Avast, me buckos! Reality TV continues its perilous descent into the abyss! By now, you know Melissa Rivers has signed on to do ABC's I'm A Celebrity — Get Me Out of Here! (debuting Feb. 19). Hey, at least we've heard of her. The other so-called "celebrities" are: Robin Leach, Olympian Bruce Jenner, model Tyson Beckford, Downtown Julie Brown — um, not to be confused with MTV's other Julie Brown — and actress Alana Stewart. (Who? Oh yeah, she was married to George Hamilton and Rod Stewart.) Missy, why the hell are you doing this?
"To be part of dividing a pot of $500,000 for charity," she earnestly tells TV Guide Online. "That's my motivation. I'm definitely giving my winnings to a children's charity."
Mama Joan Rivers wasn't so sure Missy should appear on this Survivor rip-off, however altruistic her reasons. "I thought she was insane," Joan says. "And then I thought, 'She's very athletic and smart. She's going to have an adventure where, for the rest of her life, she'll never be boring at a dinner table.'"
Natch, the Rivers women stick together, always propping each other up in the face of criticism. What else is family for? And how else would they survive the ribbing they take for Joan's flubs during E!'s From The Red Carpet awards show specials?
At least Joan's not frontin'. The comedian freely admits she doesn't know all the stars' names and vital stats. "I don't," she shrugs. "Also, they come down the carpet so fast, and [our producers] scream at you, 'Turn around and interview Heather.' Well, which Heather?! They're all blonde and they've all got beautiful breasts. So, sometimes it gets tough, but Melissa knows 'em all, so she helps me out a lot. The rest... hey, it's entertainment. We're the highest-rated [pre-show], so we're doing something right."
Like her mother, Missy blithely abdicates a reporter's responsibility for doing her homework. As she says: "We're here to entertain, not explain."