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Paperback King of the Night : The Life of Johnny Carson Book

ISBN: 0312922566

ISBN13: 9780312922566

King of the Night : The Life of Johnny Carson

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Book Overview

America's best-known talk-show host and TV's most phenomenal success is completely revealed in this spicy, and scandalous biography written by the acclaimed author of As Time Goes By. "The most authoritative of the unauthorized Carson surveys".--Kirkus Reviews.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Carson the ruthless, Carson the insecure, Carson the entertainment genius, Carson the man

Johnny Carson was without question one of the most influential people of the twentieth century. He probably logged more television time than anyone else and his on camera persona was one of deep trust and honesty. There is the classic story of how Carson created a toilet paper shortage by making a joke about there being a toilet paper shortage. I watched him for years and he provided America with a stability and comfort level that most likely will never be repeated. Carson was reasonably honest about some of his personal life, openly joking about his marriages. He would occasionally say something about other aspects of his life, although there was never any great detail. This book supplies those details. As an unauthorized biography where Carson did little to assist, there are many areas where the author must resort to reasoned speculation. Nevertheless, you get a clear sense of the ruthlessness of Carson in his personal, entertainment and business dealings. Johnny Carson going sour on you was a kiss of death and he destroyed many careers by making it clear that dealing with one of his "enemies" made you an enemy. The only one who seemed immune to this was Ed McMahon. There were several instances where the only person associated with Johnny and the Tonight show who contacted someone on Johnny's blacklist was McMahon. It is also clear that in the early years Ed McMahon was Johnny's protector, bailing him out of many spots when Carson was drinking and about to go over the edge. However, in later years their relationship became one almost totally restricted to the vicinity of the Tonight show set. What had been a friendship became much less, as McMahon went on to throw himself into many different endeavors while Johnny became totally defined by the Tonight show. Like so many entertainment personalities, Carson was a shy person haunted by many demons of insecurity. Despite his tremendous success, he was never able to conquer them, and it is unfortunate, because at the end, despite having millions of close acquaintances who adored him, he had few if any close friends. This book places all of this before you, showing you a side of the man that could never have appeared while he was on camera.

Learn more about the King of the Night

Great read for all who enjoyed the King for all those years. It allows the reader to learn more about the man then just the personality. He was the King of late night TV but he struggle off the air just like a normal person. A must read for those who grew up with Mr. Carson!!

Best Carson Biography

I read the hardcover of this book and also Carson: The Unauthorized Biogrpahy by Paul Corkery. Leamer's book is much better. Johnny had his character flaws, but then so did his wifes. His last two wifes were manipulators and maybe unbeknownst to Johnny manipulated him into marriage. Johnny was a loner but didn't like to live alone. Johnny could see that the marriage may not work, but he was afraid to call off the relationship before going down the aisle. The book got a litte boring with all the details about his bank and dealings in an unsuccessful attempt to buy Aladdin Casino in Las Vegas. The book does a good job of reviewing the details of Johnny's earlier life without going into overkill on the detail. If you only have time for one Johnny bio, this one is a must.

A Revealing Bio

If you are a fan of Johnny Carson, this is the book for you to read. However, I have to warn you- if you only like seeing Johnny in a completely positive light, this is not the book for you. It will more than likely offend you. This book holds nothing back on the life of Johnny Carson, from his childhood and college years, stint in the Navy, career and life before "The Tonight Show," his four marriages, friends and enemies, and everything else in between. Enormous, thorough research has been done, along with literally hundreds of interviews. This new, updated version also includes his life after his 30 years on "The Tonight Show," and his recent passing. I bought this book not too long ago, and it introduced me to the real Johnny Carson- warts and all.

Great Information on Johnny's Childhood and Rise To Stardom

Surprisingly little material is available concerning the life and times of America's greatest stand-up comic genius Johnny Carson. This book (a former Book-of-the-Month Club selection) offers up a wealth of illuminating information, particularly strong as it relates to Johnny's childhood and his first steps towards embracing the idea of a life in entertainment. A magic set he received as a youngster allowed Johhny to put on funny shows for his friends and family (wouldn't THAT have been something to behold!), and some years later in college, Johhny was the toast of the campus where he performed stand-up and emceed many events for the student body. Eventually the engaging Carson earned his legendary status as the 3rd host of the Tonight Show: 1. Steve Allen, 2. Jack Paar, 3. Johnny Carson, 4. Jay Leno. Until Johnny's own long-promised autobiography comes into print (which seems to be a big if at this point, unfortunately) we must make do with the scarce resources that are available, and this book does a good job with the Carson roots, and rise to prominence. Enjoy it!
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