Tell-All Reveals Crazy Johnny Carson Story

It involves a gun, an alleged affair, and Frank Gifford
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 8, 2013 9:26 AM CDT
Tell-All Reveals Crazy Johnny Carson Story
This May 22, 1992 file photo shows talk show host Johnny Carson watching clips from earlier shows during the last taping of the "Tonight Show" in front of family and friends in Burbank, Calif.   (AP Photo/Douglas C. Pizac, file)

A new tell-all from Johnny Carson's former lawyer includes a pretty nuts story about the iconic late night host. According to Henry Bushkin's Johnny Carson, excerpted at Entertainment Weekly, Carson became convinced in 1962 that wife Joanne was cheating on him. Bushkin says he, Carson, and a private investigator broke into a Manhattan apartment Joanne was secretly renting, and found pictures of football player Frank Gifford everywhere. "Carson leaned against the living room wall and began to weep," Bushkin writes. Oh, and he had a .38 revolver with him at the time, the lawyer claims.

Of course, Joanne Carson, now 81, insists to the New York Post the story is "delusional" and the whole book a "fiction." But, she says, she was friends with Gifford, and Johnny was indeed "jealous of him," she says. She also admits to having kept some of her things in a New York City apartment, but says it actually belonged to her secretary, and adds that "Johnny never mentioned" breaking into the place. As for the gun, "Please. Johnny would have never carried a gun. First of all, he was terrified of guns." According to Bushkin, Carson left the apartment to drink at a bar with Ed McMahon, and left with a famous woman. He remained married to Joanne until 1972. (More Johnny Carson stories.)

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