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Ed McMahon

Ed McMahonAKA Edward Peter Leo McMahon Jr.

Born: 6-Mar-1923
Birthplace: Detroit, MI
Died: 23-Jun-2009
Location of death: Los Angeles, CA
Cause of death: Pneumonia

Gender: Male
Religion: Roman Catholic
Race or Ethnicity: White
Sexual orientation: Straight
Occupation: Talk Show Host

Nationality: United States
Executive summary: The Tonight Show

Military service: USMC (pilot)

Ed McMahon was famous for being Ed McMahon. He was Johnny Carson's sidekick for decades, and he hosted blooper shows and Star Search. If you grew up in America after the 1950s, you have probably heard McMahon's booming voice and barking laugh more often than you know.

As soon as his voice changed at adolescence, McMahon got part-time work calling bingo games. He worked as a carnival barker and a street vendor, and was the unseen voice in countless radio and TV commercials. In the late 1950s, ABC had a daytime game show called Who Do You Trust?, hosted by ventriloquist Edgar Bergen and his dummy sidekick, Charlie McCarthy. When the network decided to replace Bergen & McCarthy, they brought in Carson as host, and Ed McMahon got the dummy's job. He laughed extra loud at Carson's jokes, so when Carson was picked to take over The Tonight Show in 1962, McMahon went with him. For thirty years, McMahon's job was to laugh loudly at Carson's jokes and shout "Heeeere's Johnny!" When Carson left Tonight in 1992, McMahon left as well.

During and after his Tonight era, McMahon acted in cheesy movies and sitcoms, hosted "specials" on TV, was Jerry Lewis's long-time co-host on muscular dystrophy telethons, and was the perpetual pitchman for any product willing to make a check payable to Ed McMahon. Unable to do endorsement work after breaking his neck in a fall in 2006, he came close to foreclosure of his Beverly Hills mansion in 2008.

Father: Edward Peter Leo McMahon Sr. (traveling salesman)
Mother: Eleanor Russell McMahon
Wife: Alyce Ferrill McMahon (m. 1949; div. 1976)
Wife: Victoria Valentine McMahon (m. 1977; div. 1989)
Wife: Pam Hurn McMahon (m. 1992)

    High School: Lowell High School, Lowell, MA
    University: Boston College
    University: BA, Catholic University of America (1949)

    Phi Kappa Theta Fraternity
    Hollywood Walk of Fame 7000 Hollywood Blvd. (television)
    Endorsement of Anheuser-Busch Budweiser (1978)
    Endorsement of DirecTV 1998
    Surgery twice, to repair a broken neck (Mar-2007)
    Risk Factors: Obesity, Alcoholism

    TELEVISION
    The Tom Show Charlie Dickerson (1997-98)
    TV's Bloopers & Practical Jokes Co-Host (1984-88)
    The Tonight Show Sidekick (1962-92)
    Star Search Host (1983-95)

    FILMOGRAPHY AS ACTOR
    Mr. Warmth: The Don Rickles Project (13-Oct-2007) · Himself
    The Weather Man (20-Oct-2005) · Himself
    Bewitched (24-Jun-2005) · Himself
    Jerry Seinfeld: I'm Telling You for the Last Time (9-Aug-1998) · Himself
    Safety Patrol (29-Mar-1998)
    Off the Menu: The Last Days of Chasen's (Oct-1997) · Himself
    Just Write (Mar-1997) · Luncheon Chairman
    Love Affair (21-Oct-1994) · Himself
    Butterfly (Feb-1982) · Mr. Gillespie
    Full Moon High (1981) · Dad
    The Great American Traffic Jam (2-Oct-1980)
    The Last Remake of Beau Geste (15-Jul-1977)
    Fun with Dick and Jane (9-Feb-1977)
    Slaughter's Big Rip-Off (31-Aug-1973)
    The Incident (5-Nov-1967)
    Dementia (22-Dec-1955) · Narrator [VOICE]

Author of books:
The Art of Public Speaking (1986)
Selling (1989)
Here's Johnny! My Memories of Johnny Carson, The Tonight Show, and 40 Years of Friendship (2005, memoir)


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