From Bill Brownstein’s article in The Montreal Gazette, July 18, 2008
So you thought the ageless Joan Rivers was in fine form at the opening gala at Théâtre St. Denis on Wednesday night. … Well, she must have had energy to spare. Either that, or she was fuelled by her first experience with Montreal smoked meat.
Rivers held court at Schwartz’s following the gala. Surrounded by friends from the biz, a couple of media interlopers and Schwartz’s boss Hy Diamond, Rivers regaled all with hilarious tales relating to the storage of ashes of deceased loved ones, including dogs, taking up nearly all her cupboard space to her exploits on Celebrity Family Feud, wherein the Rivers clan battled the Wayne Newton brood. She also tried to show compassion to members of Overeaters Anonymous: "Who are they trying to kid? Anonymous? Their rallying cry is Save the Whales … for breakfast."
Tourists caught in the middle started clicking photos with their cellphone cameras. Almost lost in the shuffle – and no doubt grateful for that – was ex-federal foreign affairs minister Maxime Bernier, chowing down on a sandwich at the counter with an engaging female companion – not Julie Couillard, the woman with the uninvestigated past who created a furor after reporting he left secret intelligence papers at her home.
Bernier did come over to the table, between bites, to ask Kevin Tierney – a film producer when not part of the crack Gazette comedy-critic panel – if he’d be interested in making a movie, from Bernier’s and not Couillard’s point of view. Bernier was then introduced to Rivers, who, no doubt, will incorporate the Bernier/Couillard affair into her act – the next time she comes to Canada.
Incidentally, the only thing Bernier left behind at Schwartz’s was a tip, of the monetary – not of the dangers of politics – variety.