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In Memoriam:
Ed McMahon

June 24, 2009

Edward Leo Peter "Ed" McMahon, Jr. (March 6, 1923 – June 23, 2009) was a decorated war veteran, an American comedian, game show host, announcer, and television personality. Most famous for his work on television as Johnny Carson's announcer and sidekick on The Tonight Show from 1962-1992, he was also host of the original version of the talent show Star Search from 1983-95, co-host with Dick Clark of TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes from 1982-86, and became well-known as the presenter of the now-defunct American Family Publishers sweepstakes (not, as is commonly believed, its main rival Publishers Clearing House).

McMahon annually co-hosted the The Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon. He performed in numerous television commercials, most notably for Budweiser. In the 1970s and 1980s, he anchored the team of NBC personalities conducting the network's coverage of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

McMahon appeared in several films, including The Incident (1967), Fun With Dick and Jane (1977), Full Moon High (1981), and Butterfly (1982), as well as briefly in the film version of Bewitched (2005). According to Entertainment Weekly he is considered one of the "greatest sidekicks".[3]

Ed McMahon, 86, the longtime number two man to the late Johnny Carson on The Tonight Show, passed away at Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center Tuesday morning, June 23, 2009. He had suffered with multiple health problems in recent months.

Although he served as the host of numerous programs including Star Search and as a spokesman for many advertisers, he is best remembered for his partnership with Carson.

The two first teamed up in 1957 for the ABC daytime show Who Do You Trust?. That series ran until 1962, when they departed to take over The Tonight Show from Jack Parr (Parr actually was followed by several months of guest hosts, including Groucho Marx, until Carson and McMahon’s ABC contracts expired).

They stayed there together until Carson retired in 1992. By that point, McMahon’s famous introduction, “Heeeeere’s Johnny,” had long been a staple of popular culture.

In addition to his career in show business, McMahon was a United States Marine. He served in World War II, stayed in the reserves afterward, returned to active duty for the Korean conflict, and again served in the reserves until 1966, when he retired as a Colonel. He was later commissioned as a Brigadier General in the California National Guard.

Ed McMahon is survived by his third wife, Pam, and five of his six children, and six grandchildren.

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