The Scheme of Things Is Winning Awards!

My debut novel The Scheme of Things recently picked up two awards within a week of each other! I was named Outstanding Writer for the local San Diego “gay Academy Awards” also known as the Nickys.

awardwinning-tim-parks

The next week I placed as the finalist in the Beverly Hills International Book Awards.

bevhill

I am truly humbled and thankful for the recognition.

If you still haven’t picked up your copy, you can purchase it on Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble.com

Worthy Mention

Grab+Magazine+Logo
I received a mention in Mikey Rox’s article about the “9 New LGBT Books To Keep Your Summer Reading List Lit” for Grab Magazine in Chicago! So honored and I get to be in the same issue as Ross Mathews? Too cool! Check out the layout at: http://www.grabchicago.com
 
The Scheme of Things
by Tim Parks
Henry Dodge does his best to
hide what makes him different from
the other boys – like his
bourgeoning lust for his brother’s
best friend Danny – by escaping
into the TV, movies and music of
the 1980s. As such, his affinity for
nighttime soap operas leads him to
devise a plan to follow Danny to
Los Angeles, unchartered territory
for the teen, which has secrets of
its own.

Rage Recommends

Rage Recommends

By Tim Parks

Hear This:

 

Play My F**kn Remix

Sir Ari Gold

Image

 

Openly gay musician Sir Ari Gold returns with a bit of attitude on his sixth CD, Play My F**kn Remix. The title has its roots in the line from the Jennifer Lopez song “Play,” when she tells the DJ to play her motherf**king song. That sentiment goes along perfectly with Gold’s commanding nature of being called sir; especially on the first single “Play My Record,” where it is demanded lyrically that the DJ better do as he is told. Sir, yes, sir! And listeners would also be wise to give into its infectious beats on the track. 

The remainder of the  remix retrospective disc is a  literal mixture of his well-known  songs, such as “Where The Music Takes You” and “Love Will Take Over,” which comprise his 13-year-old music catalog and also features previously released efforts. Out Now.

 

Electric

Pet Shop Boys

Image

 

With over 70 million records sold and 28 years in the music business, The Pet Shop Boys are in an interesting place in their careers. They recently left their Parlophone label and have started up their own, x2, through Kobalt Label Services and their 12th album, Electric, finds the Boys going back to their dance floor roots.

The first single, “Axis,” is indicative of the CD’s title, in that it features few words, just the synthesized beats that have made them fan favorites, lo these many years. The second single, “Vocal,” highlights Neil Tennant’s distinctive singing style, fused together with Chris Lowe’s mastery of the keyboards as it crescendos into a dance floor anthem. The track “Thursday” is a definite throwback song that could have been a song that was left off their very first CD, Please, and is a nice reminder of the nature of this full circle project. Out July 16.

 

The Way I Am

Colton Ford

Image

 

Former porn star Colton Ford is back in front of the microphone for his third CD, which highlights the nuances that make up the man behind the moniker. Ford has enlisted producers, such as NERVO who has worked with Britney Spears and Kesha, on this latest project that is a combination of dance, pop, funk and even a little jazz thrown in for good measure. 

The dance portion of the CD features “First in Line (Shadow of the Night),” and “Let Me Live Again,” his Billboard hit from earlier this year. The track, “Realize,” sounds like something that Seal would sing in its vocalizations that sound reminiscent of the artist formerly known as Mr. Heidi Klum, while “Get To You” harkens back to the kicking it old school sounds of The Dazz Band. Out Now. 

 

Watch This:

 

In The Family 

Image

 

In The Family tackles the subject matter of sexual orientation and race relations against the backdrop of “family values” in the Southern portion of our country.  When Joey (portrayed by the film’s writer and director Patrick Wang) loses his partner Cody (Trevor St. John), he must find the strength to raise their young son Chip (Sebastian Banes) on his own.

He faces a complication in that endeavor, since the six-year-old was willed to Cody’s sister, and the resulting scenario results in a legal battle for custody of his child. The ensuing plotline highlights a fair assessment of conservative America’s stance on homosexuality. Out Now.

