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FLASHBACK: Lily Tomlin as Ernestine Being Interviewed By Joan Rivers On ‘The Tonight Show’

For decades, Lily Tomlin has been making us laugh, and one of Tomlin’s most memorable contributions to the comedy world is her character Ernestine, the condescending telephone operator that rose to popularity on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In.

Tomlin revisited the popular character many times throughout her career, including during her appearance on The Tonight Show in 1984, which featured Joan Rivers guest hosting for Johnny Carson and other show guests Gary Shandling and Michael Landon.  Needless to say, this was a classic moment.

In honor of Tomlin’s birthday today (September 1), please enjoy this incredible flashback clip!

Joan Rivers interviews Lily Tomlin as Ernestine

Joan Rivers guest host on the Tonight Show in 1984 with Lily Tomlin as Ernestine the Telephone Operator.


Erica Banas is a rock/classic rock reporter that loves the smell of old vinyl in the morning.