Late night hosts paid homage to the late, great Joan Rivers following her passing.
Rivers passed away at 81 on Thursday
at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, where she had been taken last week after losing consciousness during an outpatient surgery.
The trailblazing comedienne has a special connection with late night, as she broke the glass ceiling of the TV boys club by becoming the only permanent guest host for Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show. She then went on to become the first and only woman to ever host her own late night network show, The Late Show starring Joan Rivers. She never returned to The Tonight Show until this year when host Jimmy Falllon invited her back.
From David Letterman to Jimmy Kimmel, check out the hosts' tributes to Rivers, plus a few of their heartfelt quotes.
Jimmy Fallon, The Tonight Show- "We had her on our very first Tonight Show, when I took over. She came out, and she came over to me, and she started crying, and gave me a kiss," Fallon said fighting back tears. "It was really emotional and really nice."
David Letterman, Late Show- "Talk about guts. ...Funny today as she was when she first got into show business. And talk about guts, she would come out here and sit in this chair and say some things that were unbelievable. ...She stood behind her jokes and, to my knowledge, would say these things and would never apologize."
Jimmy Kimmel- "Joan was a very lucky person because she loved her job so much. She never wanted to stop, and she didn't have to stop because she was so great at it."
Sarah Silverman on Jimmy Kimmel Live- "She was a hero to me, and I loved her very much. ...She wasn't done. ...She loved with her whole heart and she also hated with her whole heart. "
Jon Stewart, Daily Show- "There are few people in my business that you can say are, or were, actual groundbreaking talent. Joan Rivers was one of them."
Craig Ferguson, Late Late Show- "I just hope that when Joan meets the man upstairs he is wearing something she can insult."
Chris Hardwick on Conan- "I adored her. ...I've been heartbroken about it all day."
Conan O'Brien- "Joan Rivers would fill in for Johnny Carson and when she did, it was an event. Everybody in the country would talk about it the next day."
In 1981, ET caught up with a young Rivers who had some advice for comics coming up in show business. Check it out, below: