As the permanent guest host of The Tonight Show, Joan Rivers was so popular that she would often draw higher ratings than Johnny behind the desk. And then, when Fox came to her to create her own late night show, Johnny cut off all communication with his former protégé. For the next 21 years, Carson ignored Joan until his death. On Joan's reality series long after all this, she decided to visit Johnny's grave because she "wanted to dance on it." But when she arrived at his plot, all she could do was cry.
Howard actually sided with Johnny, stating he could never forgive someone if they did that to him. "I recently had someone ask for forgiveness from me, and I said no." He refused to tell Joan who that it was though.