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Johnny Carson

Johnny Carson

by Henry Bushkin


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“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 1962 to 1992, 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

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780544334489
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 10/07/2014
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 180,480
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Henry Bushkin is a lawyer living in Los Angeles. For 18 years, he was Johnny Carson's personal legal adviser, fixer, confidant, and close friend.

Table of Contents

Chapter One
1979: The Star Among Stars 1

Chapter Two
1970: Breaking In 19

Chapter Three
1970: Calamity John 41

Chapter Four
1972: Joanne and Joanna 58

Chapter Five
1972–1978: Stairway to Paradise 80

Chapter Six
1979: NBC — See Ya 104

Chapter Seven
1979–1980: Free Agency 119

Chapter Eight
1979–1980: Clear Sailing 139

Chapter Nine
1980–1981: The Inauguration 153

Chapter Ten
1972–1980: Vegas 176

Chapter Eleven
1980–1984: Hobson’s Choices 201

Chapter Twelve
1982–1985: Homme et Femme 216

Chapter Thirteen
1982–1985: Days of Weinberger and Neuroses 230

Chapter Fourteen
1987: Darkness Falls 248

Chapter Fifteen
1987–1988: The End 264

Acknowledgments 281
Index 282

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