all -- because they get in the White House and they say, you just going to let sit it out.

LYNCH: Yes, yes.

RIVERS: Now we're going to tell you what's really going on. I think (EXPLETIVE DELETED).

LYNCH: Exactly.

RIVERS: Are you kidding? You're making a joke.

LYNCH: But the Republicans, this primary is something. It's just -- I mean --

RIVERS: It's forever.

LYNCH: I know. It's forever and who cares. And it's really a weak field.

RIVERS: And the issues are wrong. The abortion issue, if you don't have a uterus, I'm not interested.

LYNCH: I don't want to hear you talk about it. I don't want a panel of men telling us about contraception and health.

RIVERS: Yes, yes. Then you know what? Then you pay for your Viagra.

LYNCH: Yes. Yes.

RIVERS: And Cialis now, 36 hour erections, I can't take it.


RIVERS: These poor old wives.

LYNCH: Yes, I know.

RIVERS: In and out. In and out.


RIVERS: They're going to set them on fire.

LYNCH: I know. So they're spending so much money researching drugs to keep 70-year-old senators hard.

RIVERS: Yes, yes. I know.


LYNCH: Now back in the day, you couldn't talk about sex and abortion.

RIVERS: Nothing.

LYNCH: When you were a stand-up and Phil Stiller (ph) before you. I mean you basically your comedy had to be about I can't get a date, you know, or --

RIVERS: I used to talk about it in my -- in my movie. When I was on the "Ed Sullivan Show," I did not carry, like, cute, I carried like a -- you know, like a big, fat tent.

LYNCH: I love it.

RIVERS: And I couldn't say I was pregnant on television. I had to say I'm going to hear the pitter-patter of little feet. I mean that's insane.

LYNCH: Crazy. Didn't you say in your movie Jack Lemon walked out once?

RIVERS: Yes. He was in shock.

LYNCH: Yes. He was in shock because you talked about abortion and -- what did you call it? You called it something else. She --

RIVERS: Those days you said you went for a appendectomy.

LYNCH: Appendectomy.

RIVERS: She had several appendectomies.

LYNCH: Appendectomies. That's right.

RIVERS: And finally, she ended up marrying the doctor.


RIVERS: It's supposed to be like a happy story. LYNCH: What -- I love it. And I know you don't like to be spoken of in the past, like you are an icon, you are a legend.

RIVERS: Yes, that's right.

LYNCH: You know, you're so very, very current. We went over that. But you have paved the way for people like Kathy Griffin and Chelsea Handler. And --


LYNCH: Silverman, Sarah Silverman.


LYNCH: Yes, me, too. I think they're all fantastic.

RIVERS: And Kathy is so smart.

LYNCH: And they love you. They all love you.

RIVERS: Well, two out of the three. But we're not --

LYNCH: Good. I'm glad you --


RIVERS: But no, I always get very angry with the girls saying, you paved the way, I want to say, sweetheart, I'm still paving.

LYNCH: You're still paving.

RIVERS: I don't want to see the D on the end of that.

LYNCH: Right. Exactly. You're still at --

RIVERS: And at this age, you can say what you want. The only good thing about age, the only good thing, is you can say what you damn please. Because what are you going to do? You're going to fire me? I think not.

LYNCH: Exactly.

RIVERS: You're going to walk out? They walked out.


LYNCH: It's empowering, isn't it, to get older? I mean I'm 51. And I definitely feel more empowered than I was when I was 35.

RIVERS: I'm 78. And you know what's nice as I say to my audience, you make it lucky and I may die so you will get a show and a death. And you will have dinner table conversation.

LYNCH: Yes. RIVERS: I was there. You were there the night it happened? The night it happened. She was out cold. She didn't move, we thought it was Botox. And (INAUDIBLE).


LYNCH: You know, this is something I came up with when I was researching you. One of your first roles you played a lesbian in the '50s in a play and you're in love with Barbra Streisand?

RIVERS: Yes. It was in the '60s.

LYNCH: "Driftwood" it was called.

RIVERS: Barbra worked in the '60s.

LYNCH: That is insane.

RIVERS: Well, it wasn't written -- it was written for Ralph Micah and Geraldine Page who unfortunately read the script and turned it down. So they couldn't get anybody. They said they got Barbra Streisand who was still in high school.

LYNCH: This is -- yes, pre-"Funny Girl," right?

RIVERS: Pre-"Funny Girl."

