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Johnny Carson

By Henry Bushkin

Johnny Carson

You can view this book's Amazon detail page here.


Started reading:
7 March 2015
Finished reading:
12 March 2015


Johnny Carson, for all his well-earned celebrity, was an intensely private person, and perhaps it took someone like Henry Bushkin, who spent eighteen years at his beck and call, to write the definitive biography of the King of Late Night. There’s nothing here too surprising: the man had some serious anger-management issues, and perhaps it’s just as well that Bushkin became his major confidante, if only because Henry could be expected to understand the client-attorney relationship. Needless to say, getting this stuff out in the open, a decade after Carson’s death, wasn’t easy for Bushkin. I found only one blatant error, a reference to Jack Benny’s cheapness and how it, as much as Benny’s comedic style, might have inspired Johnny: as Benny fans have known all along, stinginess was just a bit of shtick. And that wasn’t enough to ruin the book, or its most important revelation: how the author got to be “Bombastic” Bushkin, running gag in dozens of Carson monologues. Definitely worth staying up late to read.