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Friday, November 15, 2013

There's Johnny.

I've just recently finished reading the new biography of Johnny Carson, written by his former attorney, Henry "Bombastic" Bushkin.
As I began reading it, I also read Mark Evanier's comments on it on his blog.
He implied that it was rather self-serving, and didn't put Johnny in a particularly attractive light.
I tend to agree, but I think it might have been a little more complicated than that.
Mark mentioned that, although Bushkin had promised never to make public any of his dealings with Carson as long as Johnny was alive, apparently this promise did not extend to after Johnny's death, and that this seemed like Dirty Pool.
Perhaps it is.
That being said, I should point out that I found it to be a rather compelling read.
And I wasn't at all surprised at the portrait of Johnny painted by Bushkin.
It seemed to be an extension of the public perception that many of us have had of Johnny.
It was not necessarily unsympathetic towards him.
And Bushkin copped to some personal blame in the deterioration of their relationship.
He was somewhat self-effacing.
Where I found major fault with the book was in something Mark Evanier did not bring up.
Bushkin had no trouble whatsoever trashing almost all the women in Carson's life, and at least one in his own.
He did this with virtually effortless abandon.
And these women are still alive, all with very little recourse at their disposal.
He describes adulterous affairs that Johnny had with Ann-Margret, whose husband, Roger Smith, is still alive.
Ya think he'd like to read about this?
He describes his own onetime ongoing affair with Joyce DeWitt while he was still married.
D'ya think she likes the idea of being outed as being an accessory to adultery?
I checked the "Acknowledgements" section at the end of the book.
Joyce DeWitt was not acknowledged.
Nor were any of Carson's wives.
Bushkin also goes into a detailed story about how Johnny's second wife was having an ongoing affair with Frank Gifford while she and Johnny were still married.
Hasn't Frank Gifford had enough public grief on this score?
Did he really have to be outed by Bushkin?
Couldn't it have been left at "famous former football player"?
I'm outing them now.
But Bushkin's book is on the New York Times Best Seller List.
I am but a mere drop of rain in the Atlantic Ocean in comparison.
What was it that Shakespeare said about lawyers?
I don't remember, but I know it wasn't good.
Maybe someone out there will remind me.

More about Johnny next time.


My books, "Show Runner" and it's sequel, "Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperbacks, "Mark Rothman's Essays", and my new novel, "I'm Not Garbo" are available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.



  1. After I saw your blog entry I got the book and read it straight through. It was indeed a compelling read and I generally agree with your assessment. If anyone is planning on reading the book please read no further I don't spoil it for've been forewarned. The one thing that really made me wonder about Bushkin is that after admitting he did things that screwed up a lot of peoples lives, after admitting he basically outgrew his relationship with Carson due to his own ambitions, after admitting he threw away his marriage and his family and after apologizing for these things, he still concludes that it was worth it. There were some good laughs in the book, and as I have never before read a "tell-all" it was kind of cool to hear about some of the celebrity antics. Do you have any other similar books that you'd recommend?

    Tom from NY

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About Me

Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."