LYNCH: What else was she --

RIVERS: Pre-"Harry Stoones", pre-anything.

LYNCH: Yes, pre-anything.

RIVERS: Barbra didn't even know she could sing.



RIVERS: And she's not attractive.


RIVERS: She's gotten much more attractive --


RIVERS: She could walk across (INAUDIBLE) street and not look to the right or the left and be perfectly safe because she could see both ways.


RIVERS: But she grew out of it and she's beautiful.

LYNCH: She's -- I thought she was gorgeous. RIVERS: In her own way.

LYNCH: In her own -- Joan, we have to take a break.


LYNCH: There's something about advertisers and money. Stay right there, we'll be right back with more Joan Rivers.



RIVERS: I'm sorry, I always think Angelina is amazing and gorgeous. But she ruined the whole thing for me with that stupid working of that prosthetic leg. It's a fake leg. Yes, I got it. Yes. Here it is.


LYNCH: Every Friday on E!, Joan and friends dish on Hollywood style in one of her many shows, "Fashion Police" which is now a full hour.

And if you're just joining us, I am Jane Lynch. I'm filling in for Piers Morgan. And my best guest ever is here. I am with Joan Rivers.

RIVERS: I'm also your first. But that's all right.

LYNCH: You're the first, yes, you're best.

RIVERS: You're the best but then you find out, you were first.

LYNCH: Now do you miss being on the red carpet? I haven't seen you there.

RIVERS: Not at all.


RIVERS: Not at all.


RIVERS: Melissa and I, we -- I don't mean this as -- we invented it. I mean nobody wanted to do it when we did it.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: Nobody wanted to do it. And when we started saying, who are you wearing, "The New York Times" said, that's grammatically incorrect. And it's a stupid question.

LYNCH: It started with you? The two of you? RIVERS: Yes. Nobody wanted it. And someone says, they made walking into a building into an event. And then everybody got the -- now you can't say anything about anybody because the PR person they won't let you have their next guest.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: You said something about Gwyneth, well, then you can't have Meryl, and I found myself the last time we did it begging the stupid PR girl pleading with her, I said my birthday is coming up, I'm an old lady. Let me have -- I forget who, like, Matt Damon. Please. And she gave him -- gave him to me as a birthday gift. And then you go, I'm out of here.

LYNCH: Yes. So you're not --

RIVERS: I'm going out of the gift room and as long as Winona Ryder hasn't been through there, there are a lot of gifts left.



RIVERS: I'm going to have a good time.


LYNCH: Sarah Palin came to some events and she like robbed the -- I did see "Game Change" --

RIVERS: Was that great?

LYNCH: Yes, that was -- she went through the gift thing and like took everything. But yes, I thought the movie was amazing.

RIVERS: The movie was amazing.

LYNCH: Yes. Julianne Moore did such a great job and Woody Harrelson is --


LYNCH: Really good. Yes. I thought it was pretty amazing. I wonder if people are saying, that's not how it happened.

RIVERS: Well, read the book.

LYNCH: Yes, that's what I hear. That's what I hear. It was a really good book, too.

RIVERS: So we were talking Barbra Streisand.


LYNCH: Yes, finish that story.

RIVERS: OK. So nobody wanted to be in this place --

LYNCH: "Driftwood."

RIVERS: I'm 16-year-old girl, "Driftwood," Barbra Streisand, she still was wearing like a bead Erasmus button. She's a high school kid.


RIVERS: She played the lead. And I said, make them lesbians because they couldn't get a guy to play it.


RIVERS: So I became her lesbian lover.

LYNCH: And you kissed her?

RIVERS: Smack on the lips.


RIVERS: Yes. And she was, A, a great kisser, and B, even at 16, it was all there. All the talent, all there.

LYNCH: Isn't that something?

RIVERS: Yes. Yes.



LYNCH: You wish you had it all when you were 16 someone could look at you and say, that woman's got it all.


LYNCH: You're you. You.

RIVERS: I was a late bloomer. I never got any job first.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: I got my first talk show because Nell Carter didn't want it. And she said try Joan. I got on "The Tonight Show" because Bill Cosby was a friend and he said I can't make it, you might as well use Joan, she can't be anywhere, she'll -- I always get it with a negative.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: If I was to use her, who's going to watch?

LYNCH: I have done a lot of understudying where you're kind of -- you're kind of get there in the right place at the right time kind of accidentally.

