Impersonator Rich Little‘s act hit a little too close to home for Johnny Carson.
“Johnny banned me from The Tonight Show,“ said Rich, who’s penned a new memoir, Little by Little: People I’ve Known and Been.
Little says he never knew why he was banished, but added: “I think something must have happened. Carson had a notoriously thin skin.”
Carson biographer Henry Bushkin, however, reports that Rich was “never a favorite of Johnny’s. Little always brought out the worst in him.”
“That really hurt my feelings,” Rich told The National ENQUIRER — adding that actor Paul Lynde also hated the comic impersonating him on Hollywood Squares.
“They’d cut to him for a reaction and he’d curl his lip and say, ‘That’s disgusting! Get a day job!’ ” laughed Rich, who knew too much about Paul to take it personally.
“He was alcoholic! They’d have to strap him into his chair on Hollywood Squares to keep him from falling off!”