King of the Night: The Life of Johnny Carson

Laurence Leamer, Author
Laurence Leamer, Author William Morrow & Company $19.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-688-07404-3
Reviewed on: 07/06/1989
Release date: 07/01/1989
The King of the Night--the entertainer adored by millions of devotees of The Tonight Show --is Killjoy of the Day, according to Leamer ( As Time Goes By , etc.) who in this lively unauthorized biography depicts ``the most uptight, nervous guy you'll ever want to meet.'' Almost every aspect of John William Carson's life is shown to be different from the way it publicly appears to be: ``the great host'' is a reclusive man who rarely invites anyone to his home; ``the loving husband'' seeks solace outside his marriage; ``the caring father'' lacks rapport with his three sons. He is the sun and everything rotates around him, yet when the camera is off, ``Johnny seems diminished, washed out.'' He does not praise his employees; silence is his highest accolade. To this workaholic who dreads vacations, The Tonight Show is everything. But to those whose livelihood depends on him--including three former wives--the man who has been seen ``by more people on more occasions than anyone in American history''--the man who insists on privacy for himself, and who becomes belligerent and obnoxious when he gets drunk--is cold, uncomfortable and isolated. Photos not seen by PW. BOMC featured selection. (July)
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