Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson

eBook - 2013
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“A close look at how show business power corrupts . . . The dishiest read of the year.” – Janet Maslin, “Ten Favorite Books of the Year,” New York Times

“Here’s Johnny!” Probably everyone in America knows the phrase, whether they watched every episode of The Tonight Show or none because they had to go to bed early on school nights. From 1962 to 1992, Johnny Carson and his Tonight Show dominated the American consciousness.

Henry Bushkin was Carson’s best friend and lawyer during that period, and his book is a tautly rendered and remarkably nuanced portrait of Carson, revealing not only how he truly was, but why. Bushkin explains why Carson, a voracious (and very talented) womanizer, felt he always had to be married; why he couldn’t visit his son in the hospital and wouldn’t attend his mother’s funeral; and much more. Johnny Carson is by turns shocking, poignant, and uproarious — written with a novelist’s eye for detail, a screenwriter’s ear for dialogue, and a knack for comic timing that Carson himself would relish.

“A fascinating book about a complex man.” — Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

“Like The Tonight Show, the book has many a merry moment . . . [Johnny Carson] was also one of a kind, and is missed. This book brings a bit of him back.” — St. Louis Post-Dispatch

People magazine Top Ten Book of the Year

An endlessly dishy and incisive account of the King of Late Night at the height of his fame and power, by his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant.

Baker & Taylor
An unreserved and incisive account of the "King of Late Night's" career and personal life at the height of his fame and influence is shared from the perspective of his lawyer, wingman, fixer and closest confidant. 150,000 first printing.

Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013
ISBN: 9780544217737
Branch Call Number: eBook
Characteristics: 1 online resource
Additional Contributors: OverDrive, Inc


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Jun 10, 2019

Johnny Carson is, quite likely, the biggest star that American television ever produced. During his 30-year career run on "The Tonight Show" (1962-1992) - Carson was seen by more people on more occasions than anyone else in U.S. history.

Originally just a small-town boy from Corning, Iowa - Carson certainly made his fair share of friends, as well as enemies as he traveled along his pathway of life.

This "Johnny Carson" biography was written by Henry Bushkin who was a close and trusted associate of Carson's for nearly 20 years.

This memoir certainly contains both its good moments, as well as its not-so-good moments, too.

Jun 08, 2019

Born (1925) in Corning, Iowa - Johnny Carson (a multiple entertainment-award winner) was one of America's most popular and highest paid television hosts of the latter half of the 20th century.

This revealing memoir of Carson (from an insider's perspective) was written by Henry Bushkin who was Carson's personal legal adviser, confidant, and close friend for nearly 20 years (1970-1988).

If you are at all interested in reading about some of the good, some of the bad, and some of the ugly stuff about Carson - Then - This is the book to check out.

This biography also includes 16 pages of b&w stills, as well.

(*Note*) - In 2005 - Johnny Carson (79 at the time) died of respiratory failure. He had been a heavy cigarette smoker for most of his adult life.

Nov 21, 2015

A decent book, although it was rather boring at times, despite it being about one of the most revered comedians ever. The insight about Ruth Carson, Johnny's mother, was very fascinating, not to mention heart shattering. If you are interested in Johnny Carson, I do recommend you read the book.

EdgeofHeaven Mar 08, 2015

A depressing portrait of a superb entertainer who drank too much and spent his life alone. Not much is said about the Tonight Show since most of the book details divorce settlements or signing the “big deal” with NBC on May 2, 1980. However there is a good account of Johnny’s decision to move his live show in Las Vegas from the Sahara to Caesars Palace. Joan Rivers, a frequent guest host, shines a bright light in chapter thirteen.

I'm enjoying this book so far whereas I was initially reluctant in choosing the book because of the author.

A good read and insightful.

Apr 26, 2014

An insightful remembrance of the iconic Johnny Carson by the man Carson once described as his best friend. That friendship ended in bitterness and betrayal, as did so many of Carson's relationships. This book, perhaps better than any ever written about the troubled, enigmatic "King of Late Night," explains why. A good read.

Mar 16, 2014

If you are interested in learning about Johnny Carson, the person, this is the book for you. It was written by Carson's lawyer and confidante. Carson is a complex person; we all know that. However, you really get a sense for who he was from this book. Buskin is a surprisingly good writer and the book moves along quickly. It's true that Bushkin may be a bit too impressed with himself, but he does paint a very credible picture. This is a must-read for Carson fans.

jennyfender Jan 28, 2014

I enjoyed this book more than I thought I would. A very candid memoir by a close personal friend and business partner.

Nov 06, 2013

such a sad book about a man who had everything-but was so bitter and unhappy that he ultimately really had nothing and died alone at the end.


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