Five Minutes, Mr Byner release date has been delayed to August 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic. The audio book will still be released June 1, 2020. Stay tuned here for updates.

The new book from John Byner is now available via Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Five Minutes, Mr. Byner: A Lifetime of Laughter, a memoir of the legendary career of one of America’s finest entertainers, recaptures the amazing experiences from a point of view from the Hollywood insider.

John Byner is a man of many voices and characters, from impersonating the slow, rolling gait and speech of John Wayne, to lending his voice to The Ant and the Aardvark cartoons. His dead-on impersonations, as well as his unique talents as a character actor, have put him on the small screen in peoples’ homes, the big screen in theaters, and no screen on Broadway.

Growing up in a big family on Long Island, John discovered his uncanny ability to mimic voices as a child when he returned home from a Bing Crosby movie and repeated Bing’s performance for his family in their living room. He discovered his talent made him the focus of everyone’s attention, and allowed him to make friends wherever he went, from elementary school to the U.S. Navy.

John started his career in nightclubs in New York, but soon found himself getting national acclaim on The Ed Sullivan Show. With that he was on his way. This memoir is the best and funniest moments of his life, career, and relationships with some of the biggest names in entertainment, both on and off the screen.

Now available for order via Apple Books, Amazon and Barnes and Noble


New Podcast featuring John Byner

Eddie’s Bar at the Improv
The great John Byner joins Eddie to talk about his incredible career and his new book, Five Minutes, MR. BYNER.

John Byner was a regular on The Ed Sullivan Show, The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, and can be seen in the Amazon Original series LORE, to name just a few.

Listen now

 


Five Minutes, Mr. Byner! A Lifetime of Laughter

Title: Five Minutes, Mr. Byner! A Lifetime of Laughter
Author: John Byner with Douglas Wellman
Publisher: WriteLife Publishing
ISBN: 978-1-60808-234-6
Pages: 242
Genre: Celebrity Memoir
Reviewed by: Carol Davala

On Line At: http://www.pacificbookreview.com/five-minutes-mr-byner-a-lifetime-of-laughter/

Pacific Book Review

The impetus for John Byner’s showmanship clearly came at an early age. After seeing Bing Crosby’s big screen performance in “Here Come the Waves” back home, the 6-year old launched into a lively impersonation of the popular crooner’s song and dance routine. The positive family response not only fueled young Byner’s talents, but soon helped him realize it provided an easy path towards making friends. Laughter, he notes, is like a drug … “When you can make people laugh, when you make them happy … the experience is addictive.”

Fast forward from that childhood debut, Byner’s special gift has taken him from talent competitions and nightclub gigs, to television, Broadway, and the big screen. Whether recording voices for animation or doing character actor work with giants in the industry, Byner has clearly made his mark. In this enlightening and entertaining memoir, Byner collaborates with 35-year Hollywood veteran Douglas Wellman to showcase the joyous moments of a life-well lived, inevitably entwined with the history of entertainment. Here the gifted impersonator and comic performer relates memories and milestones of the past, with a genuine voice and from a heartfelt insider’s perspective.

Open, honest, and engaging, Byner’s story moves in and out over years of recollections. Nostalgic remembrances draw us into a childhood growing up in New York, with a loving and devoted Irish mother and a mechanical genius father. Byner was the fifth of six children, a motivational incentive to develop his voice talents and garner attention amidst the sibling brood. From family song fests around the old oil stove, midnight pinball escapades into NYC, and the memorable purchase of a 17-inch Admiral TV, a new form of entertainment that had a major impact on Byner’s development, the future performer relates a happy childhood. Byner quit high school to join the Navy. As a civilian he worked various traditional jobs to support his marriage and family. Then an opportunity for a 3-month stint at a Long Island nightclub, soon led to bookings in jazz clubs where he would perform between the musical acts. Byner aptly highlights a chance to appear on “The Ed Sullivan Show” as his big break in show business. Here he paints an important narrative portrait for those unfamiliar with the popularity of Sullivan’s variety acts and details of his distinctive persona. Amidst a cultural revolution the show provided history-making entertainment and ran for 23 years.

This captivating account also includes humorous anecdotes from the road. Byner’s first out-of-town gig included the venue’s loud espresso machine often overriding his punchline. Travelling as the naive “kid” amidst a group of worldly jazz musicians, Byner recalls a sudden scramble and sighs of relief after a moment of passing through Canadian customs.

The ’60s and ’70s proved a great time for performers like Byner. In addition to sitcoms and drama it was the era of comedy-variety shows. As part of his extensive repertoire, Byner proudly held court with his own comedy hour featuring unforgettable sketches like “The Bland Family”, “Father O Father”, and “Joe De Loser”. Monologues here were often drawn from the artist’s club material and included interesting voices put to unusual creatures.

Yet, even amidst such star-studded ventures, on the roller coaster of life there are some down turns. In Byner’s case think drunken hecklers, a few weird fans, and work with a disgruntled chimpanzee. Thankfully, as a glass half full kind of guy, Byner’s primary focus is on the positive. Likening his unique craft to that of a travelling salesman with the ability to make friends where ever he roams, Byner’s industry namedropping is undoubtedly a heartfelt tribute to the legends he’s felt honored to know and/or work with. Consider Fred Astaire, James Cagney, Henry Fonda, Elvis Presley, Carol Burnett, Dinah Shore, and Johnny Carson, just a few on the roster. Black & white photos featuring Byner and several of his comedy cohorts prove a nice addition.

With the precarious state of the world today, here as in his comical club/stage and screen performances, Byner exhibits perfect timing in sharing this uplifting autobiographical account.

 

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Biographies & Memoirs, Latest Reviews, Non Fiction