 

The House I Live In

Image

 

The makers of the documentary The House I Live In train their camera lens on the U.S.’s war on drugs during a 40 year period; chronicling the government’s concentrated effort of attempting to eradicate drug use and distribution from the days of the Nixon administration to the present.

The Sundance Film Festival  Grand Prize Winner focuses on stories from those in the trenches, including drug dealers, those who have lost loved ones to addiction and judges and jailers in a series of revealing interviews. Out July 2.

 

Quartet

Image

 

While it’s no Downton Abbey, the fictional Beecham House for Retired Musicians does feature one of its stars, Maggie Smith, and a slew of other British actors, including her Harry Potter co-star Michael Gambon. The residents, including four opera singers are prepping for the Verdi Gala, an annual event that is about to have an unexpected plus one in the guise of a new resident and old friend Jean (Smith). 

Quartet also marks the debut of Dustin Hoffman in a directing capacity. Out Now. 

 

Hollywood: The dog days of summer TV

Hollywood: The dog days of summer TV

By Tim Parks

It’s upon us, those dog days of TV viewing, where we are stuck in that in between place of season finales and their premieres come fall. So what’s a TV junkie to do? It’s a pretty scary option of weighing the odds of, gulp, going outside or staying in and aimlessly channel surfing, especially when the remote roulette falls upon another season of “Toddlers and Tiaras”; that show just ain’t right on so many levels. Just consider me Julie McCoy, your TV cruise director (minus the cocaine problem), as we navigate the sometimes choppy waters of summertime viewing.

Fortunately, there are actually some shows, while not necessarily exciting and or new, which are expecting you to come aboard to take a lookiloo.

Get Real

Bravo is making gay viewers happy by continuing their “Real Housewives” franchise and is delivering a one-two bitch slap with season two of New Jersey and the premiere of D.C.

I was a little miffed that the powers-that-be at the network made us wait an extra week to see the fight between Anne Heche (singing with a lesbian does not a lesbian make, k?), I mean Danielle Staub, Teresa Giudice, Jacqueline Laurita and daughter Ashley Holmes, and it only involved name calling and hair pulling! Hell, I could have just watched “Jerry Springer” for that kind of brawl!

The cast of D.C. has already had its fair share of drama prior to its August 5 debut, as one of its Housewives, Michaele Salahi (gesundheit), crashed a White House State Dinner earlier this year. Oh dear, sounds like someone hasn’t listened to New York’s resident Countess, LuAnn De Lesseps, on her, um, hot track, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”

Apparently reality TV has adopted the real estate mantra of “location, location, location,” as New Jersey and Miami seem to be where all of the action is. At some point, America’s love affair with The Garden State will hit a wall, like George Michael out for a drive.

Until then I guess it should come as no surprise, heavy emphasis on I guess, that MTV decided to move “Jersey Shore” to Florida…would it really still be considered the “Jersey Shore?”

Anyhoo, Snooki, “The Situation,” Pauly D. and the rest of Cheetos colored cast are back for more drinking, fighting, tanning, drinking, tanning, making out and more fist pumps than you’d see at a Leather Pride event!

While another drinking/fighting series, “The Bad Girls Club,” will up the roots of the show (and the ones from the girls hair featured on it) to Miami, which is funny because I thought that Kourtney and Khloe Kardashian had already taken it earlier this summer. I just can’t keep up with those Kardashians!

Meanwhile, Jersey is still basking in the orange glow of the spotlight with two inaugural series.

Oxygen’s “Jersey Couture” follows a family run business where every other cast member seems to have adopted the Jersey Shores kids’ knack for nicknames, I mean c’mon, its getting a little ridiculous that someone named Kimberly goes by “Kim” and Christina by “Chrissy.” It’s insanity, I tells ya!

Hopefully, the E! /Style Network’s “Jerseylicious” won’t leave a bad taste in the mouths of its viewers being force fed more of the state.

However, no summer would be complete without a helping of “Big Brother,” and this year there has been a gay guy (Ragan) and bisexual gal (Annie) vying for the cash money prize.

