Dot Matrix in "Spaceballs", as voiced by Joan Rivers.

Dot Matrix in “Spaceballs”, as voiced by Joan Rivers.


Joan Rivers was known for giving very frank (and usually unasked-for) fashion advice, and for being extremely loud and obnoxious wherever she went (but always with a twinkle in her eye). During her time in the spotlight, she hosted interviews on the red carpet with many different celebrities.

Rivers wrote several books about her life and for just general amusement of the reader. She was named a permanent co-host for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson until she launched her own talk show on the competing (and brand new) Fox Network. Rivers said Carson never spoke to her again after that.

While Rivers appeared in a wide variety of television shows and films, she didn’t appear in very many science fiction, fantasy, or horror shows. Here are 6 scifi shows featuring Joan Rivers, listed in alphabetical order by show title:

  1. Iron Man 3: Rivers has a cameo appearance, appearing on her fashion commentary show, Fashion Police, where she criticizes the paint scheme of the Iron Patriot suit. This is her most recent (and final) appearance in a science fiction film prior to her death.
     
     
  2. The Muppets Take Manhattan: This is another cameo appearance in which she appears as Eileen, Miss Piggy’s cosmetic counter sales coworker in the department store. In contrast to her normal public personality, Rivers plays a friendly and awkward character in this role.
     
     
  3. Shrek 2: Here she appears as herself, hosting the red carpet show as various celebrities arrive for Shrek and Fiona’s marriage. She is, I believe, the only real life person to be directly transplanted into the Shrek world.
     
     
  4. The Smurfs: Rivers again plays herself in a cameo appearance. I admit, I have never watched this adaptation of the 1980s cartoon series, so I can’t go into more detail on this one. The trailers gave me hives, so I have avoided watching it.
     
     
  5. Spaceballs: In this Star Wars parody from Mel Brooks, Rivers voices Princess Vespa’s droid-of-honor, Dot Matrix. This is her most famous science fiction role. Her main job was to act as a nursemaid or droid-in-waiting for Princess Vespa, as well as to protect her virginity from being stolen by various nefarious and swashbuckling characters in the film.
     
     
  6. Spaceballs: The Animated Series: Rivers reprises her voice-over role as Dot Matrix, only in animated form. This series didn’t last, being only 13 episodes long. Oddly, it debuted in Canada prior to debuting in the United States.

While not making a huge impact through the 6 scifi shows featuring Joan Rivers did make a huge impact on those who have brought us all the science fiction, fantasy, and horror we love. The world has been diminished by her passing. We will miss you, Joan.