A frank and sharp story about the late night king in the midst of his glory and power, his lawyer, slave, assistant and closest confidant
From 1962 to 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and penetrated the American consciousness. In the 70s and 80s, he was the highest paid artist in the country and the most mysterious. He was obviously incomprehensible, so mercurial (and sometimes cruel) behind the scenes as he was charming and funny on stage. During his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with amazing clarity and depth that no one else could do.
From the moment of 1970, when Carson hired Bushkin (who was only twenty-seven years old), and until the moment when they broke up eighteen years later, the author became a witness and often took part in a series of shoots that still retain their ability to surprise and fascinate us. , One of Bushkin’s first assignments was to help Carson get into a posh apartment in Manhattan to bombastic bushkin gather evidence of his wife’s infidelity. More than once, Bushkin helped his client avoid confusion with the crowd. Of course, Carson’s adventures weren’t so dirty. He accepted Ronald Reagan’s first concert as a service to the new president, and he prevented the drunk Dean Martin from appearing on stage that evening. Carson talked with Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemmon, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas,
But these memoirs are not just untidy. This is a carefully painted and surprisingly nuanced portrait of Carson, revealing not only what he really was, but why. Bushkin explains why Carson, the insatiable (and very talented) womanizer, felt that he should always be married; why he hated small talk, although he succeeded in it; why he could not visit his son in the hospital and did not go to the funeral of his mother; and much more. Bushkin’s exposition, in turn, is shocking, sharp and noisy – written with attention to the details of the writer, attention of the scriptwriter to dialogue and the ability to find comic moments that Carson himself could enjoy. Johnny Carson represents not only the hidden Carson, but also the hoarse, starred world he rules.
about the author
Henry Bushkin is a lawyer living in Los Angeles. For eighteen years he was a personal legal adviser, assistant, confidant, and close friend of Johnny Carson.