Castmate Britney was super excited that there was “a flaming homosexual” in the game, so that they could chat about boys, shopping and “Sex and the City” (the series and the movies). Way to stereotype there, Britney, now I’m off to a slumber party with my gal pals to talk about boys, shopping and “Sex and the City”…hey, wait a minute!

Even though its summer, school is in session on LOGO’s “RuPaul’s Drag U,” which brings back previous favorite contestants, and even Shannel, for a little bit of education for real women on how to become drag queens, so I take it Cher will make an appearance.

Speaking of makeovers…The L Word has been re-christened “The Real L Word” and follows the lives of six L.A. lesbians, and will conclude on the 15th with an episode revolving around going to Dinah Shore. Hmm, that’s queer.

The Written Word

Seeing as there are increasing gay and gay adjacent reality shows, it should come as no surprise that it’s starting to spill over into scripted fare. Why you could shake a stick at ’em, and in that, ahem, vein MTV trots out “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” which showcases a 15-year-old high schooler who is all man below the belt, thanks for creeping me out MTV!

Mackenzie Phillips’ career may be rolling over in its grave with the success of TV sibling Valerie Bertinelli’s show “Hot in Cleveland,” but hopefully producers don’t throw her a professional bone and cast her as her sister, otherwise they may have to put out the call for a father figure for the gals – awkward! This show single-handedly proves that Betty White is comedy’s golden girl, as the first episode was the most watched program in TV Land’s history.

Beginning on the 16th, Laura Linney has the acting challenge of making light of having “The Big C” on her new Showtime series, while her suburban mom character will be joined onscreen by Precious actress Gabourey Cinnabuns, I mean, Sidibe and Cynthia Nixon of “SATC.” Oh, and the first episode is directed by Bill Condon (Dreamgirls).

“True Blood” is sinking its fangs into its third season over on HBO, and I am starting to wonder if Sam Merlotte (Sam Trammell) may be shape shifting into a homosexual, as he shared a rather sensual man-on-vampire scene with Bill Compton (Stephen Moyer).

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

Well, it looks like I can see Puerto Vallarta off in the distance (the Mexican Riviera was a “Love Boat” hot spot destination, after all), much like I can see the fall on the horizon with its promise of new televised ways to keep us entertained…hopefully. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print.

There’s no stopping Andy Bell

There’s no stopping Andy Bell

By Tim Parks

There is a very good reason that Andy Bell has titled his newest solo effort Non-Stop, as the 46-year-old Erasure frontman is showing no signs of slowing down.

His latest offering is just as the title refers to, a non-stop ode to dance music, which is sure to get your body moving and your blood pumping upon its release on June 8.

During our conversation, Bell’s blood got to boiling (and rightfully so), as he lambasted everything from being seen (or rather heard, as the case may be), by radio stations as merely an artist from the 1980s, or the media frenzy surrounding much-speculated about music stars who come out to fanfare, while Bell has been open about his sexuality from the get-go of his 25 years as a musician.

Ricky Martin may want to watch his back, so to speak, if he were ever to meet Bell in a dark alley, as it wouldn’t be a close encounter of that kind.

Musically speaking, the falsetto voiced phenomenon is already taken, as he has been betrothed to his partner-in-rhyme, Vince Clarke, since he answered a want ad for a singer in 1985.

“I think when you’re working with someone else, it’s as if you are in a kind of marriage, and it’s a collaboration,” he said. “You have a certain kind of respectfulness for them. I think when you’ve been with somebody for some time; you tend to bring more baggage along with you.”

Bell, who had previously packed light for his 2005 solo CD, Electric Blue, relayed that the creative process for joint ventures and personal ones alike aren’t too terribly different.

“There’s nothing I wouldn’t write with Vince, really, that I wouldn’t write on my own,” Bell stated. “After I asked Vince if I could have a break from doing Erasure for a couple of years; it’s nothing against him or anything, I just wanted to be out of the scene. I think I felt a bit like a little puppy being let off the leash. So maybe it’s (the songwriting process) is a little more exuberant or just more playful.”

