The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
comes alive in this book from an insider who describes the show’s inner workings from the monologue to the guest bookings and appearances. Leno was the late-night ratings leader for almost two decades, which is unprecedented in the modern era of television. He and his producers made the show number one by recasting Johnny Carson’s Tonight Show
into Jay Leno’s Tonight Show. Behind the Curtain
takes an exclusive look at how they achieved it.
During The Tonight Show’s Jay Leno years, there were always two shows going on: the one on stage and the one behind it, where the camera didn’t roll. This narrative weaves both together, featuring Leno and his most prominent guests. It recalls the show’s most memorable moments, both good and bad, skillfully recounted by one of Leno’s most highly respected, long-time co-producers, Dave Berg. For eighteen years, he booked and worked with Hollywood stars, superstar athletes, presidents and other politicos, and news makers.
Called “the best booker in the business” by Bill O’Reilly, Berg delivered an array of high-profile guests to the program. Along the way he experienced it all, from a harrowing adventure to Nashville to spy on Dennis Rodman to a five-year campaign to book Barack Obama, the first sitting president ever to appear on a late-night show.
Berg was an eyewitness who tells what really happened during the show’s most legendary moments: Arnold Schwarzenegger’s surprise political announcement; Hugh Grant’s mea culpa; football great Jason Sehorn’s proposal to Angie Harmon; the inebriated Cheers cast’s live show from Boston; Jerry Seinfeld’s appearance with “surprise guest” John F. Kennedy Jr.; and Leno’s 9/11 show, the finest of his career.
About the Author
Dave Berg is a writer and a columnist. He was a co-producer for The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Jay Leno Show, where he also appeared in numerous comedy sketches. He served as a producer for The O’Reilly Factor, a writer for NBC News, and the Los Angeles bureau chief for CNBC. He has written for USA Today, The Huffington Post, Reader’s Digest, National Review, Christianity Today, Washington Times, The Daily Caller, and Crisis Magazine. He has a BA in political science from Northwestern University and an MS in journalism from Kansas State University. Berg lives with his wife, Mary, in Los Angeles.
About the Foreword Writer
Jay Leno was the popular host of NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno for two decades. Inducted into the Television Hall of Fame in 2014, he made his first appearance on The Tonight Show as a stand-up comic in 1977 and became a regular substitute for Johnny Carson in 1987. He is an avid car collector and philanthropist and lives with his wife, Mavis, in Los Angeles, California.
BEHIND THE CURTAIN
An Insider’s View of Jay Leno’s Tonight Show
By Dave Berg
Foreword by Jay Leno
BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Entertainment & Performing Arts
224 pp. 5 1/2 x 8 1/2