30 most shocking late night scandals

Credit: CBS
Credit: CBS /
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5. Joan Rivers “betrays” Johnny Carson by starting her own late night talk show

Late comedian Joan Rivers certainly owes a lot to Johnny Carson. He helped her get started by bringing her on as a writer for his The Tonight Show. She would also make many appearances on the show, even sometimes serving as a guest host. Rivers herself said she felt like “Johnny Carson’s daughter” because of the extent of his mentoring.

But in 1986, Joan and Johnny’s relationship was destroyed forever. FOX was looking for their own late night talk show, and they made the offer to Joan Rivers. She accepted, making her the first woman to have a late night talk show on a major network. The problem was that she would be airing against The Tonight Show, making her Johnny’s competitor. And let’s just say Carson didn’t take the news lightly.

Even though Rivers’ show was short-lived, Carson never forgave her. From that moment on, Carson never spoke to Rivers again. When she called to explain the situation to him, he hung up on her. He also banned her from The Tonight Show completely, keeping her off the show until a 2014 appearance when Jimmy Fallon was hosting.