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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. Amy says:

    It’s neat to see that just about everyone enjoys making or fixing things themselves — as June went on and on about how she painted her fridge or papered her cabinets, etc… She obviously could’ve hired that out, as wealthy as she was, but it is a wonderful feeling to have done something yourself.

  2. Dana says:

    I loved watching this, Pam! Thanks for posting it for us all to enjoy! In a very short time these 3 women presented quite a bit of opinion, insight, information, and fun in a coherent and enjoyable manner, with poise and grace evident in all three of them. As for Miss Havoc’s “attitude”, she came across to me as just “dramatic” and given her background on Broadway, this just may be the cumulative persona of years in public. She was a very beautiful woman, must be in her mid 50’s in this show, and Miss Rivers and the Family Circle editor were lovely as well. It was just so refreshing to see 3 women speak so normally without firing bombs at each other and all shouting at once. Again, thanks so much.

  3. daniel says:

    that was neat. it’s so strange to me to see things like kitchen islands and lazy susans being a “new” trend as the “old” kitchens i knew as a little kid already had these things. i did like what june havoc had to say…. sally adams gave me some interesting ideas about indirect lighting… we’ve got a big fluorescent tube light over the kitchen and it is a bit intense.

  4. Chuck Clarke says:

    June Havoc was such a breezy guest! But she wouldn’t let that poor woman from Family Circle talk! And of course she cooks with Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward! Marvelous!!!

  5. Tami says:

    Totally groovy. I saw something not too long ago about Joan’s New Milford house . . . doesn’t she have a white kitchen now?

  6. Kirsten says:

    I commend everyone for being so diplomatic. I’ll be honest, though, I thought June was just plain rude to poor Sally from Family Circle.

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