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Joan Rivers on her return to “The Tonight Show” as a guest for the first time in nearly 30 years

Joan Rivers appeared on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon today – a full guest spot after making a cameo last month on Jimmy’s first show as host.

She was banned from the show by Johnny Carson who never forgave her for launching a rival late night show on Fox after she had been his permanent guest host in the first half of the 80s. Not sure why Jay Leno kept up the ban but Fallon has shown he is his own man.

Joan talked to Variety about her return to the show that greatly boosted her career when she began appearing on it in the 1960s.

“The last time I was on the show, Melissa was in diapers,” she quipped in an interview, referring to her daughter and longtime co-star. “Now, I’m in diapers.”

Of her absence during the Leno era she says it ”wasn’t for lack of asking. I don’t know what his problem was. I don’t know, and you want to know something? I don’t care.”

She’s always kept working and reinventing herself multiple times as Emmy winning daytime talk show host, Tony nominated Broadway actress, red carpet interviewer and fashion critic, author, QVC jewelry mogul and reality show star.

Her return to the Tonight Show offers “a great lesson, a great show-business lesson: You keep going, and things turn around and things come back, and it’s an amazing business because of that. I was so banned from late night, but I managed to survive.”

She adds: ”It’s really a very good moment for me, a very good moment for me. And I’m very appreciative, and very aware of it.”

FILE UNDER: Television


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2 Remarks

  1. You can say a lot of things about Joan Rivers but one that stands out is she is a SURVIVOR. No matter how steep the fall she always rises back up to the top. I still admire her and her daughter for shining the light on what suicide does to a family when they did that t v movie and played themselves. It was raw and painful but I’m sure it gave some people some hope on how to get though it in their lives.

  2. I remember an interview Joan Rivers gave where she said Leno & Letterman were not inviting her because of her age compared to the age of most of their viewership. It was their loss as she would have been fun as a periodic guest…..

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