A revealing 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
From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the ’70s and ’80s he was the country’s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial (and sometimes cruel) off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.
From the moment in 1970 when Carson hired Bushkin (who was just 27) until the moment 18 years later when they parted ways, the author witnessed and often took part in a string of escapades that still retain their power to surprise and fascinate us. One of Bushkin’s first assignments was helping Carson break into a posh Manhattan apartment to gather evidence of his wife’s infidelity. More than once, Bushkin helped his client avoid entanglements with the mob. Of course, Carson’s adventures weren’t all so sordid. He hosted Ronald Reagan’s inaugural concert as a favor to the new president, and he prevented a drunken Dean Martin from appearing onstage that evening. Carson socialized with Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas, and dozens of other boldface names who populate this atmospheric and propulsive chronicle of the King of Late Night and his world.
But this memoir isn’t just dishy. It 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 loathed small talk even as he excelled at it; why he couldn’t visit his son in the hospital and wouldn’t attend his mother’s funeral; and much more. Bushkin’s account 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. Johnny Carson unveils not only the hidden Carson, but also the raucous, star-studded world he ruled.
©2013 Henry Bushkin (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
Fascinating, Informational, Irritating
For content, yes. Unfortunately, from the opening minutes, the narrator made it quite clear that this was going to be a struggle to listen to at all, let alone all at once.
I'd just like to say, it's not fun for me to write negative reviews, of anything. If Dick Hill has battled some sort of health issues, I truly hope he recovers fully but, there's no reason for him to continue in the field of narration. He constantly runs out of breath mid-sentence and frequently, mid-word. If anyone is old enough to remember, the closest comparison I can find is Mr. Magoo. It's just unfortunate that such a compelling story was almost ruined, it could have been a pleasure with virtually any other competent narrator.
As much of an autobiography of Mr. Buskin,, Johnny Carson the book gave credence to the not often discussed dark side of many comedians. Sad to think someone who gave joy to so many was an unhappy man.
This was a fabulous, entertaining, thorough, and fair–handed account of the life of one of America's greatest cultural icons
Typical uncontainable lawyer. Greedy and jealous to the extreme. To ridicule a person who has brought so much enjoyment to MILLIONS all over the world and Millions$$$ to this creep who screwed up, by going to an Alexis cohort or just stupid judgement of not doing what he was being paid to do is dam lucky to wind up with so much $$$$, but I guess it wasn't enough so now he will make more from this stupid novel. If it wasn't for JOHNY where would this newbie lawyer have gone? I know the user who introduced him to JOHNY they make a great pair!
Excellent listen. Narrator was terrific. Makes you consider how one spends his or her few short years on earth no matter how "successful" in the world you think you are.
Excerpts from The Johnny Carson Show. There may have been some but I stopped listening.
It was not interesting to me.
Most likely not
It is more of a my life with Johnny than a book directly about Johnny. It does not cover his rise to fame or much of early life. It does not cover his final years either.
While it does not cover some of those key items most people would be looking for from a book about Johnny, it is a very interesting character study and I enjoyed the narrator & story. I would recommend this book but you should know what you are getting.
Great read and exciting story. Author was very candid about highs and lows which doesn't happen too often in books like these.
Henry Bushkin's biography of JohnnyCarson is both funny and tragic and yet incredibly interesting to listen to. It's read by the author who has an excellent voice and holds our attention. As a huge fan of The Tonight Show and as someone who was fascinated by Carson's personality growing up, this book is a wonderful way to relive the 60's, 70's and 80's!
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