VIDEO: Joan Rivers recalls first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson interviews Joan Rivers during a 1986 interview on the Tonight Show. (Johnny Carson/YouTube)
Thursday, September 04, 2014
As the world mourns the death of iconic comedian Joan Rivers today, many are looking back at the early moments of her 50+ year career. In the 1986 appearance on the Tonight Show, Rivers and host Johnny Carson reminisce about the early years of their careers.



Although Rivers' looks changed significantly throughout the years, she made a point of wearing the same dress, pearls and even a similar hair style to her first appearance on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson 21 years earlier.

Rivers was on the show to promote a new book, which included a dedication to Carson, "who made it all happen."

Recalling Rivers' appearance, Carson says during the interview, "I did say one thing that night, which I have seldom said on this show over the years...You finished your routine, and you were devastating, and the audience was just falling apart and you walked over and sat down, and I said, 'You know, you're going to be a big star.'"

In her typical humor, Rivers responded by saying, "And I looked behind me. I couldn't believe you were talking to me."



Rivers was a frequent guest on Carson's show, making her first appearance in February 1965. In the early 1980s, Rivers was named as Carson's permanent guest host, but the two had a falling out several years later and she never again appeared on the Tonight Show until 2014, when Jimmy Fallon took over as host. Rivers said Carson never forgave her and the two never again spoke to one another.
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entertainment joan rivers celebrity celebrity deaths television

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