Melissa Rivers New Memoir! Joan Rivers Storms Cannes! Joan And Melissa’s Hilarious Cannes Fashion Review!

Melissa Rivers Has A Terrific New Memoir About Life With Her Mom!

Congratulations to Melissa on the best-selling success of her new memoir…

Joan Rivers memoir

“The Book of Joan: Tales of Mirth, Mischief, and Manipulation”

Melissa’s new memoir about life with her Mom is a huge best-seller. Here is how Amazon describes it:

new joan-rivers-book

“Joan Rivers was known all over the world—from the Palace Theater to Buckingham Palace, from the bright lights of Las Vegas to the footlights of Broadway, from the days of talkies to hosting talk shows. But there was only one person who knew Joan intimately, one person who the authorities would call when she got a little out of hand. Her daughter and best friend, Melissa.”

My wife Alex and I were lucky enough to work with the duo many times over the years, and here is one experience I wanted to share…

Joan Rivers anecdotes

This is a story I waited to write until the eve of the 2015 Cannes Film Festival, because one of the greatest adventures my wife Alex and I ever had was filming a “Joan & Melissa Fashion Review” from the deck of the legendary Carlton Hotel in Cannes, France!

Cannes France facts

Welcome to The South Of France!

First of all, welcome to Cannes, France – one of the most beautiful towns on the French Riviera…for most of the year, the locals have a beautiful serene little village to call their own…

Old Cannes Port

But for two weeks a year, the world’s most prestigious film festival lands here, and one year, we decided it needed some Joan and Melissa Rivers to spice it up!

Joan Rivers comedy

After several years making E!’s “Joan and Melissa Fashion Review” specials after every major awards ceremony, Alex and I decided we needed Joan and Melissa to cast their fashion eye toward the south of France…especially after seeing Bjork show up one year like this:

Bjork Cannes film festival dress

You see, every year the world’s great films are unspooled here, and stars parade up the red carpet steps to the cheers of thousands of fans and the flashing of thousands of cameras…

best red carpet fashion

It is a zoo – with Paparazzi fighting to get the best shots of the most beautiful stars as they pose…and of course, it seemed the perfect place for Joan and Melissa to offer their fashion insight…



The “Queen Of The Croisette” Welcomes The “Queen Of Comedy”!

The legendary Carlton Hotel in Cannes is called the “Queen Of The Croisette” because it sits across from the “Croisette”, a walkway that begins each day waiting for the hordes of French Riviera fans to show up….

Early Morning Cannes

And when they do, they head to the Cannes beaches to sit and watch the world go by…

Cannes beach

At the time, the “Joan and Melissa Fashion Review” was a highly-rated series of specials tied to the biggest awards shows, like the Golden Globes, Grammys, Emmys and Oscars. Because of the massive success, we decided to take it overseas and do a fashion review at the Cannes film festival, and for reasons I still can’t remember, we decided to film it on the Carlton’s Hotel’s legendary dock!

The Carlton Hotel Cannes dock

Ummm…what were we thinking? Well, we had been to Cannes many times by then, and were always looking to expand E!’s ownership of the festival. Joan and Melissa were up for it, so we did it! We arrived early one morning to set up the cameras, and then Joan and Melissa arrived to the dock – er, I mean “SET”…

Melissa Rivers Cannes film festival

best Joan Rivers stories

Joan Rivers Cannes 2000

“Fashion” Is A Crowded Business!

As you can see, the set was a bit cramped – we had an amazing view of the Cannes waterfront behind us, but that meant we had to film across the short part of the pier, which kept things “cozy”. It also proves my point:


Joan and Melissa Rivers

Joan always flew to our filming location with her script at the ready, and while traveling wrote page after page of handwritten jokes to use, or discard – one of Joan’s incredible gifts was her willingness to set a joke aside if it didn’t fit at the time – she had NO ego in that regard…it was also a pleasure to have Jay Redack along, as he also provided creative ideas for the show, and was one of Joan and Melissa’s closest friends…

Joan Rivers best memories

Melissa Rivers was one of the producers of the shows as well and was always fully involved in the creative process – working with the team to ensure we had all of the elements needed to give us great fashion reviews. Melissa studied the designers intensely so she could offer perspective and insight when critiquing the fashion….I think some people didn’t watch closely, and failed to appreciate and Joan and Melissa had great fashion sense – and yes, Joan was hilarious as well…

Melissa Rivers

Joan Rivers Cannes 2000 filming

It was a beautiful day on the dock as we planned our shoot – we got the Hotel to agree to let us film for three hours – a daunting task, but also you have to remember it was the height of the film festival, when rooms at the hotel went for a thousand dollars a night! The use of the dock was a huge win for us…

Joan and Melissa Rivers Cannes 2000

Antonio Ruiz was one of the Executive Producers as well – his calm stewardship of the crew kept us on schedule as we raced to make use of all of our available filming time….

Joan Rivers anecdotes Cannes

My wife Alex Duda was also an Executive Producer – and it was her creative partnership with Joan and Melissa that made the “Fashion Review” shows so much fun…

Joan Rivers Alex Duda and John Rieber

Calm Down, Joan!

As always, each show included comedy material, and Joan was always up for anything. If she was asked to fight, she fought – if she needed to make faces, she made them!

Joan Rivers comedy

At the same time as we were filming, E! was also shooting a movie there called “Murder At The Cannes Film Festival” – so the film’s star French Stewart came on our show to have some fun discussing fashion….

Joan Rivers French Stewart

No one worked harder than Joan and Melissa…after filming on the dock, Alex took them back to their Carlton hotel room to watch fashion footage and record hours of voiceover to go with the material we shot….they started work at ten that morning and finished just before midnight…

Joan Rivers Melissa Alex Duda and John rieber

Joan and Melissa were a joy to work with: funny, articulate, passionate about their craft and collaborative…and I’m glad I took the time to capture this moment in time with a few pictures….

Joan and Melissa Rivers 2000 Cannes

Everyone who was lucky enough to meet Joan always commented about how genuinely warm and gracious she was….here is a story I posted after her death, remembering a few of the things that made her so special:

I’ll never forget my Cannes adventure with Joan and Melissa, and kudos to Melissa for the warm and touching look at life with her mom!


Categories: Awards, Books / Media, Cannes Film Festival, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Hollywood, Memoirs, Movies, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show, Uncategorized

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6 replies


  1. Celebrating Joan Rivers! The Amazing Christie’s Auction! Own Some Joan! – johnrieber
  2. Cannes 2016! Remembering Joan Rivers! Jenna Jameson! My Seven Greatest Cannes Film Festival Moments! Arnold Schwarzenegger! JCVD! My Favorite Cannes! – johnrieber
  3. Cannes-troversy! Film Festival’s 70th Anniversary Poster “Slims Down” Claudia Cardinale! – johnrieber
  4. Cannes Film Festival 2020 Cancelled! 20 Years Ago, My Trip To Cannes With Joan And Melissa Rivers! – johnrieber

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