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Books  >>  Biography

Henry Bushkin

Johnny Carson

Henry Bushkin Johnny Carson
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Main description:

“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 1961 to 1993, 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

Short description/annotation:

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.


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