Behind the Curtain: An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show

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There has been no figure in late night television more polarizing than Jay Leno. A ratings leader for two decades, he’s nonetheless seen by many in the entertainment world as a sellout, a conniving manipulator, or a backstabber. Between taking the reins of late night’s premiere platform after Carson’s departure and the public debacle with The Jay Leno Show (and Conan O’Brien’s brief tenure on The Tonight Show), controversy has followed him as consistently as ratings.

Behind the Curtain, while nominally about the tenure and adventures of Tonight Show producer Dave Berg, also makes great strides in correcting some of the misconceptions about Leno in the public record. Understandably, it comes off a bit biased in Jay’s favor, but not unforgivably so.

Berg offers first-hand guidance through the day-to-day workings of the show as they book guests, put out fires, and battled some dogged competition in the ratings. Berg provides intriguing insight into Leno and the show’s legacy as few could, bringing years of experience behind the scenes directly to the reader, complete with funny asides and plenty of pithy observations.

Amidst all the late night vitriol that surrounds Leno, this was a surprising breath of fresh air.

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Star Count 3/5
Format Hard
Page Count 272 pages
Publisher Pelican Publishing
Publish Date 2014-Jul-10
ISBN 9781455619962 Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category Biographies & Memoirs


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