30 most shocking late night scandals

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS /
10 of 30

21. Johnny Carson inadvertently creates a toilet paper shortage

Things were a lot more complicated before Google would come around. Being able to easily verify information wasn’t a luxury people had many decades ago. Sometimes it would result in things being blown up out of proportion, as nobody was able to jump on Google or Bing to see what other people are saying.

In December of 1973, Carson read a part of a news article in the press at the time. He’d tell some jokes about an alleged shortage of toilet paper. Although there was not an actual shortage of toilet tissue, these Carson jokes were enough to terrify the public into thinking there was. Consumers would flock to the stores in droves, buying up all the toilet paper they could. Shelves were quickly emptied, actually creating a real toilet paper shortage in the process.

Until the panic could die down, the stores and toilet paper manufacturers neededuploaded to start rationing supplies. In January of 1974, Carson also went back on his show to issue an apology. It’s an interesting example how quickly rumors can spread, especially in an age where late night TV was where many people got all of their news.