Joan Rivers has been nothing but an amazingly talented woman.
Well, not nothing.
Her standup is great.
Her acting ability is superb.
She appeared as herself in an episode of "Louie" for which she should have won an Emmy.
She wasn't even nominated.
This is a shame.
Yes, she has made a mockery of plastic surgery, and as a result, is very difficult to look at.
But unlike most, she is quite open about it.
Well, how can she not be?
I wish her a speedy recovery, if this is at all possible.
Her daughter, Melissa Rivers, has been nothing.
Many moons ago, on this blog, I introduced the term "nuchshlepper", a Yiddish term meaning "One who rides the coat-tails of others for his or her success.
I'm not digressing here.
I have a point.
In an episode of the original "I Love Lucy", for God-knows-what reason, Lucy was trying to impress some people that she was a member of foreign royalty.
So she and Ethel were trying to come up with an appropriate sounding title for her.
They played around with the word "Maharani", and "Princess", and came up with a mythical kingdom, and ended up with "The Maharincess of Frannistan"
You can't get much more appropriate than that.
I maintain that Melissa Rivers is the Maharincess of Nuchshlepperstan.
Her "career", such as it is, has been totally derived from being Joan Rivers' daughter.
This ain't no Liza Minnelli we're dealing with here.
Someone who is genuinely talented, whomever she's related to.
I used to watch the Rivers' "reality" show, and could never fathom why Melissa would put up with all of Joan's meddling, and outrageous behavior towards her.
But once you factor in all of Melissa's dependency on Joan for her livelihood and lifestyle, it all falls into place.
Nobody is praying harder for Joan's complete recovery than Melissa.
Because when Joan hangs it up, that, for the most part, is the last we'll see of Melissa on the airwaves.
At least on the airwaves I watch.
Which will be particularly painful for her, since she is an out-and-out media whore.
In all fairness, I thought the same thing about Fran Drescher after she did "The Nanny" with that voice of hers.
And she has managed to show up in some places.
So my track record about such things is not impeccable.
I believe that since Joan has stopped doing the "Red Carpet gigs, so has Melissa.
Melissa will be relegated to the Home Shopping Network, where she will be hawking Joan's lines of jewelry, cosmetics, perfumes, skin-tighteners, and whatever other crap there is to hawk.
Or maybe she'll try another one of those "Help Me! I'm a Celebrity, and I'm Stuck in the Jungle, and I'm Eating Worms, and I Can't Get Outta Here!" shows.
The last refuge of D-Lister celebrities.
She'd better do it fast, because when Joan does hang it up, Melissa will already be on the F-list.
None of this is my main bone of contention with Melissa.
Her name was Melissa Rosenberg.
Rosenberg was her father's name.
Yes, he committed suicide, and maybe she resented him for it.
But changing her last name to Rivers was the ultimate act of cashing in.
The ultimate act of nuchshlepperdom.
Or maybe it was just too "Jewy" for her.
I might be taking this rather personally, because when I got divorced, over twenty years ago, my eleven year old daughter, in an act of utter hatred, immediately got her name changed to her mother's maiden name.
One decidedly less "Jewy".
And I got a call from my ex, asking me to sign a paper that would sanction this slap in the face.
That was her parting shot.
I have resented this ever since.
And I have not seen my daughter ever since.
And not necessarily by my choice.
Perhaps Melissa asked Joan if the name change would be all right.
And perhaps Joan was flattered, and regarded it as a good business decision on her part.
And perhaps Edgar Rosenberg is still rollin' over in his grave as a result.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne and Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays" and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are not e-books.
But they are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings lined up for those, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one of the paperbacks, personally autographed, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne and Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube, and my 4-hour interview at the Television Academy's Emmy TV Legends Website.
Here's the link:
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."