Earlier this year, Joan Rivers made her triumphant return to The Tonight Show as a guest of Jimmy Fallon to put an end to the ridiculous “ban” that she had faced for the last 28 years. According to TV history and legends that have been told so many times, Rivers and Johnny Carson had a falling out after she agreed to host her own late night show on Fox, which was groundbreaking at the time. Carson vowed never to have her on his show again, and Leno, the denim-clad loyalist that he is, upheld the ban once Carson had passed the torch to him. The rest was history until…
Leno sat down for an interview with Billy Bush and Access Hollywood this week, and among other topics, from Robin Williams’ suicide to his return to the road, the former Tonight Show host readily admitted that he kept Rivers off the show “out of respect for Johnny” while he was alive. That, of course, begs the question: “What about after he passed away?” However, the answer to that seems to be that Rivers had made such a big deal about it by then that Leno would have had to give in and let her win, and that would have just been foolish. Perhaps the next question that Bush could ask would have been, “Does that mean that Fallon has no respect for Carson, or is he just a much more mature and adult human being?” Also, maybe “Were you scared that Carson’s ghost would haunt you for eternity?”
Ultimately, Leno claims that he has no regrets about anything, and he always liked Rivers because she was the very first autograph that he ever got as a comic. It’s a shame they never got a chance to talk about that. Perhaps on a talk show or something.
(H/T to Mediaite)