TORONTO — Joan Rivers was a favourite guest on late night talk shows, so it’s no surprise late night hosts paid tribute to her on Thursday’s shows.
Rivers died Thursday after a week in a medically-induced coma. She was 81.
“She’s one of the funniest people in the world, ever,” said The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon.
“She is fearless. I mean, she would come out and say what you were thinking but you wouldn’t say it. She did it because she just wanted to make everyone laugh. And she could take a joke just as easily as she could dish it out.”
Fallon also recalled how Rivers gave him a kiss on his first episode of The Tonight Show.
“It was really emotional and really nice,” he said.
Rivers hadn’t appeared on The Tonight Show since her relationship with former host Johnny Carson soured in 1986.
Fallon also praised Rivers’ work ethic.
“We loved her,” he added. “We will definitely miss her.”
On The Late Show with David Letterman, the host recalled Rivers’ many appearances.
“Talk about guts,” he said.
“She stood behind her jokes and would say these things and never apologize,” said Letterman. “She was harder on herself than anybody.”
Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson described Rivers as “one of the all-time greats.”
He added: “I just hope that when Joan meets the man upstairs, he is wearing something she can insult.”
On his show, Jimmy Kimmel called Rivers a comedy legend and pioneer.
“She loved her job so much,” said Kimmel. “She never wanted to stop and she never had to stop because she was so great at it.”
Conan O’Brien remembered watching Rivers guest host The Tonight Show when he was a child.
“It was an event,” he said. “Everybody in the country would talk about it the next day.
“At that time, she was so, so outrageous, and her comedy felt so out of the bounds. People were just blown away.”
On Late Night, host Seth Myers said: “I have not sat next to anyone who told more jokes faster than Joan Rivers did when she was here.”
He added: “[She was] the nicest person in the world when I got to talk to her backstage. I wish she were here right now.”
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