Los Angeles, CA — Veteran entertainer John Byner, 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, has penned (along with Douglas Wellman) his biography, FIVE MINUTES, MR. BYNER!, published by Boutique of Quality Books. Byner’s 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 over for more than six decades.
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 not only includes the best and funniest moments of Byner’s life, career, and relationships with some of the biggest names in entertainment, both on and off screen—including Steve Allen, Mel Torme, Dinah Shore, Johnny Carson, Ed Sullivan, Henry Fonda, and Elvis Presley—but gives readers a glimpse of the person behind each of these performers.
“I thought of doing a memoir a year before I began writing it,” said Byner. “My friend (and co-author) Doug Wellman, suggested years before that if I wanted to write a book he would assist me.”
“. . . John has had a remarkable career spanning decades, from doing comedy in small clubs in Greenwich Village to The Ed Sullivan Show. . . Ed loved him. . . to The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, to Steve Allen, who basically invented the talk show, to The Carol Burnett Show, to just about every major variety show or situation comedy there was on the air, to hosting his own variety show and introducing Bob Einstein as Super Dave Osborne, and on and on. . . . And he’s still going strong, as funny and as kind as ever.”
John Byner’s co-star on Broadway in The Frogs,
from his foreword to Five Minutes, Mr. Byner!