RIVERS: "Broadway Bound." Neil Simon. I said I want to (INAUDIBLE) for it. He wouldn't even pay for me to come in. I had to pay my own way in. But it doesn't matter. You have to -- just say I want it so much, I don't care.

LYNCH: Right. Right.


LYNCH: Yes, like, I'll wear a frigging diaper.

RIVERS: You did. What do you want?

LYNCH: I know. What do you want? I just want to work.

RIVERS: I was doing a commercial for some sex -- bingo it's called for women. And should we use a pill or a cream? But who cares, give me a check. And I finally said put it on a cracker, I'll eat it, I don't care. Is it good? I feel hot.

LYNCH: Feel it --


RIVERS: You know, I'll do anything. Can't have ego in our business.

LYNCH: No, you can't. You know, it's -- I've always said that I will work for $1.50 and a steak.


LYNCH: I will take anything, you know?

RIVERS: That's because you love the craft.

LYNCH: I do. I love doing it and that's why I love you so much. I love your movie where you -- the first scene of the film is where you're walking through this horrible backstage area, it's stinky. Who knows what went on. I'm sure it smelled terrible. And then all of a sudden you walk out in your -- in a room full of people, and there's a bright light on you, and you pick up a tool that has a leather cover on it, and it's like ripped to shreds. It's been there since 1982. And you said, 40 freaking years in this business.

RIVERS: And this is like --

LYNCH: Yes, exactly.

RIVERS: And I work there once a week when I'm in New York.

LYNCH: You still do?

RIVERS: I work at the West Bank --

LYNCH: You're still working --

RIVERS: Try out some materials. Isn't that terrible? There's no dressing room. People -- Elaine May --

LYNCH: I know, I love her.

RIVERS: Came to see me as a great -- she came the other night, and they say, well, where's your dressing room. They literally took a closet and they put, like, a mirror up. And that's it.


RIVERS: I said this is the dressing room. But they get it.

LYNCH: Yes, they get it.

RIVERS: The Broadway people get it.

LYNCH: Yes, you know, Elaine Stritch does a show --

RIVERS: Elaine Stritch --

LYNCH: She's amazing. And she lives in the Carlisle Hotel. She lives on the penthouse or something. She takes the service elevator down, changes behind a bar.

RIVERS: That's right.

LYNCH: And she goes out and does the show.

RIVERS: It's a tragedy nobody is looking.



RIVERS: Wait until you reach my age. The people, the sound people say, could you put the mike in yourself? You know?


LYNCH: I guess you've said some things about me on the red carpet. And --


RIVERS: I'm sure, yes.

LYNCH: You tweeted, I think that Jane Lynch from "Glee" looked gorgeous at the Emmys last night. That's not bad. And designer wear from the big and tall shop.


LYNCH: It's not bad.

RIVERS: Slightly joke.

LYNCH: I don't think that's bad at all. Here's me hosting the 2011 Emmys.

RIVERS: But look how great you look.


RIVERS: You look great.

LYNCH: I was -- yes.

RIVERS: You look --

LYNCH: You know what, those shots make me look wide.

RIVERS: Who doesn't look wide?


RIVERS: We're women. We have childbearing hips.

LYNCH: Yes, exactly.

RIVERS: Should look wide. I hate the ones that come on the floor, does a tampon make me look heavy? I hate that. And all their fingers smell of vomit. I mean -- and these women are too thin.

LYNCH: Yes. A lot of them are --



RIVERS: All those stupid tattoos with kids' names, she looks like a milk carton.


LYNCH: Very true. Didn't look so good, though. I mean --


LYNCH: I mean not skinny and ill health but yes, yes. Now speaking of thin like thin skin, you dish it out.


LYNCH: And does -- do you have thick skin?



LYNCH: Of course you don't.

RIVERS: Of course not. And they give it back to me all the time.

LYNCH: Yes. Yes. Does it hurt your feelings, too?

RIVERS: Of course.

LYNCH: It affects your self-esteem?

RIVERS: Totally. What self-esteem?


RIVERS: What self-esteem?

LYNCH: You know, is that an act or you truly don't feel great about yourself?

RIVERS: Are you out of your mind? My gynecologist examines me over the phone, I am -- no.

LYNCH: You have no self-esteem.

RIVERS: Never. And no man ever said I was beautiful. Ever.

LYNCH: Well, I am a lesbian and I know beautiful women.

RIVERS: You're just saying that now.

