Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson

Book - 2013
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An unreserved and incisive account of the career and personal life of the "King of Late Night" at the height of his fame and influence is shared from the perspective of his lawyer, wingman, fixer, and closest confidant.
Publisher: Boston : Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2013.
ISBN: 9780544217621
Branch Call Number: 791.45092 Carso-B
Characteristics: 294 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 24 cm.


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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.

Oct 23, 2016

A more accurate title would have been "My Life with Johnny Carson" as the book is not a bio as much as a memoir of the author who spent 18 years as Carson's one-man entourage. The book is the author's experiences with Johnny, not simply a book about Johnny. Bushkin was Carson's attorney, his agent, his manager, chauffeur, body guard, etc. and most importantly his closest confidant for 18 years. The stories center around Carson during the peak of his career and include many stories of those Johnny associated with off camera. All the Hollywood A-listers of the 70's were there and much is illuminated about them as well. A fascinating book that is hard to put down. Well written and easy to read. (I did not spot a single typo!) Carson was much wilder (and more complex) than I would have imagined and while much of the story describes Carson's many faults, the author does not set out to smear Johnny, only to paint an accurate portrait. That portrait includes all of Carson's many good points as well, so the narrative is balanced. An excellent read, but I did come away with a little less respect for the man even though I had a greater understanding. If you idolize the man, steer clear. But if you want to read a fascinating yarn about a great man in a great time in entertainment history, you will enjoy this.

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.

Jun 14, 2015

I am always interested in a good celebrity biography, especially a star like Johnny Carson. However, this is one that will break your heart. The author, Henry Bushkin, describes in detail his eighteen year journey being everything but a close friend to the incomparable Carson. This was a job he was so excited about at first (who wouldn't be?) but then slowly it turned into a nightmare, much like Carson's personal life. This book is very fascinating but it will also leave you a little sad for everybody who was involved. A great read.

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.

Jun 25, 2014

It is a great book to read. It may cause his star to not shine so bright after reading it. Are we not all humans though?

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.

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Jun 14, 2015

"A man so suspicious of flattery and sentimentality might have appreciated my attempt to paint an accurate portrait of the most thrilling, fun, frustrating, and mysterious relationship of my life - a portrait of a man I loved."

Jun 25, 2014

"....I only kill in self-defense -- what would you do if a rabbit pulled a knife on you?"

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