Playful is the perfect word to describe one of the most infectious tracks on the CD, ‘DHDQ,’ which is the acronym for Debbie Harry Drag Queen. Erasure previously covered Blondie’s ‘Rapture’ on 1997’s Cowboy, and were on the road with Harry during the 2007 version of the True Colors Tour – so what is the chance that these two musical pioneers might get together and record a song together?

“Well, I would love to,” he proclaimed. “That would be one of my ultimate orgasmic moments!”

Non-Stop is chocked full of such moments, even on the autobiographical slow jam ‘Slow Release,’ as Bell definitely practiced the rhythm method during its inception. He described his new baby as “full-on club glamour” during our chat, and the project was a case of if at first you don’t succeed, try, try again, as early songwriting efforts with Stephen Hague (who worked on Erasure’s The Innocents) left him feeling as “though my heart’s not really in it.”

As luck would have it, someone suggested that he work with Pascal Gabriel, who has written and produced songs for the likes of Kylie Minogue and Little Boots, among others. The two created the double whammy dance tracks, ‘Will You Be There?’ and ‘Running Out’ for his sophomore solo endeavor.

“We just really hit it off,” Bell recanted. “He’s Cancerian – same as Vince – so I was really used to his character. And he’s very similar to Vince; he’s very camp for a straight man.”

Unfortunately, not all straight men are as gay friendly, as Bell informed me that a form of homophobia and labeling dictates the types of music and artists that DJ’s play on-air in his native England. This almost led to him releasing the project under the pseudonym of Mimó.

“That was because, mainly, the radio is so predjudiced here in the U.K.,” he explained. “It’s very narrow; they’ll play lots of guitar bands and lots of dance/pop, but it’s all very young. They play all of the reality “Pop Idol” stars, but otherwise it’s very hard to get a way in there.

“Because we’re seen as being Erasure is like an ’80s band, even though we didn’t really break (in England) until 1989, right at the end. So the radio has seemed to have gotten narrower and narrower, where they’ll play only the hits you had in the ’80s and nothing else. But, when we released ‘Will You Be There?’ on Radio 1, it was kind of 50/50; some people hated it and some people loved it. So, we called it Mimó for that reason, and also we didn’t want it to sound like Erasure; that was quite a hard thing for me to get over in the first place. Because instantly when people hear my voice, they think it’s Erasure – to hide your name and voice seems ridiculous.”

If there’s one thing you need to know about Bell, is that you can’t box him in, and if you try – you’d better be sure that you have a big glittery bow at the ready to attempt to tie him up with.

This is the man who has taken to the stage in a tutu during concerts, and had a leave-no-questions-to-the-imagination approach in videos, such as ‘Chains Of Love’ and dressed as ABBA member Frida Lyngstad for their Abba-esque video version of ‘Take A Chance On Me.’

“The whole other thing, of course, is really homophobia – people don’t understand it if you say it,” he explained . “The whole music industry press is homophobic, you know, we’re never ever in Rolling Stone, or any of those magazines – it’s like Erasure never even existed. Because we’re not macho and guitar-strumming, we’re not in the ‘100 Best Frontmen,’ or anything like that.

“And I think it’s interesting with the whole Ricky Martin coming out story,” he exclaimed. “They seem to give more coverage to a closet case, then to somebody whose been honest from the very beginning. It seems like everything’s all the wrong way around. Maybe I should be a priest.”

Talk about a blow to the music world, thankfully, Father Bell came to his senses and informed me of a dream project he’s intrigued by.

“I’d love to do an album of duets,” Bell said. “But only with female singers, like – dare I say it? Barbra Streisand. And Annie Lennox and other amazing female singers. I love harmonizing and I love the sensuality of their voices; that’s the thrill I would get with working with Debbie, as well, because hers is like candy coating, isn’t it?”

First though, he’s renewing his vows with Clarke on their forthcoming fourteenth studio LP.

