Joan Gave Some Stars their Big Breaks

February 27, 2013
Photo: The Howard Stern Show

As guest host of The Tonight Show, Joan would often plead producers to book lesser known names that she considered up-and-coming talent. At the time, they were nobodies, but Joan helped make them stars, including Garry Shandling, Howie Mandel, and a heavyweight talk show host from Chicago named Oprah. “I saw her on TV and I thought she was terrific.” Oprah’s fame skyrocketed shortly thereafter, but she never repaid Joan for helping her launch her career, even snubbing her on the red carpet once.