Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Ed’s Dead

I’m very sorry to hear this morning that Ed McMahon, who spent three memorable decades as Johnny Carson’s good-humored sidekick on The Tonight Show, has died in Los Angeles at age 86. Baltimore Sun TV critic David Zurewick writes:
With all the change in late-night TV theses days, it is hard to remember what a reliable, inviting and reassuring place McMahon and Carson made their faux couch and desk set seem like from 1962 to 1992--one of the longest and most successful runs in TV history. McMahon played a large role in that popularity with his deep voice, ready laugh and trademark “Heeeeeerrrrrreeee’s Johnny” nightly introduction.

While Carson was a perfectionist who made life difficult for those who worked with him, McMahon said in repeated interviews over the years that his job as sidekick was “the world’s greatest job.’”

“You can’t imagine hooking up with a guy like Carson,” McMahon said a 1993 AP interview. “There’s the old phrase, hook your wagon to a star. I hitched my wagon to a great star.”
Interestingly, McMahon’s demise comes close on the heels of the launch of Hiyoooo.com, billed as “the world’s first virtual sidekick.” When you need a pick-me-up, just go to that site, click on Ed’s smiling noggin, and let his full-throated call herald the significance of your every thought or utterance.

(Hat tip to TV Squad.)

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