Bianca Del Rio has nothing but fond and funny memories of meeting one of her idols, Joan Rivers, shortly before the legendary comedian’s death.
Rivers died nine years ago this week after being placed in a medically induced coma following complications from throat surgery.
TheWrap recently caught up with Del Rio and asked her about taping an episode of “In Bed With Joan” in 2014. The drag queen, who counts Rivers as one of her comedic inspirations, was the icon’s second-to-last guest on the YouTube series.
Del Rio had been crowned the winner of the sixth season of “RuPaul’s Drag Race” a few months prior, and in hindsight, the comic queen’s own quick wit and criticisms, which she styled after insult comics like Rivers and Don Rickles, helped her dominate the entire season.
“A friend of mine by the name of Tony Tripoli, who’s a comedian and a writer for Joan for ‘Fashion Police,’ reached out to right after ‘Drag Race’ and asked, ‘Would you like to do the show with Joan?'” Del Rio told TheWrap. “I’m like, yes, yes, yes, yes — no questions asked!”
“At the time, I had a manager who said, ‘Well, you know, Joan’s not going to pay for your flight. She’s not going to pay for hotels.”
“She’s Jewish! Of course she’s not,” Del Rio joked. “I understand that. I will pay. It’s Joan f–king Rivers!”
Del Rio, who has a background in costume design, brought several looks for the “Fashion Police” host to pick from.
“It was filmed in Melissa Rivers’ home, in the mother-in-law room,” Del Rio recalled. “I had come down with my hair on and I came with my onesie to travel. And I had three dresses. And I was like, ‘Let me see which one Joan would like.’ And so I showed her all three dresses. She goes, ‘I like the onesie.’ So I wore the onesie.”
“We were supposed to film 15 minutes. We did an hour and a half,” Del Rio continued. “I wish I could get the footage. We were cackling about everything and everybody. And there was one moment I said something and she’s laughing and I became an 11-year-old child going, ‘Oh my god, Joan Rivers is laughing at something [I said].’ And you know, she didn’t have to be nice; she could have just barreled through the interview. But she didn’t. She was generous, she was kind.”
Since winning “Drag Race,” Del Rio has gone on to tour internationally and appear in several film projects. But she considers her interview with Rivers one of the highlights of her post-“Drag Race” win.
“She was open to it and that’s something that I found beyond brilliant,” Del Rio concluded.
Check out the NSFW “In Bed With Joan” episode with Rivers and Del Rio in the video below.