"You're a poker player. That's beyond white trash."
Joan Rivers spat that at Annie Duke on Sunday night`s electric, best ever episode of Celebrity Apprentice.
Rivers ripped into the World Series of Poker champion after her daughter Melissa--beyond mommy's protection on the opposing team--was fired by Donald Trump in a tense, edgy catfight of a board room session. Melissa got the heave after getting ganged up by Duke and losing team leader Brande Roderick when all three were called into the boardroom. Roderick called Rivers "erratic" and "a crazy person" earlier in the episode. Bottom line, as far as Trump was concerned, Melissa was not raising as much money as Duke and Roderick. As things were heating up between the women, Trump slid a note to boardroom associate Jim Cramer, who nodded and slid the note back. As Duke and Roderick noted later, the paper exchange seemed to be a turning point, with Trump getting a read from Cramer on canning Melissa. Cramer seemed terrified of Ma Rivers`reaction. "Joan is not going to be happy," understated Trump.
Rivers was watching the board room events unfold from another room with fellow team mates Clint Black and Jesse James. She shot daggers at Roderick, mocking the Playboy Playmates' brain power. "Both breasts can count to 10," cracked Joan.
Rivers stopped joking and went ballistic when her daughter got the hook (you could tell because her face almost changed expression), telling the boys she was quitting and wishing them luck against "Hitler and a follower." As she stormed out of the room, she said "I don't work for scum"--a shot directed perhaps at Trump and NBC. UPDATE: Check out the clip below (for as long as it stays up at YouTube:
Next we saw her light into Roderick and Duke, going all-Osbourne on the bleep scale with remarks about "knowing all about you people in Vegas," about how they had no last names, about how none of this was really about the charity the various celebrities have all pledged their Apprentice winnings to support.
"Whore! Pit viper! You are a piece of [bleep] and you are a stupid blonde." she railed at Duke and Roderick. Not since the hair-pulling heyday of Dynasty has there been such a catfight on TV.
Melissa, who expressed fears she had been set up earlier in the episode (insisting she had worked harder than anybody else, given 110%, blah, blah, blah), sprang from the boardroom the second "You`re fired!" left Trumps lips. "Na-uh" she said as she glared at the cameraman on the way to the elevator. "Bu-bye." She refused to retrieve her suitcase and stuff as every other contestant has done and would not do the customary post-firing cab ride remarks. Mommy gathered up her mink and fled the Trump tower right behind her. It was the ultimate, diva-in-flames exit, times two, the kind of thing Mark Burnett probably dreams about.
Will Joan and Melissa show up on Jimmy Kimmel Monday night? Will Joan return next Sunday? Will mortal enemies Jesse James and Clint Black end up in a steel cage match? Celebrity Apprentice is by far the greatest, nastiest, most dramatic reality show on TV today.