During my formative years, my parents used reverse psychology on me, allowing me to stay up to watch Johnny Carson if I agreed not to complain about getting up for school in the morning. I was so excited to read a book about this legendary entertainment powerhouse. Johnny Carson’s long time lawyer & confidant, Henry Bushkin, is the author of this book. Mr. Bushkin was sworn to secrecy regarding his interactions as Johnny’s attorney, until Johnny’s death in 2005. Johnny Carson preferred to keep a low profile in his private life so it was great to gain some perspective on the man behind The Tonight Show.
While this book is a work of non-fiction, the pace was fast enough to keep my interest. Especially interesting were the accounts of Johnny’s relationship with his mother & father, his marriages, details about show guests, Johnny’s travels and how he became the country’s highest-paid entertainer during the ‘70s & ‘80s. It’s important to keep in mind that this is a biography by a longtime friend who, eventually, had a falling out with Johnny. How the book has been received has been a bit controversial. Folks like Doc Severinsen have blasted the tell-all book. However, it’s worth a read if you would like to learn some juicy details about the “King of Late Night TV”.