Behind the Curtain: An Insider's View of Jay Leno's Tonight Show

Behind the Curtain: An Insider's View of Jay Leno's Tonight Show

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Overview

"It was always a pleasure to appear on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Jay and his long-time producer Dave Berg would welcome me to the Green Room, and these moments before the show gave us a chance to laugh. Jay and Dave brought a great spirit and a lot of dignity to late-night television." -Mrs. Laura Bush, former First Lady of the United States

Experience the wacky antics and ground-breaking appearances of The Tonight Show with Jay Leno from a backstage perspective. Gain an insider's view of how Leno changed the face of late-night, inviting not just actors but also journalists and politicos to the show. What happens behind the scenes is sometimes even more revealing than what happens in front of the camera. Serious and shocking, author Dave Berg proves that these memorable moments can still surprise and entertain.

Called "the best booker in the business" by Bill O'Reilly, Berg delivered a vast array of high-profile guests, including Barack Obama as the first sitting president to ever appear on a late-night program. Berg tells what really happened during the show's most legendary moments-Hugh Grant's mea culpa, the live Boston show with an inebriated Cheers cast, Jerry Seinfeld's appearance with John F. Kennedy Jr., and Arnold Schwarzenegger's surprise political announcement.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781455619962
Publisher: Pelican Publishing Company, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/30/2014
Pages: 272
Sales rank: 554,435
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Dave Berg has a BA in political science from Northwestern University and an MS in journalism from Kansas State University. He has served as a writer and co-producer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The Jay Leno Show, The O'Reilly Factor, and NBC News. A former reporter, anchor, executive producer, and bureau chief for local and network news, he has written for numerous publications, including Reader's Digest, National Review, Christianity Today, The Washington Times, The Daily Caller, and Crisis Magazine. He lives with his wife, Mary, in Valencia, California.

Table of Contents

Foreword 9

Chapter 1 James Douglas Muir "Jay" Leno 13

Chapter 2 Funny Is Funny 27

Chapter 3 The Dangerous Art of Booking Guests 35

Chapter 4 Guests 49

Chapter 5 The Real Reality Show 71

Chapter 6 Gets I Didn't Get 91

Chapter 7 Spying on Dennis Rodman in Nashville 109

Chapter 8 John F. Kennedy Jr., the Favorite Guest 129

Chapter 9 Mr. Sitting President 137

Chapter 10 Political Moments 149

Chapter 11 News People 173

Chapter 12 Sports Greats 191

Chapter 13 The Audience 217

Chapter 14 Jay Leno's Garage 225

Chapter 15 Trying Times 233

Chapter 16 The Future 259

Acknowledgments 265

Index 267

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Behind the Curtain: An Insider's View of Jay Leno's Tonight Show 3.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I'm a person who likes nonfiction that reads like storytelling/conversation. This book is like sitting around table with Dave Berg as he tells, amuses, enlightens, entertains, and spellbinds with one episode after another. I learned a lot, too, about the TV industry and personalities that intrigued and tickled my mind. You won't be disappointed with this read. Thanks Dave for sharing your experiences in such a delightful way.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Just like Jay Leno's Tonight Show itself, this book is Fast, Edgy, Interesting and Honest.  I applaud Dave Berg for his style of focusing in on  all that made the most interesting guests so unique, while never stooping so low as to trash someone.  Jay Leno comes alive and is once  again in the spotlight where he belongs.  After reading this, I have to ask that the curtain be opened one more time in order to give a standing ovation to all who worked so hard to bring the Tonight Show into our homes for so many years.  Bravo!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dave Berg has written an engaging book that shines a light on what it was really like behind the scenes of the Tonight Show with Jay Leno. His stories are infectious and his delivery witty.
pepsibob More than 1 year ago
Great read!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking forward to a nice juicy read about the real stuff behind the curtain. Not only is this poorly written, ill-constructed and tedius--it's just not interesting. Surely there are some great stories and a great ghost writer out there that could create a far more entertaining and engaging read
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Mark_Z More than 1 year ago
This book brought me right back to the early days of when Jay first took over Tonight from Johnny Carson. Jay truly blazed a trail by adding politicians to the late night landscape and other non-traditional guests at the time. The story about Steve Irwin the Crocodile Hunter and his secret to conceiving a boy still cracks me up when I think about it. This book highlights the creativity, wisdom and strategy it took to keep the right guests visiting the show and driving it to the #1 spot in the ratings all those years. It’s also clear that if Jay was the hardest working person in show business – and I believe he was and probably still is – then his staff and crew were there right behind him.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
"Let all cats old enough to catch their own prey- screw this, I'm too lazy. Glosseh, you're stand in deputy. Organize patrols and sh<_>it. Bye."