“By doing Non-Stop, I feel like I’ve blown out a few cobwebs,” Bell stated. “And I think Vince is really exicted about making music, I mean, he always is. But, I think it’s kind of shaken us up a little bit. From what we’ve done so far, I’m really excited about it. But, I’m way behind on lyrics now, and it’s funny though, I loved doing Non-Stop, but I can’t wait to do Erasure. I’m greedy.”

Apparently greed is good, since this year marks his 25th anniversary of being in the music business, the ‘Call On Me’ (that’s the first single off Non-Stop) singer imparted some wisdom about his longevity.

“The most important thing, really, in the end, is your sanity,” he answered laughingly. “Remaining sane by being creative, I think. And, you can’t take yourself or the whole thing too seriously, even though you do. If you’re making music, hopefully lots and lots of people will enjoy it, and really being thankful for what you do and what you have.”

To keep up with all things Andy Bell, log onto www.andybell.com

This interview was first published in June 2010.

Hollywood: Summer Movies Get The Full Release Treatment

Hollywood: Summer Movies Get The Full Release Treatment

By Tim Parks

There’s a “cleanup on aisle five situation” happening in Los Angeles, and trust me…a Wet Nap ain’t gonna cut it for these next few months, somebody better stock up on Bounty; it is the quicker picker upper, after all.

Simply put, Hollywood pulls out all the stops in promoting their potential blockbusters with fast food chain tie-ins (really, I’m surprised there wasn’t a Sex and the City 2 Happy Meal! Samantha would have made for a great bendable toy, I’m just sayin’) and its full release media blitz a-go-go in Tinsel Town from May through August.

June

Tom Cruise reunites with Cameron Diaz in the romantic, yet action packed flick Knight and Day. My, that’s an interesting dichotomy for a movie; it’s almost like trying not to mention Tom Cruise and Scientology in the same sentence. Dammit! I bet you thought I’d say…never mind, as a certain person in this production is a wee bit sue happy when it comes to sexuality. Interestingly enough, the Bottom, I mean, Top Gun star is attempting to show his softer side with his turn as Roy Miller. Yeah, best way to fight a flame is with fire.

Turning a beloved TV show into a big screen adaptation ain’t nothin’new. Get ready for The A-Team to storm into multiplexes with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson taking on the role that made Mr. T. into ’80s TV star. I’ll admit it…I never watched the show, save for the episode where Boy George guest starred (go figure). So, I guess I’ll just have to wait for the inevitable gay porn tie-in, The Gay Team. Can’t wait to hear the faux Mr T. utter, “I pity the fool that can’t take all this!”

Speaking of gay porn remakes, wouldn’t Toy Story 3D be ripe for that treatment? Talk about comin’ at ya! Sex Toy Story would follow the exploits of vibrator Morning Wood and his pal Buttplug Lube Rear. Geez, you really can’t take me anywhere, except the gutter!

Oh look, they remade The Karate Kid and there’s a new Twilight movie heading our way. Next! Ashton Kutcher takes off his shirt and co-stars with gay friendly actress Katherine Heigl in Killers. Colin Farrell embarks on a different kind of fairy tale in Ondine, in which he falls for a possible mermaid. Chances are he’ll resolve that pesky Jessica Simpson query of chicken versus tuna. Nudge-to-the-wink.

Docudrama-wise, Stonewall Uprising retells the events in 1969 that eventually led to the Gay Rights Movement. See, I can be nice and not filthy, so go learn something you young monkeys.

July

Angelina Jolie slips back into her chick-who-kicks-ass wardrobe for her role as a Russian sleeper spy in Salt, which was originally written for Tommy Cruise; I’ll bet there were more than a few alterations to make his costumes fit a regular size person…Cruise is short, ok?

Dark Knight director Christopher Nolan helms Inception, which is not a film about birth. However, it does star former preggers screen teen Ellen Page (Juno). Oh yeah, it co-stars Leonardo DiCaprio as a “freelance dream thief,” do ya think I could make that stuff up?

