Pop Culture

Joan Rivers in 1983 TODAY interview: ‘I think I represent women’

In this Feb. 3, 1983 TODAY interview with then-host Bryant Gumbel, Joan Rivers talks about her early career ambitions as an actress, her start in comedy and her struggles to get on "The Johnny Carson Show." Rivers, who died Thursday at age 81, also reflects on being a woman of a certain age in this clip. 

“I think I represent women. I think women are frustrated around my stage in the game of life," she tells Gumbel. “I’m middle-aged, in the middle of a good marriage, teenage daughter. A lot of the excitement in your life is gone. I live a very pedestrian life, and I think a lot of ladies out there live the same kind of life. And you get a little upset about it, and you think, ‘Has it all gone by already?’”

Watch the video to see clips from her stand-up and more from a candid and vintage Joan.

Want more from our Joan Rivers archive? Watch this 1986 TODAY interview with Jane Pauley, in which she talks about her drive to be a performer. 

Related: How Joan Rivers paved the way for modern funny women