LYNCH: And I think you're beautiful.

RIVERS: Yes, sure, a lot of good that's going to help me.



LYNCH: Thanks a lot.

RIVERS: The one good-looking lesbian likes me.

LYNCH: But thank you for calling me the one good-looking lesbian --

RIVERS: Do you have a twin brother?

LYNCH: I don't.


LYNCH: I don't. I don't. Yes. Well, I think you're gorgeous. You put your make up on first thing in the morning? That's what you do.

RIVERS: Yes, I do.

LYNCH: And you do it yourself or do you have someone come over?

RIVERS: On important days I have someone comes over.


RIVERS: Other days, I don't think any celebrity, I'm from that school.


RIVERS: If you walk out, people are going to see you once and they want to see you looking good.

LYNCH: Yes. Yes.

RIVERS: I was a little girl in Sax Fifth Avenue in an elevator with my mother. And a movie star name Linda Darnell came into the elevator and she was a movie star.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: And I still remember it.


RIVERS: She was dressed and looked and she looked at my mother and said, ugly child.


LYNCH: She did not.

RIVERS: No. What a pig. Is it yours?

LYNCH: Well, Joan, coming up soon, we're going to be speaking of is this yours, Melissa Rivers, yours --


LYNCH: Yes. Joins the fun and we can't wait to see what she has to say about her loving mom getting high.




RIVERS: What kinds of conduct, verbal conduct might be problematic?

MELISSA RIVERS, "JOAN KNOWS BEST?": Once I had a boss come in and say oh, I had a sex dream about you last night.

RIVERS: Who was it?

M. RIVERS: I'm not telling you.

RIVERS: Was it Oprah?

M. RIVERS: The point was --


LYNCH: That was Joan and Melissa Rivers from "Joan Knows Best" on WE TV, and mother and daughter are with me. Welcome to both of you.

M. RIVERS: Thank you.

LYNCH: So nice to see you.

M. RIVERS: Nice to be here.

LYNCH: Great. Now I understand that it's actually called "Joan Knows Best?" with a question mark.

M. RIVERS: Yes --


LYNCH: The question was the -- your insistence.

M. RIVERS: Yes, I insisted that we were calling it "Joan Knows Best" there has to be a question mark.

LYNCH: All right. And tell me why --


M. RIVERS: She doesn't always know best. Now again, we differ on this particular topic. But I say we're going to call it Joan -- put the question mark. I think it's only fair.

LYNCH: Yes, it's true. True.

RIVERS: And it's funny because the mail we get, the daughters all say, Melissa, you're right the way you treated your mother. I go, the mothers say, you're absolutely right the way you're treating your daughter. So it's where you're standing.


LYNCH: Yes, it's family TV, mothers and daughters become together.


M. RIVERS: A couple of weeks ago I did get, your mother does need to leave you alone a little bit. After the video dating they are like --

LYNCH: How much -- how much of what -- this is the reality TV question everybody gets asked and I'm going to ask it. How much of it is really your life and how much of it do you plot out and say in this segment we're going to do this and in this show we're going to do that?


M. RIVERS: Ours --

RIVERS: Truly I would say ours is 85 percent. Honestly.


RIVERS: Because we made them keep the cameras on longer because I was coming of a documentary.

LYNCH: Right.

RIVERS: So we said just have the cameras roll. You can't say be funny suddenly things are going to happen.

LYNCH: Yes, you have to shoot a lot.

M. RIVERS: You know, and also, and we always get that question because there are -- there are a lot of conceits in a lot of reality shows. You know, for example, my break-up, which aired two episodes ago, they followed me in real time.

LYNCH: That was real.

M. RIVERS: And that was a very hard decision to say let the cameras run.


M. RIVERS: And yes, the one thing I said you cannot show is my son's reaction and my son handling it because that's not right.

LYNCH: He's a doll, by the way.

M. RIVERS: Thank you. He smells bad now. He's 11, he's a boy.

LYNCH: Yes, they start to smell bad at around 11.


LYNCH: The dinks smell.

RIVERS: They start to close their doors.

LYNCH: Yes. You don't even want to think about what's going on.

M. RIVERS: But, I mean, it's one of an example of they -- people watch it happen in real time. And because it unfolded so publicly and I was finding out information via the Internet.

LYNCH: Right.

M. RIVERS: It became more compelling. And people -- you saw how it happened. And that was very real. LYNCH: How does it make you feel to know that everybody witnessed that humiliation?

