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Joan Rivers Prepares to Get Roasted

hollywoodexclusive1Joan Rivers can dish it, but can she take it? "We'll see on Aug. 9," says Rivers with a laugh as karma comes knocking on her door for the "Comedy Central Roast of Joan Rivers."

"If you sign up for a roast, you're going to be roasted," she notes. "You'd be an idiot to think that they're not going to go for the jugular. Can you imagine someone going up there and saying, 'You shouldn't say that!'" While Rivers admits she wasn't thrilled with the idea at first, the list of presenters helped change her mind. "I thought, 'If we get a good panel together, then it could be a lot of fun.' We'll have Suzanne Somers, I think we're getting Liza, we have Brad Garrett, we may have Jon Lovitz, and Kathy Griffin is the toastmistress," she says of her good pal Griffin, who is often compared to her.

"We both talk about people, so I guess that could be the comparison. She tells stories, and I really rant and rave much more, but I don't watch her act at all anymore because I don't want to have anything spill over, if that makes any sense. I never look at what anybody else is doing. I'm so busy doing what I'm doing."

Rivers certainly doesn't expect anyone to hold back in this show or any other one for that matter. "Comedy is very rough now. Life is very rough. When the whole nation goes into mourning when a pedophile dies, you're in a very strong time," she says. "Look at what our society is doing. This is insane. When people are stealing $62 billion. I think society is so out of control, and the comedy just brings it to a place where at least it's funny."

Next up for Rivers is the Aug. 5 premiere of her TV Land show "How'd You Get So Rich?" The Mark Burnett-produced show follows Rivers as she explores the lifestyles of the rich and lucky. "The millionaires were very nervous in the beginning because it was me. After five minutes they realized I'm not going to make asses of them. The show is funny, but it's not funny at their expense."

GLAD TO GET THE NOD: David DeLuise and Maria Canals Barrera — aka Dad and Mom on the Disney Channel's "The Wizards of Waverly Place" — were both taken by surprise by last week's Emmy nominations announcements, in which their series received a Best Children's Show nod.

"I didn't even know they were doing the announcements — or that we were in contention," David says. And Maria notes, "I have two little kids, so your mind is in a lot of places early in the morning. It was a complete, wonderful surprise. Everybody is really excited. We all want to go together," she adds, referring to their series children, Selena Gomez, David Henrie and Jake T. Austin as well as cast mate Jennifer Stone.

The duo is busy working on the third season of their series, and they have the Aug. 28 "Wizards of Waverly Place The Movie" Disney Channel Original in the can. Come September, Maria will be doing double duty, simultaneously shooting "Wizards" and "Camp Rock 2: The Final Showdown" — in which she reprises her role as the mother of Demi Lovato's aspiring performer character. The first "Camp Rock," with Demi and the Jonas Bros., scored a megahit for the network, with ratings second only to "High School Musical 2."

"The script is fantastic," she says of "Camp Rock 2," which has all the young stars back, and now pitted against each other in rival camps. Of traveling back and forth between the series set and movie location, she says, "I'm thrilled to be doing it." And of her 5- and 3-year-olds, "I'm bringing them with me! They're too little to be without Mama and Dada. My husband is going to be coming with us."

AND: DeLuise also is doubling up his jobs, but in his case, it's all on "Wizards" as he is set to direct two episodes of the show this season. "You have to be on your toes and be on top of everything that's going on," notes the youngest son of the late Dom DeLuise. "I've done several episodes now, and I definitely enjoy being behind the cameras. As far as the future, what the world gives me, I go with. If the directing continues, great. I hope it does. It's very satisfying."

HIGH STEPPING: Nigel Lythgoe, who created "So You Think You Can Dance" and serves as one of the show's judges, tells us he couldn't be happier with how much the world and, in particular, the dance community has begun to respect the level of talent coming from their show. "There's an integrity in it now, and the dancers are being recognized by their names, and so are the choreographers," notes the British TV mogul. "Before we started, choreographers were just choreographers, and a lot of people didn't even know what they did. Now people are like, 'I love Mia Michaels!'"

With reports by Emily Feimster.

To find out more about Marilyn Beck and Stacy Jenel Smith and read their past columns, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com.

COPYRIGHT 2009 MARILYN BECK AND STACY JENEL SMITH

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