Jay Leno: Why He Kept ‘The Tonight Show’ Ban On Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers was banned from appearing on “The Tonight Show” in the late ’80s following a falling out with Johnny Carson – so why did Jay Leno continue the ban when he was host?

Access Hollywood’s Billy Bush chatted with Jay about his new car series coming to CNBC and got to the bottom of something late night TV fans were probably always wondering.

“Johnny, when he did the show, had a falling out with Joan Rivers and sort of banned her from the show, when you took over you kept the ban alive. Joan never appeared. Why was that?” Billy asked Jay.

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“I didn’t wanna do it while Johnny was alive out of respect for Johnny,” Jay explained. “I don’t think he wanted to see her on the show and that’s why we didn’t do it.”

Jay explained that the ban was never something Johnny asked Jay to do, but admitted that keeping her off the show became a little awkward once Johnny had passed.

“I like Joan, I mean, that was the first autograph I ever got was Joan Rivers,” Jay told Billy. “We were friends and by that time it just got to be awkward and then we never did it.”

WATCH: Jay Leno: Will He Ever Return To Late Night TV?

“Do you have any regrets about that?” Billy asked,

“No. I don’t have regrets about anything, just this interview,” Jay joked.

Jay’s car series is expected on CNBC in 2015.

— Jesse Spero

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