Sundance Dispatch: Joan Rivers, Ryan Gosling, America Ferrera

Joan Rivers sounds off on Conan's "win," she's happy Leno will put her to sleep.

ByABC News
January 26, 2010, 7:54 AM

Jan. 26, 2010— -- Joan Rivers still doesn't hold anything back.

At the Sundance Film Festival promoting her new documentary (or "doc," as she gleefully called it, aristocratic accent on full blast), the comedian tore into NBC and said what she really thinks of the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien brouhaha.

"First of all, Conan, it was a win for him," she said in an interview with ABC News Now's "Popcorn With Peter Travers" Monday. "He was going down the tubes, he's not that funny, and now America loves him and he's got $40 million. I'm thrilled that Leno went back to 'Late Night' because he put me to sleep and that's good at 11:35. I didn't want that in prime time.

"I just found the whole thing disgusting," she said. "I wish I had been a fly on the wall with the lawyers to see what was really going on. Jay Leno, can you imagine what was raging in that room? It would've been great to see all that."

Rivers also sounded off on this year's crop of Oscar contenders.

"I loved 'Inglourious Basterds.' [It was] shocking, amazing," she said. "I loved 'Up in the Air,' hated 'It's Complicated.' I like Alec Baldwin because he'll do anything, he's funny. But Steve Martin can't act and that hurt me.

"With 'Precious,' I just thought, 'Oh, get a job MoNique," she joked. "Just stand up and get a job."

Turning serious, Rivers said, "I think she's brilliant in that movie. She's going to win the Academy Award, she has to."

Then she cracked on the photo of MoNique's unshaven legs on Golden Globes' red carpet:

"Maybe it's like a statement, she's not going to shave her legs until Haiti is fixed," she said.

Ah, Joan: few in Hollywood dare to be as irreverent as she is anymore, especially those in her demographic. Her day-to-day life is the subject of the film "Joan Rivers -- A Piece of Work," which chronicles the comedian's life. She wasn't shy about admitting how the whole project came to be.

"I had nothing to do with it," she said. "It was my best friend's daughter [who made the movie.] My career was in the toilet, as usual, so she begged her daughter to do something with me. They followed me around for a year and a half hoping I would die."

Rolling over and playing dead is the last thing Rivers wants to do. She's determined to work until the bitter end.

"I'll never retire! F**k off. Never," she declared. "In this movie, my ex-manager said, 'It's like a drug for her.' He's absolutely right. I love the business. I'll go anywhere, I'll get on any plane, I'll do any part of it."

As long as she's laughing, Rivers said, she's living.

"If you laugh at it, you can deal with it," she said, "and if you don't laugh at it, you can't deal with it. I did 9/11 jokes on 9/12 and it got us all through. I would've been laughing in Auschwitz. That's how I deal with it."