1. Johnny Carson Got Slapped Around by One of His Targets for Being a Jerk
While he was on the air, Johnny Carson was sweetness and sunshine, and the epitome of the friendly character we all wish we had as a neighbor. When not in front of the cameras and his adoring audience, however, Carson was an awful jerk who habitually bullied and abused others, and even physically assaulted people in fits of rage. Examples of Carson being a jerk include an attempt to strangle NBC colleague Tom Snyder, his refusal to visit his son who was institutionalized in a mental asylum, and his verbal and physical abuse of his wives.
Celebrities subjected to The King of Late Night TV’s abuse usually stayed quiet to protect their careers from the notoriously vindictive icon. One notable exception was singer and actor Wayne Newton, who did not find it funny when Carson cracked homosexual jokes about him on national TV. Thinking that they were buddies, Newton begged Carson to cut it out, but Carson persisted. So an incensed Newton barged into Carson’s office one day, and slapped him around silly. It was one of the few times that Carson got his comeuppance. The homosexual jokes stopped.
Where Did We Find This Stuff? Some Sources and Further Reading
Bushkin, Henry – Johnny Carson (2013)
Ericson, Edward E. – Feeding the German Eagle: Soviet Economic Aid to Nazi Germany, 1933 – 1941 (1999)
Groves, Leslie R. – Now It Can Be Told: The Story of the Manhattan Project (1983)
Jones, Dan – The Plantagenets: The Warrior Kings and Queens Who Made England (2014)
Montefiore, Simon Sebag – Stalin: The Court of the Red Tsar (2003)
New York Times, July 28th, 2018 – How the Suffrage Movement Betrayed Black Women
Rhodes, Richard – The Making of the Atomic Bomb (1986)
Wiegand, Wayne A. – Irresponsible Reformer: A Biography of Melvil Dewey (1996)