Host of "Top 5" on Food Network
From talking to one of the Beatles in London to talking about Bodacious Buffets on Food Network, his career has been colorful.
Having gained a solid reputation as a smart interviewer with a knowledge of classic films and a knack for comedy, Rivers was tapped by VH1 to become a veejay in 1987. The next year, the network gave him a primetime talkshow called Watch Bobby Rivers. He won raves from The New York Times, People magazine and TV Guide. His diverse guest list included Paul McCartney, Kirk Douglas, Meryl Streep, Mel Gibson, Norman Mailer and Tina Turner. He appeared on CBS Late Night programs and worked on VH1 until 1990.
In 1992, he was approached to be the entertainment reporter for the WNBC news program, Weekend Today in New York. However, two days before its debut, he was switched to cover community events instead. He brought his sassy VH1 humor to those liveshots, making him more popular with viewers than management. He quit in 1995 and joined Good Day New York on Fox where he did humor segments, lively celebrity features and introduced new artists. He helped a Bronx poet get discovered by Russell Simmons for his Def Poetry Jam on Broadway cast. The New York Post picked Rivers as one the best local TV talents of 1998. He left in 1999 when he was switched to community events.
Off-Broadway, he read his fictional piece, The Chelsea Diaries, about downtowners trying to find real love in a post-9/11 Manhattan. Next, he wrote and performed the autobiographical I Look Thinner on TV. It focused on ethnic images in broadcasting, trying to be comical for local news while caring for a friend dying of AIDS, his childhood in South Central L.A., reuniting with his father after 20 years, dating after 40, and some funny celebrity encounters.
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