Magic Johnson stole the hearts of millions of fans with his magic on the court and his ever-green smile. Likewise, even after almost three decades into his retirement, the Los Angeles Lakers legend remains one of the most prominent figures in the NBA world. The 5x NBA champion has also taken center stage in Hollywood through his various media ventures. Though Johnson takes little to no effort to entertain his audience today, there was a time when he almost hit the wall in his media career.
However, Johnson, who was a ‘trainwreck’ on Live TV, managed to flip the script by reverting back to his roots. Interestingly his first breakthrough came alongside some of the biggest names in Hollywood.
Magic Johnson’s struggles with ‘The Magic Hour’
After his second stint in the NBA, Magic Johnson finally retired for good in 1996. Post-retirement, not sitting idle, Johnson set out to pursue different ventures. Among many such ventures of the Hall of Famer, his initial foray into the entertainment and media industry witnessed the most resistance.
Most of it came internally, as the opportunities for one of the biggest names in the NBA at that time were limitless. Interestingly, though Johnson displayed effortless excellence on the court, he struggled to find his footing in his media ventures. Consequently, his new talk show at the time ‘Magic Hour’, suffered the most, with him taking center stage.
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Interestingly, hours of interview training from Hollywood’s top coaches didn’t do the deed. However, a major internal realization led him to success.
Magic Johnson cracks the code to success
The orthodox methods and the stiff procedures followed in the industry at the time had transformed Johnson into a generic talking head. The need for the hour, as one Hollywood reporter at the time put it, “Magic (the spontaneous, quick-witted, sparkling kind) is what is needed if The Magic Hour’ . . . is to stay alive.” However, after the third telecast, Johnson, not satisfied with his appearance on the show and also having read the reviews, decided to change his routine. According to a Washington Post article, for the fourth episode, the 3x MVP decided to hoop at his alma mater instead of rehearsing and preparing questions for the interview.
The deliberate defiance against the stiff processes worked wonders for Johnson. The telecast that night was much better. It had banter with Samuel Jackson to an actual ad-lib with Suzanne Somers to an animated interview with a young Kobe Bryant. Though it was not the perfect night by any means, with bizarre questions from the audience, including a peculiar one to the millionaire actress, “Is your personal favorite the Thighmaster or Buttmaster?”
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After the telecast, when Johnson walked off the set, his staff received him with enthusiasm. Many exclaimed, “Great show, Earvin!” “Awesome!” “Best show yet!”. Since the major realization, Johnson has not looked back and has evolved into one of the biggest names in the industry.
The post “Is Your Personal Favorite the B*TT Master?”: Magic Johnson’s Bizarre Ad-Lib with Millionaire Actress and Uncovered Kobe Bryant Interview Led to Huge Success appeared first on EssentiallySports.