Couples of all types populate the cinema in July, we have Julianne Moore and Annette Bening taking a trip to the Pink Taco, and I ain’t talkin’ about the popular eatery…or am I? They’re lesbians in layperson’s terms for The Kids Are All Right. Then we have Cyrus, which thankfully is not a biopic about Miley, and is played by mother-fixated Jonah Hill – he would have nailed the role as Miss Slouchy, though. Matt Damon and Emily Blunt play a couple on the lam in the Adjustment Bureau; I hope PETA won’t get all over them for riding on animals. Oh, lam is another term for on the run, my bad.

August

All you really need to know about the dog days of summer is that Julia Roberts is back on the big screen opposite Javier Bardem in Eat, Pray, Love. Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and our “Governator” all share a scene in the throwback to the ’80s action flick The Expendables. Oh, and they are two more 3D offerings in the guises of Step Up 3D (was that trip really necessary?), and Piranha 3D starring what’s left of Elisabeth Shue’s career.

Cut. Print. That’s A Wrap!

In thinking about this column, I couldn’t help but wonder…when did the powers-that-be in ole H’Wood decide that it was o.k. to bump up the traditional Memorial Day weekend summer movie kick off to the beginning of May? It was something you could count on, unlike Lindsay Lohan’s work ethic, and encompasses some of my favorite movie memories of waiting in long lines to see the latest buzz worthy movie. Until next time, that’s all of the news that’s fit to print!

This column was originally published in June 2010.

Joan Rivers Gives Good Face

Joan Rivers Gives Good Face

By Tim Parks

Fans of Joan Rivers are in for a very special treat, as the documentary, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work, is heading to movie houses all across the country, after it proved to be a smash hit at film festivals, including Tribeca and Sundance, where it picked up an award for editing.

However, the unedited glimpse inside of the comedy trailblazer’s (we wouldn’t have Kathy Griffin or Chelsea Handler without Rivers and her predecessor Phyllis Diller) life is a two-fold view into the outspoken legend’s inner sanctum.

This process included her letting directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg into her gorgeous apartment, and capturing unguarded moments you wouldn’t expect from the sometimes brash, but always-on-point almost 77-year-old.

“I gave them total access,” she revealed. “Otherwise, don’t do a documentary! I’m not knocking The September Issue, but tell me…what did we learn about Anna Wintour that we didn’t already know when it started? What? That she has a lot of suits?” Prior to our hard hitting questions Q & A chat, Rivers made me promise to mention the sophomore season of “How’d You Get So Rich?” which airs Wednesdays at 10 p.m. on TV Land.

This favor was done without hesitation, as Rivers is just like you and me – she needs to find work where she can get it, and procuring and sustaining face time, work-wise, has a great deal to do with her documentary.

“But that’s everybody,” she exclaimed. “And I think that’s what makes my comedy relevant, because I do go through what everybody goes through – nobody wants to think they are going to be out of work – everyone’s terrified.”

Fret not, it’s not all darkness about her living life as an open book or “an open tome – because I’m older,” as she put it. This is Joan Rivers we are talking about after all; there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

“I think there’s enough humor in there, God knows, and there’s enough stand-up,” she explained. “Fans, if that’s what they’re coming for, are going to be thrilled. “And I think they’re going to love seeing what I do, otherwise; seeing my grandson, seeing how I work for God’s Love We Deliver (food delivery for HIV/AIDS patients), seeing what my apartment looks like. I think it’s terrific for them to see things they wouldn’t ordinarily see.”

Something we may to get see on our TV sets with Rivers (barring “How’d You Get So Rich?” Wednesdays at 10 on TV Land – you’re welcome, Joan!) is something that she said she would do on-camera during her documentary. She stated that she’d wear a diaper in a commercial to get some, well, not face time exactly, but that all Depends on your point-of-view (add your own rim shot). Not saying no, has in effect, been one of the secrets to her longevity.

“Absolutely!” Rivers replied. “Show business is all smoke and mirrors, and wanting to please. And, anyone who takes it seriously…are you crazy? I wonder how many stars would be digging in Haiti, if there weren’t paparazzi. So boring! You’re an actor, calm down!”

Speaking of the fame game, Rivers gave us her take on the social networking aspect of ‘the biz.’

