Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed McMahon More than just a Sidekick.

At a time when most men begin their retirement, Ed McMahon was still on The Tonight Show staring Johnny Carson, Hosting TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes (with Dick Clark), Hosting Star Search, appearing with Jerry Lewis for his annual Muscular Dystrophy Association telethons working as a commercial spokesman and an actor. Even with that resume most people still refer to him as Johnny Carson’s Sidekick. Yes he sat on the couch and would say the occasional, “YES!” and “You are correct sir”. But Ed McMahon was more than just a sidekick, he was The Tonight Show’s announcer, a very specialized skill, but the hardest job Ed had was being Johnny Carson’s straight man. Any authority on comedy will tell you that being the straight man is a harder job than being the comic relief. Although Ed had trouble holding back his laughter sometimes, handing Carnac the Magnificent his envelopes was not as easy as it looked. Ed had a great sense of humor and was able to take a joke at the expense of his weight, drinking and big laugh.

Mr. McMahon's publicist, Howard Bragman, said he died at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center. Bragman did not give a cause of death, saying that McMahon had a "multitude of health problems the last few months." After WWII, Ed McMahon made a long career on what he called his "whiskey baritone". Mr. McMahon started his carrer as a carnival barker and road show bingo caller. He also was a salesman on the Atlantic City boardwalk before entering television during its infancy in the late 1940s.

There is only one quote that we think of when we hear the name Ed McMahon, but just reading it does not do it justice, "Heeeeeeeere's Johnny!".

Good Night Mr. McMahon. Say, "Hi" or is it " "Hi-ooooo!" to Johnny.

Stay Tuned

Tony Figueroa
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