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Ed Asner talks ‘Son of a Junkman’ book, one-man show, Betty White (Includes interview)

Regarding his new book, Asner said, ” Samuel Warren Joseph called me and I said ‘okay.’ He had a bunch of questions and I answered them. I wanted more of a narrative, so I called in another friend, Matthew Seymour, and he created something of a narrative for the piece.”

“It’s an entertaining read. I have a way with words. I think the fans will like it,” he said. “I don’t know if there is a Son of a Junkman 2, but if I live long enough, I will come up with it.”

As he noted in his autobiography, his proudest accomplishment in life is his children. “My children are beautiful,” Asner said. “They are good people.”

In his personal life, Asner celebrated his 90th birthday back in November. “I am a little short of breath. You know what I mean. I think I will go and take some youth pills,” he said. “I definitely am young at heart. I thank God. When I die, if I were to be taken to heaven and my folks and my siblings aren’t there, I want a change. I’ll tell them ‘I don’t want your heaven’.”

Asner revealed that he will continue to perform his one-man show A Man and His Prostate, which is a witty look at a serious medical subject. “We are still doing that show. We are perfecting it. It was my genius,” he said.

To learn more about A Man and His Prostate, check out its official website.

He shared that he was privileged to be a part of The Soap Myth with Tovah Feldshuh. “Tovah [Feldshuh] is quite a dish,” he admitted. “The Soap Myth is a beautiful story. I love it. I hope it gets to Broadway.”

In May of 2018, Asner was honored by the Jewish inclusion organization Matan with the “Community Impact Award.” “I enjoyed it very much. Matan does a great job,” he said.

When asked how he handles being dialogue-heavy in his career, learning all these scripts, he responded, “I am just trying to cope. I attach a certain emotion to it.”

On the title of the current chapter of his life, he said, “Curtains.” “It’s the last chapter,” he said.

Asner is known for his famous line in The Mary Tyler Moore Show about spunk: “You’ve got spunk…I hate spunk,” which his character, Lou Grant, told Mary Richards (who was played by Mary Tyler Moore). “That’s a lie. I love spunk,” he clarified. “I’m going to my grave regretting being recognized for saying that.”

He treasures his years on The Mary Tyler Moore Show and its spin-off series Lou Grant due to the “gratification that people have given him for those performances.” “It didn’t make me rich necessarily, but it stoked my heart, in a good way,” he said.

Asner wants to be remembered for “good work” as well as “honesty.”

Speaking of The Mary Tyler Moore Show, he complimented former co-star and friend Betty White (who recently turned 98 years old) as the “liveliest woman you will ever find.”

For young and aspiring actors, he encouraged them to “stick with it” and to “persevere.” “Ad Astra per Aspera,” he said.

On the impact of streaming services on the entertainment business (Amazon Prime, Hulu, Netflix, and Disney+), he said, “I am waiting for their calls. Amazingly enough, I just read yesterday that Bob Iger is leaving Disney.”

Asner also complimented Ronnie Marmo’s performance in his one-man show I’m Not A Comedian, I’m Lenny Bruce. “Ronnie Marmo was lovely in it. Ronnie did a beautiful job,” he said.

The veteran actor defined the word success as “popularity,” even though he admits that most people don’t even recognize him.

Son of a Junkman is available on Amazon.

Read More: Son of a Junkman by Ed Asner earned a glowing review from Digital Journal.

Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 17,000 original articles over the past 16 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a six-time consecutive "Best of Long Island" winner, and in the past three years, he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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