M. RIVERS: I didn't really have a choice.


M. RIVERS: But it got out there before I could get ahead of it.

LYNCH: Yes. Yes.

M. RIVERS: But --

RIVERS: But I think it helps -- I think more people feel sorry for you. I think it's wonderful.

M. RIVERS: I mean it's hard to go -- wait a minute, let's talk about humiliation. My mom taking pictures of me in the shower last year.


M. RIVERS: You know there are -- yes, there are different -- there's certain levels of humiliation. And I want to -- have I grown up in my personal business? No. Have I grown up in this business? Yes.

LYNCH: Which leads me to this question, your mother asked this of you in the movie, "Joan Rivers A Piece of Work." She is compelled to be in this business. She has no choice. Why would you choose it? Why do you choose this? Are you as compelled as your mother?

M. RIVERS: I don't know any other way.


M. RIVERS: That my parents' offices were always in our house.


M. RIVERS: I was always taken everywhere. I wasn't a kid who was handed off to nannies. I grew up in the business. So when I first went to college, I thought I don't want to be in this. I said I'm going to be in advertising. And that lasted about one year. Only because I knew too much. So you can't watch TV. I mean -- you know too much. You see too much. You know the real story. You see someone giving an interview and they're like, please, you know I really don't know who this person is. I grew up over the shop. I don't know --


LYNCH: You have that image, that you grew up on the shop. The career became like your sibling.

(CROSSTALK) M. RIVERS: We call it the career.

J. RIVERS: We always call it the career.

M. RIVERS: Still. Now, when you say the career --


J. RIVERS: No one flushed today.

That date book of yours is full now, isn't it?

M. RIVERS: I call mine the career. And then when we talk about our branding, it's -- we say -- we call it Joan and Melissa. So it's very funny that there's such a third person in the room.

Again, I wouldn't know. I wonder that with Cooper. Like he was on the Red Carpet at six weeks old. I take him to work with me. I had to get back to work. It was Golden Globe, let's go, buddy.

LYNCH: Let's see the two of you getting high together.

M. RIVERS: That is bad. That is one of those --


J. RIVERS: I'll take --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You're not sucking it in.

J. RIVERS: Forty years ago.

M. RIVERS: Hello.

J. RIVERS: You have to come get us. We need you.

M. RIVERS: I don't know what you guys are up to. Do not go anywhere. Mom, get in the car. I'm ashamed of both of you.

J. RIVERS: Melissa, boo, truck. Boo truck.

M. RIVERS: Shut up.


LYNCH: Tell me what we just saw.

M. RIVERS: What you just saw was I had to go pick up my mother and her friend Lynn because they were no longer capable of driving safely. Then they wanted food and so --

LYNCH: Of course they did.

M. RIVERS: They were being annoying. You know, like, when you are the designated driver, how it really sucks.

LYNCH: Exactly. And you're not high.

M. RIVERS: You're the designated driver and you are driving around the two idiots. And my mom kept touching me. And then --


M. RIVERS: They want to change the radio station. When I finally got them home and I thought that they were in bed, I heard that they were actually out in the backyard. They were, by choice, in the hot tub.

J. RIVERS: In our clothes, which I love after a certain age. I didn't want to do it nude.

M. RIVERS: I got yanked in.

J. RIVERS: It was great. Would I do it again? No, because you eat.

LYNCH: Really, you wouldn't -- oh, because you eat unconsciously.


LYNCH: -- and you've got a seven course meal in front of you.

M. RIVERS: Or the things come from shopping online that you don't remember ordering.

LYNCH: I've done that once. My mother was big on that.

J. RIVERS: God bless QVC.

LYNCH: My mother's favorite station. She watches it 24/7.

So this is a question Piers Morgan asks of all of his guests. I'm going to ask it of each of you.

J. RIVERS: Try to do it with an accept.

LYNCH: Melissa, have you ever been properly loved? How many times?

M. RIVERS: That's a good one.

LYNCH: Properly.


LYNCH: : The full on, like the great love of your life. You have said Edgar is the great love of your life. Have you been in love after?

M. RIVERS: Thank you. Could you keep that to yourself?

J. RIVERS: -- your father. The great love of my life was the man I met afterwards. One leg, war hero from World War II, lost it in World War II. Well, he didn't lose it in -- he left it somewhere in France at a tree.

