Watch CBSN Live

Joan Rivers Steamed Over Airport Incident

Joan Rivers is known for her raspy voice and her brash, Brooklyn style.

But she says it was her passport that led to her being kept from boarding a plane as she was about to head home Sunday night from a New Year's vacation in Costa Rica.

The 76-year-old comedienne says she was set to get on a flight to Newark Liberty International Airport -- the last flight out that night -- when she was bumped by a gate agent who found her married and professional names on her boarding pass "fishy."

"At the last minute," Rivers said on CNN's "Larry King Live," "some moron, idiot decided, as we were literally going to the plane and ripping your ticket, that they didn't understand why my passport had two names on it. And I was denied access to the plane."

Rivers' daughter, Melissa Rivers, had flown out earlier, leaving her mother with only $100 in cash, and little patience with gate agents.

"I said to her, 'You must be kidding,' " Rivers recalled for King. " ' I'm gonna have a heart attack over this.' And the woman said, snidely, 'Woman having a heart attack. Let's get the paramedics.' "

David Letterman joked on the "Late Show with David Letterman" that, "It's fascinating to me: We got Joan Rivers, and we still can't get Osama Bin Laden!"

He offered an explanation for why the famously-face-lifted Rivers might have been stopped, kidding that, "Airport security said they were suspicious of Joan's passport. Well, of course -- the photo was her old face!"

After a six-hour drive to another airport, Rivers finally left Costa Rica on Monday, but not for Newark.

"They sent me to Houston," she says. "Even that got screwed up!"