“I love Facebook, but Twitter!?” She said. “‘I’m going to the bathroom now!’ Who cares? I’d love to have a non-Twitter Twitter, and every time somebody tells you something, you could write, ‘Who the fuck cares?’ and send it back to them.”

It’s that no-hold-barred bravado that seems to land Rivers in the ‘Don’t Mess with Ms. In-Between’ category. Simply put, people either adore her or they don’t, and for the latter – it’s your loss and our gain!

“A star will get a reaction,” she proclaimed. “You know how many people you say ‘good enough’ about? Liza ain’t the prettiest, but you know what? You know when she’s on stage! That’s what it’s all about – people react very positively or very negatively to it.”

The adverse reactions her critics suffer (hopefully, they break out in rashes) may have something to do with the subject matter that she covers.

 “I’ve been doing it for 46 years, I’m still not interested (in critics opinions),” Rivers stated. “Obviously what I’m doing is making my audiences, my people that come to see me, have a wonderful time, and that’s all I care about.

“I think the more outrageous the topic, the more I want to talk about it, because it hasn’t been spoken about. And the minute they say something about anti-gay marriage, I’ve got to do six marriage jokes.”

Not for nothing, but Rivers has managed to keep her fears at bay about fading away into obscurity by taking on a number of televised projects, such as TV Land’s “How’d You Get So Rich?” It’s on Wednesdays at 10 p.m. – what? I told her I’d push it so much, it may fall over a cliff, alright!

She also competed on and won the 2009 version of “The Celebrity Apprentice,” along the way she took off her gloves and, ahem, duked it out with castmember Annie Duke, comparing her to Hitler in one episode and called her “beyond white trash” in another.

So…what would happen if she met the pro poker player in a dark alley, or rather a dark trailer park?

“She would take me because she’s bigger and younger, but verbally I could take her,” she laughingly answered. “There are very few people I really hold a grudge against. Maybe Hitler, Mel Gibson and now Annie Duke.”

Currently, Rivers is enjoying walking the beat as one of the “Fashion Police” again on E! and set the record straight on her initial exit from the network.

“Everyone thought that we (she and daughter Melissa) were angry at E!” she described. “We left E! they didn’t fire us. So, it was such a big reunion when we came back.”

And if Rivers had her druthers, she would leap at the chance to do another talk show.

“Well, we got Betty White on ‘Saturday Night Live’ – so, let’s get Joan a talk show. I would kill to have a late-night show. I was hoping that they’d give me ‘The View,’ instead of Whoopi; but they didn’t need two old ladies as bookends.”

She also has gotten the greenlight for the third season of “How’d You Get So Rich?” (fourth time’s the charm, right?), a new reality show filming in July with Melissa entitled “Mother Knows Best” and “QVC, QVC, QVC.”

“And all of the concerts,” she added. “And at E! we’re doing a whole big thing again with the ‘Fashion Police,’ it’s all great!”

However, if the offers don’t come pouring in after all of her current plate-full endeavors – don’t you worry your pretty little heads, because, if there is casebook example of being a showbiz survivor, it’s Rivers.

Besides, during the downtime, it will give her a chance to catch up on The Tudors on her TiVo (yup, I got the skinny of what shows she records, which also includes “Law & Order” -“but only with Jerry Orbach” – “Seinfeld” and “How’d You Get So Rich?” that was her plug, not mine. ).

Chances are we will never see River standing near a freeway off-ramp with a sign around her neck that reads: “Will work for laughs.”

Perchance, there may be a demand for a sequel to A Piece of Work, and the funny lady already has its title and premise mapped out.

“Well, this is A Piece of Work, right?” she asked. “Probably Joan Rivers: A Piece of Shit and we would have all my enemies talk.”

Starting on June 18, you can see Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work at Landmark’s Hillcrest Cinemas. Log onto landmarktheatres.com for showtimes.

Beginning on June 11th, you can catch Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work at either the Arclight Cinemas, or at Landmark Los Angeles Cinemas. Log onto arclightcinemas.com and http://www.landmarktheatres.com for showtimes.

This interview was first published June 2010.