I was 60 when I met him. It turned out to be really just amazing. Amazing.

LYNCH: How long were you together?

J. RIVERS: We were together until -- about 10 and a half years and then he cheated on me.

LYNCH: That was it?

J. RIVERS: At that age, an old guy --

M. RIVERS: He was over 80 and he cheated.

J. RIVERS: Hopping with one leg and he was hopping to another woman's room.

LYNCH: How about you, Melissa? Have you ever been properly loved? Have you ever been in love?

M. RIVERS: I don't think so. I don't know.

J. RIVERS: Oh, come on. You're so --

M. RIVERS: No, don't think so. I don't know.

LYNCH: I think you would be able to say yes if you feel you had. Also, you are on the sting of a break up right now and public humiliation.

M. RIVERS: And I have been divorced. I've been through all that.

LYNCH: Were you in love with your ex-husband?

M. RIVERS: When we met, yes.

LYNCH: When you met, yes.

M. RIVERS: And now after all these years -- we separated when our son was nine months old. We are actually friends again, which is great.

LYNCH: Is he an active father?


LYNCH: Oh good. That's the best.

J. RIVERS: No, it's not.

LYNCH: Thank you so much for being here. We have to pick up this subject. I had so much fun. (CROSS TALK)

M. RIVERS: She likes my ex-husband. I can already hear the phone call coming.

J. RIVERS: It would be nice if they didn't have to share the child.

M. RIVERS: You'd be happy if you had the child.

LYNCH: Know who you are having a child with is my advice to everybody out there. Joan and Melissa, thank you so much.

From reality to a reality check. Wish me luck. I'm going head to head with Mary Matalin, the GOP's -- she's intelligent. She's a suit. Thank you so much.

We're going to talk about politics, a little different from these two.



RICK SANTORUM (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: We feel like the states that are coming up are states that, by and large, are going to favor us. We are going do exceptionally well in those states. And this race will take another different way.


LYNCH: Welcome back. That was a confident Rick Santorum heading into tomorrow's contests. He's talking politics, and so am I, with Republican strategist Mary Matalin. I want her ask her about one of Piers' favorite topics, keeping America great.


MARY MATALIN, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, Jane, you keep America great. At least you keep my kids entertained for many moments at a time, which is something.

LYNCH: Good.

MATALIN: Thank you. Thanks for sitting in for Piers. Welcome to CNN.

LYNCH: Did you come from a conservative family? We were pretty -- we were pretty liberal. My parents were anyway, in our neighborhood.

MATALIN: We were Kennedy Democrats. We were Daley Democrats. So that was the same thing. Like you were a Daley Democrat because -- you were a Kennedy Democrat because you're a Daley Democrat.

To this day, I support the Daleys. My family supports the Daleys. And I'm a fan of Rahm Emanuel, who is the mayor of Chicago now. So that -- but it was Catholic, Irish, Kennedy, that.

So we didn't say was it conservative or liberal. We worked in the steel mills. My mother was a hairdresser. So that's -- I became a conservative when I started reading and paying taxes and thinking about it.

LYNCH: A lot of people ended up being conservative when you get into the -- when you get into the real world of making money. You know, when I was growing up, my grandmother had a photograph of the Pope, Mayor Daley, JFK and the parish priest on our dining room table. So we have very much of the same background in that respect.

Let's get right into what's going on in politics today. Santorum won the Kansas caucus on Saturday. We have a few upcoming contests tomorrow, Alabama. We have Mississippi. We have Hawaii, American Samoa. Do you have any predictions? What do you think is going to go down for the Republicans in this primary?

MATALIN: Well, he who predicts -- he who looks into the crystal ball in this cycle ends up eating glass, as we say. It looks like -- everybody on the ground is telling me that Mitt is closing. Romney is doing better than was anticipated in the south, which kind of aggravates me now that I live in the south.

Like southerners are people too. You know, we're looking at this race the same way the rest of America does. And -- but it's split the same way that all the primaries and caucuses have been split.

I think in this case, it's -- they are saying in each state one- third, one-third, one-third. It is kind of interesting that Mitt is closing with the velocity that he is.

So we'll see tomorrow. It's not going to end tomorrow, I'll say that.

LYNCH: Yeah. The thing about Romney is he's -- he's not a southerner. Let's play the -- let's play the clip. You don't have to be a southerner to win, but I just find this clip kind of fascinating and comical at the same time. Let's play that.


