Joan Rivers' daughter is now hosting a show on MTV

July 31, 1992 at 04:00 AM EDT

Though she describes herself as ”intensely private,” Melissa Rivers, 24, loves calling up friends with the latest celebrity dish. Which is hardly surprising considering her lineage: Mom is Joan Rivers, who has perhaps the loosest lips in the biz. Now Melissa too is getting paid for fast talk. As gossip reporter on MTV’s afternoon variety show Hangin’ With MTV, she tattles each Wednesday (”just silly stuff”) on young film, TV, and music stars.

Mother and daughter ”are too close to compete” for hot items, says Melissa, a 1989 University of Pennsylvania grad who has acting aspirations. ”She’d rather give me something than use it herself.” Besides, Mom can just tell her own audience about Melissa’s personal life instead. ”I’ve told her, ‘Mom, you really went too far today.’ Enough!”

Another downside of sharing the famous name, says Rivers, who recently changed hers from the less recognizable Rosenberg of her late father, is ”the preconceived notions. People expect me to be funny and look just like my mom.” Well, she is funny, and there is a resemblance, but, she says, ”I went on this recent audition, and the woman said, ‘Sorry. But I thought you’d be blond.’ And I looked right at her and said, ‘Yeah, but neither is my mother! It’s all highlights.’ The woman’s jaw hit the floor.”

Another bit of gossip from the Rivers mouth.

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