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Download Johnny Carson Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Johnny Carson, by Henry Bushkin Click for printable size audiobook cover
0 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 50 out of 5 0.00 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Henry Bushkin Narrator: Dick Hill Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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From 1962 until 1992, Johnny Carson hosted The Tonight Show and permeated the American consciousness. In the ’70s and ’80s he was the country’s highest-paid entertainer and its most enigmatic. He was notoriously inscrutable, as mercurial and sometimes cruel off-camera as he was charming and hilarious onstage. During the apex of his reign, Carson’s longtime lawyer and best friend was Henry Bushkin, who now shows us Johnny Carson with a breathtaking clarity and depth that nobody else could.

From the moment in 1970 when Carson hired Bushkin, who was just twenty-seven. until the moment eighteen years later when they parted ways, the author witnessed and often took part in a string of escapades that still retain their power to surprise and fascinate us. One of Bushkin’s first assignments was helping Carson break into a posh Manhattan apartment to gather evidence of his wife’s infidelity. More than once, Bushkin helped his client avoid entanglements with the mob. Of course, Carson’s adventures weren’t all so sordid. He hosted Ronald Reagan’s inaugural concert as a favor to the new president, and he prevented a drunken Dean Martin from appearing onstage that evening. Carson socialized with Frank Sinatra, Jack Lemon, Jimmy Stewart, Kirk Douglas, and dozens of other bold-face names who populate this atmospheric and propulsive chronicle of the “King of Late Night” and his world.

But this memoir isn’t just dishy. It 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 loathed small talk even as he excelled at it; why he couldn’t visit his son in the hospital and wouldn’t attend his mother’s funeral; and much more. Bushkin’s account 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. Johnny Carson unveils not only the hidden Carson but also the raucous, star-studded world he ruled.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The book bears effective witness to a swinging era when celebrities were “entertainers,” the highball glass was never empty, there were only three channels on TV, and Carson was its king.”

    Bloomberg Businessweek

  • “Henry Bushkin’s Johnny Carson is that rare celebrity tell-all by an author who knows whom and what he’s talking about.”

    New York Times

  • “Few books like Johnny Carson have been more engrossing. It’s not just a juicy peek inside a celebrity’s life…Bushkin’s memoir is also a well-written corporate tale that reveals the tough business of staying America’s favorite late-night host, full of stories of money, sex, and skullduggery, peppered with plenty of laughs.”

    Associated Press

  • “Twenty years since retiring and eight since his death, Carson remains the god of late night and the dean of American comedy.”

    New York magazine

  • “This is not a tawdry tell-all but rather an insightful and sobering character study of a tortured man and failed husband and father, as told through the eyes and experiences of one of his closest confidantes.”

    Huffington Post

  • “[A] gracefully written, often insightful memoir.”

    Daily Beast

  • “An insightful glimpse into the world of The Tonight Show and the star-studded life of Carson. An addictive read.”

    Publishers Weekly

  • “Most readers will be captivated by this high-definition, off-camera, extreme close-up view of the enigmatic entertainer.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Show-business junkies old enough to have spent many of their late nights between 1962 and 1992 watching Johnny Carson, “the King of Late Night,” will likely devour this long-anticipated memoir in one gulp. Notorious for keeping his distance from one and all, even those he purportedly loved, Carson was perhaps closest to Henry Bushkin…[who] may be the one living person capable of giving readers at least a glimpse of the man behind the genial, oh-so-smooth mask. Naturally, there is more than one man back there…[and] the text provides multiple examples of both sides of Carson’s Mr. Hyde personality…The portrait of Carson offered here, though, goes way beyond dish: it is a genuinely multifaceted look at the burdens and the excesses of celebrity. Equally fascinating, though, is Bushkin’s own story: how a young entertainment lawyer fell into a honey pot but became stuck in the sweetness, obsessed with trying to keep his client ‘happy’ while his own personal life and marriage tumbled into disarray.”

    Booklist

  • A USA Today Bestseller
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly Bestseller
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