MITT ROMNEY (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Governor said I had to say it right. Morning y'all. Good to be with ya.

I got started right this morning with a biscuit and some cheesy grits. I'll tell you, delicious.

NEWT GINGRICH (R), PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: Unlike one of my competitors, I have had grits before.


LYNCH: No, he's not a southerner. He said that's not a problem. He's not the most relatable guy. That doesn't make him a bad guy or unelectable in the south. I think it's his inability to stick to a position on an issue from one day to the next.

I'm sure that -- I've heard anyway that conservative folks don't trust him. Do you think that if he becomes the nominee -- and it looks like he probably will -- that the party will be able to unify around him, that there will be some energy and some wind at his back coming into the general election?

MATALIN: First, let me say, I never had grits until I moved down here. I would advise candidate Romney to not put cheese on his grits. They are tasty enough. And they're bad enough for you.

No, they're good. They're good. But grits and biscuits and gravy, OK, you have to draw the line somewhere. Listen, I'm absolutely confident. I'm not aligned in this race. I am a conservative. And I am absolutely confident that the support and unity will be there for whoever the nominee is, including Mitt Romney.

It's not -- in every single caucus and primary we have had so far, this tension between electability and purity has been on the ballot, so to speak. And electability has won every single time. So what might not unify us philosophically, opposition to your candidate is a mighty force, Jane.

It's a mighty force indeed.

LYNCH: It really is. I love your optimism on that. When we come back, I want to talk about what your life is like with your husband, James Carville, and some other topics related to the GOP. We'll be right back.



BILL HADER, "SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE": Look at the front-runner, Mitt Romney. I know Romney looks like a president, but we don't always get the job we look right for. If we did, I'd be the king of the snakes.


LYNCH: That, of course, is --

MATALIN: That's my man. That's my man.

LYNCH: That's your man. Bill Hader is great, isn't he? I think he really nailed something with your husband there.

MATALIN: You know, Dennis Miller once said that James is the snake oil salesman he knows that actually looks like a snake. Conservatives have a term of endearment for James. It's Serpent Head.

So that's my man. Look at him. There he goes. Looks just like him.

LYNCH: He's adorable. He gets cuter as the years go by. MATALIN: The "SNL" guy, not James. Let's clarify.

LYNCH: Actually, I was speaking of James. But Bill Hader, indeed, is a good looking guy as well. When I first started watching cable politics shows, the first show I watched and got hooked on was "Equal Time" with Mary Matalin and Dee Dee Myers.

And I thought you girls were just amazing. You were -- it was like hanging out with two smarter girlfriend who knew what was going on and had polarized views. But you had some obvious affection for each other. And you loved each other.

You married to the Raging Cajun, a Democrat. We're in such a bitterly partisan time in our politics. Do you have advice, from having friends who are on the left and a marriage with two children, that works, with a Democrat, for our splintered political system? It just -- it gets worse every day.

MATALIN: No, I don't have advice. People tend to say -- tend to think about us, that either our politics or our marriage is a fake. And I will tell you, we have bigger fights in our marriage than we do over our politics.

I respect his politics. He's not right, but not being right doesn't make him the wrong man for me. You just have to respect where the other guy is coming from. I was 40 and he was 49. We got married.

I know why I'm a conservative. I know why he's a liberal. He's just wrong.

Look at all these old pictures. Stop with the hairdos already. I can't take it anymore.

LYNCH: Now you were getting your beautician license back in (INAUDIBLE), Illinois, when you got into politics. Is that true, Mary Matalin?

MATALIN: Yes, we call it a cosmetology license, and I'm very good. Let's not judge by my hair tonight. I just try to cut my own hair sometimes. Yes, it was a big -- my mother was not allowed to go to college. I was the first girl that did.

And it's just the way it was. I loved beauty school. I loved being a cosmetologist. It's how I got through college. It's how I got through all the inaugurals. Because we'd be trapped. In campaigns, you are just trapped. You can't leave. And you don't have any time to go to the beauty shop.

I would cut everybody's hair. So it's good training to have. That and waitressing.

LYNCH: Good. So you made yourself useful. And waitressing, I did a lot of that too. I didn't cut hair, though.

I want to thank you so much. It's such a joy to meet you and to meet a south side girl. And I hope that if I ever get to New Orleans, you'll give me a cup of Gumbo.

