The chairman of Sony’s board was feted at yesterday’s 10th anniversary edition in New York City alongside Norman Lear, Ted Turner, Robert MacNeil, Jim Lehrer, Eric Farber, George Beasley and – posthumously – Don Cornelius and Andy Rooney. Our FishbowlNY colleague Jerry Barmash was able to grab a few minutes with Stringer, who recalled a great fringe benefit of helping orchestrate the successful CBS pursuit of David Letterman:
Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Carson’
The prolific novelist, playwright, and essayist passed away at his Hollywood Hills home on Tuesday evening. According to his nephew, complications from pneumonia was the cause of death.
Gore Vidal made Los Angeles home in 2003, but his history with Hollywood is a long one. In 1948, the uproar over his homosexual coming-of-age novel The City and the Pillar saw Vidal blacklisted by the literary world. For years Vidal was unable to get his work reviewed by critics, and to earn a living he began writing for film, television, and the stage.
The entertainment industry embraced what the literati had rejected, and Vidal enjoyed steady work. Two of his plays, “Visit to a Small Planet” — itself adapted from one of Vidal’s TV scripts — and “The Best Man,” enjoyed success on Broadway before being turned into films. His many screenwriting credits include Suddenly Last Summer with his friend Tennessee Williams, the sexually explicit commercial flop Caligula, and an uncredited stint as script doctor to Ben Hur.
What more can be said about Johnny Carson that hasn’t already been said? According to Peter Jones, the PBS documentary producer who pursued the late night host for ten years before being curtly turned down, Carson himself certainly believed all had been aired.
Still, for Tonight Show connoisseurs, the upcoming May 14 “American Masters” series documentary on PBS promises a few new tidbits, most notably Joan Rivers revisiting her disastrous decision to not keep Carson properly in the loop about her discussions with FOX. Ray Richmond, the former Hollywood Reporter staffer now helping with Deadline.com’s TCA coverage, has the details from this morning’s Winter Session panel:
“Joan really speaks about that for the first time with us,” Jones said. “She admits that she probably shouldn’t have let Johnny find out about it second-hand. … Johnny never spoke with Joan again. She called him to discuss it with him and he hung up on her. The whole thing with Joan broke Johnny’s heart, it really did.”
Last week, the “PM Show with Robert Conrad” eased into its fourth year of weekly, easygoing conversations via a live broadcast at Fullerton restaurant Angelo’s and Vinci’s. Thanks to the Hollywood connections still enjoyed by the one-time star of TV series The Wild Wild West and Black Sheep Squadron, the guest was actress Lesley Ann Warren.
Per OC Register radio columnist Gary Lycan, Conrad has bounced back very nicely from a 2003 car accident and DUI conviction. The audio-video stream is recorded every Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. for CRN Digital Talk Radio and reaches, according to the broadcaster, a combined five million households nationwide.
“You can applaud,” the former favorite target of Johnny Carson sketches said at the top of his September 22 broadcast. “There’s nothing that says you can’t give me the clap.”
While 35,000+ channel views (and 2.2 million video clicks) at press time may seem a tad disappointing, the truth is that Johnny’s core audience has many other ways to revisit the master at work, including several massive DVD collections. In a recently uploaded Steve Martin bit from 1989, the comedian shares diary entries about his previous on-air experiences with the “sluggish” Johnny:
We like Sasha Stone‘s way of thinking. In reaction to the latest wave of media speculation about Billy Crystal returning for a ninth turn as Oscar show host, the AwardsDaily.com maven instead has her money on another, younger, more logical star:
Somehow I doubt if they’re going to all the trouble to hire the presumed “young and hip” Brett Ratner to produce, it seems unlikely they will veer off that path and head into more traditional waters with Crystal. More likely, Ben Stiller is the one they’ll get to host. Stiller is starring in Ratner’s upcoming Tower Heist. I have my money on Stiller hosting.
There’s a whole lot of Mary Hart love being shown in the media this week ahead of her final appearance tonight on Entertainment Tonight. And she deserves every bit of it.
Hart is the Johnny Carson of the entertainment TV news magazine world, retiring at the top of her personal game after 29 years on the air. Joining her for an ET send-off taped yesterday were a number of her former male co-hosts, including the best one of them all, John Tesh. Those two had major on-air chemistry, the kind that LA TV station execs dream of when envisioning ideal local news anchor pairings. The latest crowning tributes include one from Brooks Barnes of the New York Times:
“Without Mary, ET starts to look like what it is–kind of dear and not particularly edgy,” said Martin Kaplan, the director of the Norman Lear Center for the study of entertainment and society at the University of Southern California. “I don’t know how large the cultural niche is for dear in a Perez Hilton, TMZ, Gawker world.”
That’s what actor Charlie Sheen suggested he and sports talk radio show host Dan Patrick start calling their budding, eye-popping collaboration this morning, after he called in unannounced to follow up his much talked about Monday appearance on The Dan Patrick Show.
There are now possibly plans for Dan and “the Danettes” to take their Super Bowl RV to Sheen’s backyard for a future remote broadcast (Sheen has already texted his approval of the idea). Separately, Patrick may help produce a taped “tell all” interview between Sheen and New York Yankee Nick Swisher. This morning, Sheen recounted the mother of all media interventions:
“Basically, Viacom showed up at my house and said, ‘Dude, it’s getting really obvious and we’re really worried about you. We don’t give a rat’s tooey about the show, we care about your health.’ So they came in and just said, man to man, we have to shut it down.
On today’s edition of KCRW’s The Treatment with Elvis Mitchell, New York Times reporter and author Bill Carter expounded with trademark expertise on a subject he knows so well: the behind-the-scenes machinations of late night talk show hosts.
Carter suggested that the real culprit with regards to the Jay Leno-Conan O’Brien debacle is the way all comedians are addicted to the cocaine-like rush of performing in front of daily live audiences. He paints this picture of Jay:
“Leno has done this 46, 48 weeks a year, and then he does 180 stand-up dates on top of that. Who does that? And that’s why it’s kind of interesting when people say, ‘Jay manipulated this situation’, or, ‘He’s the villain.’ I don’t see it that way. He’s just a mono-maniac. He has one thing he wants to do in life, which is appear on television and tell jokes, every single night. And he will do anything to do that.”
A friend close to Bushkin tells Mediabistro that the book provides a “complete portrait of Johnny Carson.”
It’s about Bushkin’s life as it intersected with that of the giant. Carson was a man of many parts. Amongst the Hollywood elite, Carson had cynosure status. Few were ever willing to dispraise Carson who kept his distance from all but a select few.
Bushkin was his closest friend for 18 fascinating years. The rhythm, style and substance of those years are what Henry Bushkin captured in the book.