Joan Rivers, June Havoc and Sally Adams talk 1969 kitchen design trends on “That Show”

Many thanks to Brini Maxwell for tuning us in and turning us on to vintage episodes of Joan Rivers’ “That Show,” which ran for a single season, 1968-1969. In this episode, Joan teams up with Family Circle magazine equipment editor Sally Pepper Adams and writer-director-actress-amazing June Havoc to talk and laugh about kitchen trends. It’s all Quite Delightful.

And Fascinating: Joan Rivers introduces June Havoc … as if everyone knows her. Ummm, I didn’t. So I looked her up. Jumping jehosaphat. She was “Baby June” – the vaudeville prodigy and younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee… immortalized in the 1959 Broadway play “Gypsy”, “the greatest Broadway musical ever.” But, dig into June’s life and there there’s even more to her story, lots more…

On Joan Rivers and decorating: I watched that documentary, “Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work,” which was released last year. She is huge into decorating — which is already clear in her 1969 TV show. Asked last year about her regal French-style Manhattan apartment, she quipped,

This is how Marie Antoinette would have lived if she had had money.

On June Havoc: What a story, what a life! Vaudeville performer and silent film star from as early as age two (?)… younger sister of Gypsy Rose Lee… eloped at age 13 or was it 15 or 16?… tried to shoot her mother when the mother had the boy arrested… destitute during the Depression, survived by doing dance marathons; for five months, she held the all time record for marathon dancing of 3,600 hours… she then became pregnant by a married man, a marathon promoter… endured to became a successful star of film and stage… wrote memoirs and turned them into Broadway plays…. helped restore an historic Connecticut village… and it sound like her homes were just lovely. June Havoc died just last year, read her New York Times obituary here, it’s all quite amazing. Our Reality TV has NOTHING on this one. Among the most poignant moments in the reprise of her life:

Over the years Ms. Havoc tended to be diplomatic when speaking of her mother and her sister. But in a 2003 interview with Alex Witchel of The New York Times, she was particularly straightforward:

“My sister was beautiful and clever — and ruthless. My mother was endearing and adorable — and lethal. They were the same person. I was the fool of the family. The one who thought I really was loved for me, for myself.”

Golly, what one can learn from the thread of a Joan Rivers tv show about kitchens.

On this 1969 episode of “That Show”: I learned some things, too.

***If you have a little time, I invite you to help me chronicle the tips within this 22-minute segment. What did you learn or enjoy? Leave a comment!*** I’ll start with:

Use soda water to clean stainless steel. Put some club soda on a sponge or rag and wipe it over your stainless steel countertop or sink to remove spots. Thank you, Brini Maxwell, Sally Pepper Adams, Joan Rivers, and June Havoc <3 .

  1. Dianne says:

    What a way cool video! I really like the fact that each topic was thoroughly discussed and not abbreviated like so many talk shows are today! I also like that apparently June and Sally didn’t agree to *have each other’s backs*…..they truly shared their individual opinions regardless! I loved June’s comments about “neon” lighting in the morgues….I’m sure they must’ve been talking about flourescent….and I agree with June…ugh! Their conversation wasalmost like a compare and contrast … the so-called experts (Family Circle) vs. June representing the typical homeowner who manages to make her existing kitchen comfortable and efficient…all the while embracing the kitchen’s shortcomings.

  2. vintage_vantage says:

    Wow. I am immediately drawn to Sally Pepper for two reasons. An awesome name; and shes incredibly talented! I have to admit that Ms. June Havoc was a bit of a buzz kill for me. No body likes a know-it-all! Especially one that has three kitchens, with old marble, 200 year old barn wood rubbed with old pants, celebrity friends that make the best dishes ever, etc. etc.

  3. RetroSandie says:

    Thanks, Pam! It was wonderful watching this 60’s show – with lots of good practical advice. Very interesting and timeless! I have to mention the fact that I wore dresses exactly like the one Joan is wearing…ah, the memories! 🙂

  4. Andrea says:

    This was fascinating for so many reasons! At the end I found myself intrigued with the “famous” June Havoc, whom I had never heard of until your post today. Just spent longer than I should have reading all about her—wow, “what a life” is right! I agree she was a bit of a know-it-all during the program, but to me, was charming in spite of that.
    Aside from her interest in home design and involvement with historic preservation, I learned she loved dogs and had many of them—that sealed it for me, I liked her!
    I have to admit that the photos of Family Circle remodels of beautiful vintage kitchens made me wince.
    Thanks, Pam, for posting a video on kitchens that sparked so many topics of interest!

  5. Andrea says:

    I love in the first kitchen with the island the colonial light sticking up, like you’d see in the front yard! DH just walked by & asked what I was watching…he said it sounded like a SNL skit!

    1. Andi says:

      Ah, another Andrea! I’ll switch to Andi…when I first saw your name there, I had a flash thought, “When did I write that?!” LOL.

  6. Kate H says:

    I like that they talked about the pros/cons of things like square lino vs. sheet/dry goods lino/vinyl (is that what they called it?), marble vs. laminate, etc. I thought Sally was quite diplomatic about the marble … and as someone who has it and hates it, I liked that she said different surfaces were good for different things. Makes me think I should make a pie or something. Also: the thing about cordoroy at the first was new to me. Maybe I’ll have to give that a try.

  7. Jenny says:

    That was really cool to watch! They were speaking so intelligently about kitchens and everything was so cultured. The talk shows of today are not like that at all. It was a real trip for me. Thanks for posting!!

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