Back in January, QVC launched their annual Host Search, scouring America for folks with the gift of gab. Who better to tell us all about it than jewelry and cosmetics hawker Joan Rivers, a 14-year vet of the home-shopping channel? At QVC's recent auditions in Rhode Island, Rivers sat down with TV Guide Online to dish the fine art of TV salesmanship, among other wacky things.
TV Guide Online: As a comic, how important is your sense of humor when selling something on TV?
Joan Rivers: Everything is about humor with me. You've got to laugh at everything. It's very important. But you also have to understand that a lot of people don't know you're making a joke, so you don't make a joke about your products.
TVGO: You're an infamous fashion critic. Do you really think people should be judged by their looks?
Rivers: It's all about looks. Anyone that says it's not is a liar. [But] what they want [at QVC], as opposed to, say, a movie star, is a real person. A person that you think you could almost look like. That's why people loved Roseanne so much in the beginning or Jerry Seinfeld or Larry David. They want someone they can relate to because you are truly in their living room.
TVGO: This QVC contest is similar to American Idol. Do you watch AI?
Rivers: No, I don't. I'm not a music person. If it was called Comedy Idol, I'd be watching every week.
TVGO: Would you ever host a reality show?
Rivers: Oh, I'd love to. It's all about reality.
TVGO: Which Idol judge are you most like: Paula, Simon or Randy?
Rivers: People won't believe it, but I'd probably be Paula. If you're making $20 million a picture and America thinks you're the most beautiful woman in the world, then I can say I don't like your dress. You'll go slap your stylist across the face; that's all that will happen. But I can't talk about someone that's trying [to get started]. I can't do that. I'm not the one to shoot you down — because I remember what I must have been like when I first did comedy. I once was onstage doing comedy, and over the loud speaker, the owner said, "Get off!" So I'm not the one to turn to someone and say, "Outta here!" [Smirking] Didn't expect that, did you?
Tune in to meet the five finalists from QVC's Host Search tonight at 7 pm/ET.