The actor said he wishes he could have made amends with the late comic icon

By Kathy Ehrich Dowd
Updated March 26, 2015 05:05 PM
Credit: Michael Stewart/WireImage; Ilya S. Savenok/Getty

Joan Rivers was never shy about her dislike for Ben Stiller, but the Zoolander 2 star says he never understood the late comedienne’s beef – until Howard Stern and his team enlightened him this week.

Stiller, 49, appeared on the shock jock’s radio show Wednesday, and finally got some answers to a snub that has apparently mystified Stiller for years.

“She says you ignored her on the red carpet,” Robin Quivers, Stern’s longtime co-host, exclaimed after Stern brought up the seemingly one-sided feud.

“Oh, is that what it is?” Stiller replied, with a tone that suggested the light bulb just went off. “This is helping me, because I didn’t understand why she didn’t like me.”

Stern told Stiller that Rivers, who died last September at age 81, repeatedly bashed Stiller when she appeared on his radio show. She also criticized the comedian and director in her 2010 documentary, A Piece of Work, dismissing him as “lucky.”

Stiller told Stern her dislike was even more confusing because Rivers was close with his parents, comedians Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara, who gained fame alongside her in the comedy circuit in the ’50s and ’60s.

However, Stern informed Stiller that Rivers’s friendship with his parents only added fuel to the fire.

“She’d say, ‘Howard, I’m friends with Ben’s mother. And Ben should say hello to me’ … she was really ticked that you wouldn’t say hello to her,” Stern said.

“See, this makes it all clear to me now,” Stiller replied. “I don’t remember that happening, but I’m sure it did.”

With the facts in hand, Stiller then told Stern he wished they’d had a chance to make amends before her death.

“She was great, and I feel bad that we never got to work that out,” he said. “It’s sad.”

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