03/28/2014 02:41 pm ET Updated Jul 01, 2014

Joan Rivers Returns To 'Tonight Show' 26 Years After Johnny Carson Ban

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Thursday night, March 27, was a historic one for Joan Rivers: the comedienne returned to the "Tonight Show" for the first time in 26 years.

Johnny Carson famously banned Rivers from the show in the late '80s after an occasional guest host gig landed her her own late-night talk show. Jay Leno, who inherited Carson's "Tonight Show" throne, upheld the ban. Last night, new host Jimmy Fallon gave Joan a chance.

Though technically she did make a cameo on Fallon's debut episode Feb. 17, Rivers acknowledged her long absence in an interview with Variety after taping her segment. "The last time I was on the show, Melissa was in diapers," the 80-year-old comedienne joked. "Now, I'm in diapers."

Of course, it wouldn't be a Joan Rivers interview without some uncomfortably crude jokes (a Holocaust gag, anyone?), which made Jimmy bury his face in his hands. But it was all in good fun, and two hugged it out in the end.

Watch Rivers' interview below:



Jimmy Fallon!