Brow Beat

Revisit Joan Rivers’ Classic 1987 Interview With the Beastie Boys

A year after Joan Rivers got her first late-night hosting gig on Fox’s The Late Show in 1986, she invited the Beastie Boys on. The group had just released their groundbreaking debut Licensed to Ill and were still very much in their “loud-mouth brat” (to quote Rivers herself) phase. Before they even took to the stage, Joan set the tone for the segment by flubbing the name of the album, calling it Licensed to Kill, and then, after being corrected, declaring, “That’s a stupid name for an album.”


Things only got better when the Boys joined her for an interview, with Joan offering up her chair to the late MCA, Ad-Rock parking himself atop her desk (which MCA proceeded to spill water on), and Joan sitting next to Mike D on the guests’ couch. She then made jabs at their unlikely rise to fame (“None of you look like I would pick you for success”) and baffled MCA with her notoriously smart mouth. It makes you wonder what she could’ve done with more than just a year of her own late-night show.

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