Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday Feature: Bombastic Bushkin's Book

I have always been fascinated by the biographies and autobiographies of successful men and women. So, when a friend emailed me that Johnny Carson’s friend and consigliere, Henry Bushkin (known as “Bombastic Bushkin” to Carson’s audiences), had written a book, I was anxious to read it.

Let me begin by saying PBS’s “American Masters” documentary on Johnny Carson is the finest television documentary I have ever watched. Because it covers his entire life, which Bushkin’s book does not, I strongly recommend watching “Johnny Carson: King of Late Night” before reading Henry’s book. Otherwise, readers would not have the context for Bushkin’s, Johnny Carson, since the book begins well into Johnny’s adult life. You can watch the PBS entire documentary here

Bushkin’s book covers the twenty years or so that Bushkin worked for Carson. I found the book to be very readable, well written, and credible. I read it in a day and a half and was engrossed. Some other reviewers have indicated they feel the book is too harsh toward Carson. I disagree. I conclude Carson was a complex but ultimately tragic figure. Having seen the PBS special and other articles, I was not surprised by the content of Bushkin’s book.

With the caveat that this book covers only part of Carson’s adult life, I give it 5-stars.

Note: Apologize for the earlier misspellings.

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