Scott D. Pierce: Don’t like Jon Bon Jovi? You will after watching new docuseries.

‘Thank You and Goodnight’ tells the story of the man and his band.

(David Bergman | TourPhotographer.com) Jon Bon Jovi performs in Pittsburgh in 2011. The rock star and his eponymous band are the subjects of "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story," a docuseries streaming on Hulu starting April 26.

Pasadena, Calif. • I really like Jon Bon Jovi. His music, sure. And he’s a very good actor.

(Remember when he played Ally’s blue-collar boyfriend in 10 episodes of “Ally McBeal”? Probably not.)

I’ve been a fan since Bon Jovi and I were both in our mid-20s. But I like him even more after getting a look at a four-part documentary about the man and his band, and getting a chance to hear him answer questions about it at a recent Television Critics Association press tour.

In both cases, he was open and honest. He didn’t deflect. He was smart and charming. Four parts and almost five hours seems like a lot for “Thank You and Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story,” which starts streaming Friday, April 26, on Hulu, but it’s actually not too much. There’s plenty of story to tell — the band recently marked its 40th anniversary — and it rings true.

(Disney/PictureGroup) Jon Bon Jovi and Gotham Chopra take questions from members of the Television Critics Association.

Bon Jovi selected director/executive producer Gotham Chopra after seeing his Tom Brady documentary, “Man in the Arena,” and gave him control over the docuseries.

“One thing we agreed upon on Day 1 was this was not going to be a VH1 puff piece,” Bon Jovi said. “I wasn’t going to stamp my feet and say, ‘I have final say.’ Gotham was the director. This had to tell the truth and have all the warts to go with it in order to tell a real truth. … I’m proud of the film.”

Band members speak

The docuseries is a mix of recent interviews, interviews from decades past, old footage, and new footage of the band taking the stage post-COVID in 2022.

In addition to Bon Jovi, present and past band members are interviewed — including Richie Sambora, who abruptly left the group in 2013. He admits he handled his exit badly, but he doesn’t come off as well as he seemingly thinks he does.

(Disney) Richie Sambora on "Good Night, Thank You: The Bon Jovi Story."

Bassist Alec John Such, a band member from 1983-94, died in 2022 before he could participate in the program. “His passing was dramatic, and hard on all of us because it was the first time we faced mortality,” Bon Jovi said.

Because they were interviewed individually, and were “able to truly speak the truth without fear of repercussions or bruised egos,” Bon Jovi said. And there were “some punches in the nose. I was like, ‘Wow, that stung.’ And then, I got over it.”

They talk not only about the good times but the bad. Drug and alcohol problems. Personal struggles and disputes. Bon Jovi talks at length about how one of his vocal chords was “literally atrophying,” threatening to end his singing career.

“I pride myself on having been a true vocalist. I’ve sung with Pavarotti,” he said. “I’ve studied the craft for 40 years. I’m not a stylist who just barks and howls. I know how to sing. So when God was taking away my ability, … I couldn’t understand why.”

Unlike his bandmates, Bon Jovi didn’t drink and he didn’t do drugs. “I jokingly have said the only thing that’s ever been up my nose is my finger, so there’s no reason for any of this.”

Creating a legacy

Younger people who don’t know anything about Bon Jovi other than singing along with “Living On a Prayer” at football or basketball games may not get it, but a big part of what makes “Thank You, Goodnight” so fascinating is the perspective of a 62-year-old rock star reflecting on his life and his long career.

“With every decade comes another life’s lesson,” he says a few minutes into Episode 1. “At 25, all I was thinking about was fun [and] success. At 30, I got married [and] looked at success differently. At 40, you start to measure — did you accomplish what you set out to do? By 50, you start to think about a legacy. By 60, I think, as the Chinese proverb says, it’s basically: You are the man you were meant to be.

“So at 60, it’s like, when I look back, did I become the man I wanted to be?”

It’s an amazing tale of a kid — a group of kids — who became incredibly successful and remarkably rich, dealt with the problems that created, and are still performing four decades later.

(Frank Micelotta | Disney) "Thank You, Goodnight: The Bon Jovi Story" starts streaming Friday on Hulu.

“If I would have been able to tell my 18-year-old self that these days were going to happen to me,” Bon Jovi said, “I would have never in my wildest dreams believed it.”

Bon Jovi told the TCA he’s “proud of who and what I am at this juncture in my life. Regrets, I’ve had very few. I was lucky enough to have a dream and be able to pursue it, and I still am pursuing it. So I think it’s been a life well spent thus far, but it’s a work in progress.”

Yes, at the age of 62, he still looks good. And he still has great hair, even though it’s gray now.

And a new album — “Forever” — is scheduled to be released on June 7.

Letter from Ukraine

Bon Jovi said he’s been “blessed to have had songs that resonate across borders and languages and decades” — and he pointed to a specific example.

“I received a two-page, handwritten, long-form letter from [Ukrainian] President [Volodymyr] Zelenskyy telling me what ‘It’s My Life’ has meant to the people of Ukraine,” he said. “Holy s---. I mean, I was just writing that coming from who and where I was at that time. And now, to realize the effect that some of these songs have had on cultures is humbling.”