Johnny Carson once caused a near month long toilet paper shortage in the U.S. in December of 1973. In his show, he said, “You know what’s disappearing from the supermarket shelves? Toilet paper… There’s an acute shortage of toilet paper in the United States.” Americans promptly went out and bought up every piece of toilet paper they could find. Supermarkets tried to ration it, but to no avail. By noon the next day, pretty much all the nation’s supermarkets were sold out.
After several days of toilet paper shortages due to this hysteria,
Carson went on the air to try to explain it had been a joke and
apologized. But because the shelves were almost always empty of toilet
paper at this time, whenever some would come in, people would buy it all
and hoard it.
This toilet paper shortage lasted a full three weeks.