During a discussion about his new rom-com movie brothersActor/comedian Billy Eichner recalled being mentored by legendary comedian Joan Rivers and even getting Eichner’s name in front of the big late-night talk show hosts, which ultimately helped him launch his career as a comedian.
Eichner originally met Rivers on a pilot for Bravo in 2006, when the network was finding its footing. Along with Bravo producer Andy Cohen, Eichner formed a friendship with Rivers and Cohen even after the pilot was not picked up. Eicher recalled how Rivers continued to follow his career, giving him advice and even promoting his work to late-night hosts like David Letterman and Jimmy Kimmel.
Billy Eichner said Joan Rivers was ‘insanely supportive’
Eichner recalled becoming close to Rivers during his experience with her at Bravo. “She really became like a mentor to me,” he said on the Conan O’Brien needs a friend podcast. “I could go on and on about how insanely supportive she was for no reason.”
While still relatively unknown, Rivers shuffled Eichner’s Billy on the Street DVD to major late-night talk show producers on appearances. “Nobody knew who I was at that point,” he said. “And Joan told me she said I’m going to do all the late night shows for the first time in decades. Record your ‘Billy on the Street’ videos, put some of your favorite videos on a DVD and make copies and leave them at my apartment. I’m going to take your DVD to the producers of all these shows and tell them you must know this Billy Eichner. Check out these videos.’”
Joan helped Billy with his career after she was blacklisted
Earlier on in the podcast, Eichner recalled how Rivers stuck his neck out despite being blacklisted on the talk shows. O’Brien said Rivers was a big odds draw when she was a guest presenter The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson was the host. Whenever Carson wanted to take a break from his show, which was hugely popular in the ’80s, Rivers stepped in and viewers would love it.
“She was so funny and it was a huge event,” O’Brien recalled. “And then she did her own show and that was seen as a betrayal.” Carson had no plans to leave his show at the time.
Billy Eichner recalls Joan Rivers telling talk show hosts about him during her resurgence
Eichner continued the story. “So Joan went and did her own show and he got extremely angry and basically had her blacklisted from late night TV for the rest of her career, up until about ten years before she died. And so she had a career resurgence, and Letterman wore her again. And Fallon wore them The Tonight Show for the first time in many years. [Jimmy] Kimmel had them on and no one knew who I was at that point.
“She had no reason to argue with me. She was really so helpful,” Eichner continues. “That was a few years before Joan resurrected, if you remember. And, you know, Joan has been blacklisted from a lot of late night talk shows, like, you know, we know that story. And she hadn’t The Tonight Show in many years and Letterman had not worn them for many years.
https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/bros-billy-eichner-recalls-joan-rivers-helped-star-mentor-me.html/ Bros Billy Eichner Recalls How Joan Rivers Helped Make Him a Star – ‘She Really Became a Mentor to Me’