Ed McMahon: 1923 – 2009
Ed McMahon, the TV legend best known as the throaty sidekick to Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show for thirty years, died this morning in a Los Angeles hospital. His nightly introduction for Carson (“Heeeeeeere’s Johnny!”) has become a signature pop culture phrase (one that Jack Nicholson famously imitated in The Shining). In his heyday, which wasn’t too long ago, it would be hard not to encounter McMahon while channel surfing. Remember the American Family Publishing sweepstakes? As a kid, I remember wishing that I’d see him at my door one day, holding that giant check (never happened!). McMahon also hosted the very popular Star Search, a precursor to American Idol. It goes without saying that his absence will be felt strongly throughout Hollywood. After the jump are two videos (one a vintage commercial and the other a clip from The Tonight Show) that showcase McMahon’s untouchable showbiz personality.