MATALIN: Jane, you have so many fans out here, I -- seriously, I cannot tell you. The only thing non-dork thing I've done in the 15 and 13 years of my kids' life is talk to you. So thank you for giving me a moment of non-dorkiness.

LYNCH: Well, thank you for being such a serious person and talking to an actor who really doesn't know about this stuff and needs to be educated. You are a great mouthpiece for the right.

MATALIN: You're a great advocate for the south side. I haven't heard that for a long time. Thank you. You go, girl.

LYNCH: You, too, girl.

Take care.

Coming up, Only in America, an 85-year-old food critic goes to the Olive Garden and becomes an Internet star. Everyone is talking about her. Now you can meet her. That's coming up.


LYNCH: Well, every night, Piers likes to do a segment called Only in America. Well, I'm American. And tonight I have an Only in America story to tell you about. Only here in America could an 85- year-old food critic become an Internet sensation.

Marilyn Hagerty's column on the new Olive Garden Restaurant in Grand Forks, North Dakota, has gone absolutely viral, making her an instant star. It's a big surprise to her. Marilyn joins me now. Hello, Marilyn.


LYNCH: How does it feel to be the most famous person in Grand Forks, North Dakota?

HAGERTY: Well, it's -- obviously it's overwhelming, it's wild, crazy. It's all of that.

LYNCH: Good. Well, it's fun one time in a person's life to be so popular.

HAGERTY: Well, yes. I -- I -- it just seems like it's a dream. It doesn't seem like it's real. It seems like something that I'm just sort of can't -- I'm going to wake up and this didn't really happen.

LYNCH: Yeah. I'll bet. Well, let's give the folks a sampler of what we're so excited about here with your review. It's a straightforward review of the Olive Garden.

You called it, "the largest most beautiful restaurant in town." And you wrote, "at length, I asked my server what she would recommend. She suggested Chicken Alfredo and I went with that. And instead of the raspberry lemonade she suggested, I drank water." Why not the lemonade, Marilyn.

HAGERTY: Because it was a very cold day. It was about 20 below outside. And somehow the thought of lemonade just didn't appeal to me. But I think maybe on a hot summer day I might be interested. But lemonade in the winter --

LYNCH: I know. I feel the same way. But that's something -- you said you would go back and try it at some point, though, I read. Maybe in the summer?

HAGERTY: Yes, yes.

LYNCH: Now, your son is a reporter for "the Wall Street Journal." And he told you that the review had gone viral. What was your response?

HAGERTY: Yeah. Well, yeah, I had heard it had gone viral and I didn't really understand what that meant. So I asked him and he had to explain well, mother, it's like if you have a virus and you're sick, that's -- and I said oh, so that's what it is.

So whatever. It's fine with me.

LYNCH: Yeah. Whatever. I love that. You've been a food critic for a long time. So this is just part of your job, except that now it's much bigger. A lot more people are reading your work.

HAGERTY: Yes. And I don't consider myself a food critic. I consider myself a reporter, that I'm telling people what they can find and what it will be like and how much it will cost. I'm not really dissecting the meatballs or the shrimp. It's just I'm trying to describe restaurants.

LYNCH: Yeah. You're just being a guide. And that's really useful. I know you've been doing it for decades. And I know you ear a very busy woman. You have a bridge group that you have games with. It sounds like you have a really, really full life.

And it has been my pleasure meeting you and speaking with you today.

HAGERTY: Well, thank you.

LYNCH: You bet. You take care. And you let me know if there's anything else on that menu that I should try other than the Chicken Alfredo.

HAGERTY: OK, I'll keep that in mind. I'll tried to figure out something that you might like. Have you ever been to an Olive Garden?

LYNCH: I sure have. I haven't had the Chicken Alfredo. But believe me, that's next. And the raspberry lemonade, whether it's winter or not, because I'm in California. It doesn't matter.

HAGERTY: Oh yes. In California, it would be fine. I suppose it would be OK here. But I just didn't really go for it at that time.

LYNCH: Understood. Thank you so much for speaking with me, Marilyn. And I wish you the best.

HAGERTY: Thank you.

LYNCH: Take care.

Well, tomorrow CNN's coverage of the Alabama and Mississippi primaries, not to mention American Samoa and Hawaii, begin at 8:00 p.m. Eastern.

Then Wolf Blitzer will be here with the last word on all the voting at midnight. That's it for "Jane Lynch Tonight." I want to thank Piers Morgan for giving me this change to do my dream job.

And "AC 360" starts right now.