With the passing Joey Bishop, I feel that I have lost the final pivotal figure early in my career that helped shape my success.
While Mike Douglas set the stage for early afternoon audiences to be aware of Yours Truly; Merv Griffin on early evening shows; and Steve Allen gave me my first appearance in late night television from which Carson designed his “Karnac” character; uniquely enough, Joey Bishop – who began the role of establishing me in late night television.
Yours Truly reached the point that on one unexpected night, Joey turned to me and said “Kreskin, I’m having you on as soon as we can arrange it for an entire week.” Scores upon scores of shows were done by Yours Truly with him and oddly enough, his announcer those two years was someone whom I came to know first through Joey’s show: Regis Philbin. He was on Joey’s show that I predicted one week ahead of time, when I felt would be the major story in the Los Angeles Times. It drove Joey crazy because day after day he kept calling me into his office and asking me did I think I was going to become close to successful. Milton Berle drove him up a tree asking him did I share how my prediction would pan out and it was correct. The story was accurate that I predicted.
When Joey left the airways, I became aware of an unexpected situation. One of Johnny Carson’s representatives, his secretary, who was a fan of mine called me on the phone and said “you are going to receive a call from Johnny.” I said, “I am excited about this.” “Actually it will be one of his representatives, but I want you to know that Johnny saw practically every Joey Bishop’s show you ever did,” even though their shows were on back to back. Carson made it a point to see kinescopes of my appearances; within a week, I began my voyage of 88 appearances with Johnny Carson.
Needless to say, I owe a very fond, thankful memory of Joey Bishop for what he saw in me and like Carson, with all the appearances, he never particularly asked me what I was going to do, just “Come on Kreskin and run with it.”