I’ve found it! Yes! The Holy Grail of club-kid talk show appearances! A 1990 Joan Rivers Show interview with Leigh Bowery, Michael Alig, Ernie Glam, me, and a not-quite-polished-yet Amanda Lepore! I lost my copy about 10 years ago and have been trying to find another one ever since. Nobody taped it. Nobody remembers seeing it. I even contacted Joan, herself, a few years ago, only to discover that all the original masters from the show had been mislabeled and were probably lost in the studio vault forever. I had all but given up hope. But thanks to my friend Brett (YAY BRETT!) it lives again! After viewing it for the first time in over a decade, though, I have to say that it’s not QUITE as fabulous as I remembered it being. We were all pretty young and stupid back then. But I suppose it’s a great moment-in-time piece: Leigh is still very much alive, Michael is merely impish instead of dangerously out-of-control, and Amanda! – oh my God – Amanda is just so fresh and awkward and adorable, a far cry from the rock-hard chic she’s known for these days. I remember before we went on, she was so nervous she was shaking and her teeth were chattering. “What should I say? What should I say?” she kept asking. “Just explain that you are every man’s fantasy, you are the ideal woman,” Michael suggested, helpfully. That’s why anytime Joan asks her a question, she robotically responds with: “I am every man’s fantasy, the ideal woman.” FABULOUS!
I’ve tried to capture some of the highlights here for you. The quality is sort of bad, it’s a third or fourth generation video that had been sitting in a basement for years, but it’s still pretty fun to watch, if I say so myself. Best scenes? Joan playing with Leigh’s boobage, and Amanda explaining how she got kicked out of Disney World. (Watch the clip)
– James St. James